Following the submission to Government of a UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) Investment Plan, approval has been received for the full allocation of £1.25 million to be spent on local investments in Cherwell by March 2025.
The purpose of the UKSPF is to invest in local schemes and infrastructure that will help boost productivity, spread opportunities, and build pride in communities, as part of the Government’s wider levelling up agenda.
Investment Plan Summary
Cherwell’s plan was developed in collaboration with community and business representatives and sets out a vision for supporting communities, growing business, and improving the skills of local people.
Five ‘delivery themes’ have been identified, against which Cherwell’s £1.255m UKSPF funding will be prioritised:
- Business retention and growth
- Green economy
- Investment in urban centres
- Community and cultural development
- Enhancing life chances and economic opportunities for our most vulnerable residents
How the funding will be used
Cherwell will receive the funding from government in three annual instalments, with £152,000 in the first year, £304,000 in the second year and £798,000 in the third year.
The Investment Plan sets out how the £1.25m funding will be used.
- £460,000 is allocated to ‘community and place’ with a focus on urban centres, greater access to arts and culture, community infrastructure improvements, development of local green spaces, and investment in new community sports facilities.
- £545,000 is allocated to ‘supporting Local business’, mainly in years two and three with a focus on measures to help start up, growing and urban centre businesses and to support businesses in meeting the challenges of climate change.
- £250,000 is allocated to ‘people and skills’ in year three (2024/25) and will be focused on employment support for economically inactive people, ensuring local skills match the needs of local businesses and ‘green skills’ training.
A selection of relatively small, ready to go projects and feasibility studies to prepare the way for future years are being delivered in year one (by end of March 2023) and will largely focus on ‘community and place’ projects and ‘supporting local business’ feasibility studies.
Year two schemes will again focus on ‘community and place’ projects as well as support for local businesses, based on the outcome of feasibility work carried out in year one.
It is likely that Year 3 will see a focus on working collaboratively with partners to address business support and skills gaps.
Projects will be delivered by both the Council and external organisations.
Note to potential suppliers
A delivery plan for years two and three is currently in development and will establish a programme and process for accepting project applications from potential suppliers.
Further information on this process will be made available at the appropriate time.
Any potential suppliers who would like to register their interest can do so by completing this UKSPF register of interest form. We will contact you once further detail is available.