Thanks to the government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund, a total £180,000 of funding was made available for capital improvements in North Somerset. 24 applications were received from local community organisations and businesses, with 17 projects awarded funding between £3,000 and £30,000 each.
This funding is designed to support businesses and community groups to develop new products and facilities that will benefit the local economy, and to develop new infrastructure (including digital infrastructure) that can provide essential services. This addresses challenges rural areas face, such as lower productivity rates, limited connectivity and poorer access to key services.
Areas of North Somerset with populations below 10,000 and towns up to 30,000 that serve rural areas as centres of employment and services (such as Clevedon) were able to apply for funding in June to help improve productivity, connectivity and boost prosperity.
Congratulations to all the successful projects:
- Banwell Parish Council – Solar Panels at the Youth and Community Centre and Scout Hall
- Brown Rock Woodland Community Interest Company – Infrastructure and Accessibility Improvements
- Curzon Clevedon Community Centre for the Arts – LED Lights and Digital Sound Infrastructure
- Hewish and Puxton Village Hall Ltd – Internet and projector facility
- Long Ashton Community Association – Village Hall Digital & LED Upgrade
- The Groundwork South Trust Limited – Goblin Combe for a Sustainable Future toilet block refurbishment
- The Woodland Warrior Programme CIC – Bee Hive Project
- Kindaco Ltd – Equipment for vegan cheese business
- Through the looking glass – Shop front improvements
- Mendip Activity Centre – New target sport zone, picnic area and storage
- PGCC Ltd/Laurel House – All weather accessible BBQ Lodge
- Field Doctor Ltd – Equipment for scale up and new product development
- Trethowans Dairy Ltd – New equipment for cheese presses
- Hullabaloos Lemonade – Production increase: scale up soft drink business
- Taylor Made Training Ltd – Equipment storage and office for caving business
- Giulios Boathouse Ltd – Giulio's Gelato: scale up ice cream business
- Maria's Bridal Boutique – Project upgrade: shop front improvements
Look out for the second round of funding that will be announced in spring 2024, and where around £260,000 will be available. The website will be updated and support for your application from the council will be available. Please visit n-somerset.gov.uk/repf or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Councillor Mark Canniford, North Somerset Council’s Executive Member for Spatial Planning, Placemaking and Economy, said:
“Considering our rural communities is vital when investing in innovation projects. We are pleased to support seventeen businesses and community groups during this latest funding round where I’m sure each project will benefit local communities as well as our wider economy. Thanks to UKSPF funding we are working to ensure we strengthen community ties across North Somerset and foster a sense of local belonging in all areas. Please consider applying for the next round of funding; we are inspired to see what other projects can thrive in the area.”
For more information about the UKSPF programme in North Somerset, visit https://innorthsomerset.co.uk/ukspf.
This programme is funded by the Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) which has been launched as part of the Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF). The REPF supports activities that specifically address challenges rural areas face, such as lower productivity rates, limited connectivity and poorer access to key services.
The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. For more information, visit www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-shared-prosperity-fund-prospectus.
The UK Shared Prosperity Fund replaces the EU Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF).
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) launched the Rural England Prosperity Fund (Rural Fund), a top up to the UKSPF worth up to £110 million for 2023/24 and 2024/25. It is the domestic replacement for the European funded LEADER Programme used to support the development of rural economies. For more information, visit REPF Prospectus on the Government website.