A HOST of initiatives across the district are set for a major boost thanks to the first round of prosperity funding.
The first allocations of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund for Stratford District Council have now been approved, which will see a total of £3.59million available to spend in the district over the next three years.
In this first round of allocation, £406,000 have been agreed to be spent on 13 separate initiatives across the district.
The UKSPF is a central pillar of the UK government’s ambitious Levelling Up agenda and a significant component of its support for places across the UK.
The fund is part of a suite of funding which begins to replace the previous European Structural Funds and aims to empower local lead authorities to identity opportunities to build pride in place, improve the places in which people live and supporting individuals and businesses to thrive.
Each area of the UK has received an allocation from the fund via a funding formula rather than a competition. SDC will act as a Lead Authority and has been allocated around £3.59 million of funding for local investment over three years to be spent by March 2025.
SDC was required to submit an Investment Plan to government on a strategy for distributing this funding and established a Local Prosperity Advisory Group to evaluate the projects received and make recommendations on which schemes should be supported.
LPAG has representation from a number of local organisations and businesses including Warwickshire Association of Local Councils, Shakespeare’s England, Federation of Small Business, Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce and Warwickshire and Solihull Community and Voluntary Action.
Support has been approved for a number of parish initiatives.
These are £25,000 for Great Alne Parish Council to upgrade the streetlights, £25,000 for Stockton and £2,500 for Snitterfield
Playing fields to upgrade and extend the play facilities, £20,000 for Wixford Village Hall to help replace the Village Hall and £25,000 for Volunteer It Yourself CIC to improve Temple Grafton Community Hall.
In Stratford, an award of £90,000 is going to Guild Estate Charity – Stratford Town Trust – towards the cost of converting an empty town centre property into a co-working space.
Funding of £125,000 has been allocated towards the cost of a boardwalk across the reedbeds at the Lench Meadows to allow residents and visitors greater access to this natural environment.
A total of £22,380 will go to Shakespeare’s Birthplace for two projects – firstly to transform an empty retail unit in the town into a community wellbeing hub and learning venue and also to improve the experience of visitors visiting Shakespeare Birthplace on Henley Street by transforming the streetscape.
And £35,000 for StratForward to provide planters for Stratford town centre which also provide information including the historic nature of the town and visitor information.
SDC Leader of Coun Tony Jefferson said: “I am delighted to be able to endorse the recommendations from the Land Prosperity Advisory Group. There is a great mix of projects from across the whole of the district.
“There are schemes that will stimulate our local economy, help the response to the climate emergency, improve the sense of place and promote the area on a national and international stage but, most importantly, these schemes have our residents at centre stage.”