Burnley Council successful in bidding for further government funding
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The money will be used over the next three years to promote local business growth, improve people’s skills and learning, and support community projects.
The funding was earmarked for the borough in the summer on the condition that the council submit an investment plan to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Local Communities.
That plan has now been approved and the money released to the council.
How will the money be spent?
The £3.488 million allocated will be used to support a range of projects including a grants scheme to allow voluntary organisations and community groups to improve their neighbourhoods and community facilities; a programme of investment in green spaces and play facilities; a comprehensive programme of business support to assist businesses to be more productive, reduce their carbon footprint and create new jobs; and a program of support to assist people not in employment to help the move closer to employment, education and training.
The Shared Prosperity Fund replaces European Union funding streams previously delivered on a county-wide basis. Across Lancashire, the amount of SPF funding available is approximately 40% less than the current European funding programmes.
‘The focus will be on supporting local business’
Coun. Mark Townsend, the council's executive member for economy and growth, said: “It’s great news to see almost £3.5 million of funding is being invested in our borough and it’s another example of Burnley Council's ongoing drive to bring much-needed investment into our area. The focus will be on supporting local business growth and entrepreneurship and boosting our communities and supporting the skills of our residents and businesses.”
Council leader Coun. Afrasiab Anwar said: “At the time the money was initially earmarked I said it was disappointing that we’re receiving less money than before through EU programmes, but any investment in our borough has to be welcomed.
“We will use this funding as effectively as possible to make sure we squeeze every bit of value we can out of it."
The council is now working with locally based organisations, harnessing the skills and experience of partners who are best placed to deliver projects and interventions to co-design and commission services.