Colchester Borough Council's Cabinet has agreed to submit an investment plan for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which if approved by the Government would bring £1.3m national funding into the borough as part of the UK Government Levelling Up programme.
Colchester’s proposed £1.3m investment plan, which has been developed with a range of partners to gather proposals that match the fund’s criteria, would see the money spent on: supporting businesses with advice and training; helping people into work in sectors such as construction, health, care, and creative; encouraging volunteering; providing specialist skills training; supporting creative businesses; encouraging innovation, and reducing crime.
The proposals have been based on evidence and feedback from education providers, the local voluntary sector, and the Department for Work and Skills, with the aim of building a strong and sustainable economy for the future.
Cllr David King, Leader of Colchester Borough Council, said: “This is a great opportunity to secure another significant investment into Colchester. We are confident we will meet the Government's criteria and that they will accept our proposals for projects from next generation care, to support to the creative and digital sectors and other businesses, including construction.
“The £1.3m from the Shared Prosperity Fund will make a real difference. Together with the Levelling Up Fund and Town Deal Fund, they will help to address inequality and support inclusive economic recovery, jobs, and growth across the borough. This is important new money that will help with the confidence, skills and sense of possibility in our soon-to-be city.”
The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is the government's domestic replacement for the European Structural and Investment Programme (ESIF) which the UK continues to participate in until 2023. The ESIF programme was essential for local regeneration, employment and skills.
The council expects to receive confirmation of the bid's success in the autumn.