£12m county funding boost
Shropshire is to receive £12.255 million from the Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) to support levelling up initiatives in the county.
The announcement has been welcomed by the council. The funding will help to address some of the challenges the county faces because of its rural nature which often makes it much more expensive to provide many services.
The funding is split into two elements – £10.845 million from the Prosperity Fund, while a further £1.4 million has been awarded under the Government’s Multiply programme to help support people with low or no maths skills back into work.
The main funding is to support initiatives such as tackling economic decline, helping more people into decent jobs and regenerating high streets – helping to revive communities and reverse geographical disparities.
The council will now pull together a partnership to look at how this funding can be best used in the county and it is required to submit an investment plan by August 2022 showing how it would spend the money.
The first payments could be made from October 2022 and cover a three-year period.
The UKSPF has been set up to match the previous EU funding from the European Social Fund and European Regional Development Fund.
However, it will be much more flexible and locally-led, with more freedom and discretion on what the funding can be used for and with no requirement for match funding.
Ed Potter, Shropshire Council’s deputy Leader, and Cabinet member for economic growth, regeneration and planning, said:-
“We are delighted that Shropshire is to receive £12.25m from the UKSPF.
“This is great news because this money is badly needed to help Shropshire tackle many of the challenges that it faces as the country’s largest inland county with a sparse population spread over a huge area.
“Our rural nature also means wages here are below the national average and at a time when day to day costs are rising for everyone, we must be doing everything we can to improve Shropshire’s prospects through regeneration, improved skills and boosting our economy.
“We will be asking a range of stakeholders, local businesses and partners across the county to join us in defining how this funding can best benefit Shropshire and reflects the issues they believe are priorities before we submit our investment plans to the Government during the summer.”