Powys and Ceredigion prepare joint £42 million funding bid

By Elgan Hearn   |   Local democracy reporter   |
Sunday 24th July 2022 11:00 am
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Council leaders 2022 at RWAS
Councillor James Gibson-Watt Leader of Powys County Council and Councillor Bryan Davies, Leader of Ceredigion County Council (PCC and CCC )

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A bid for over £42 million from the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund (SPF)  is set to be jointly made by both Powys and Ceredigion Councils.

Some of the principles of the “Regional Investment Plan” will be discussed by councillors at a meeting of Powys County Council’s Economy, Residents and Communities scrutiny committee next Monday, July 25.

Then on Tuesday, July 26, it is expected that the report will be in front of the Powys cabinet for a decision, as the bid needs to be submitted by Monday, August 1.

The SPF is seen as the replacement for the European Union structural funding which will stop following Brexit.

The report suggest that over a three-year period that Powys will receive £27.443 million and Ceredigion £14.961 million

Economic strategy and climate change lead, Rebecca Jeremy said: “Powys is required to work with Ceredigion to develop a Regional Investment Plan for Mid Wales, which is to be submitted to UK Government that will set the framework for the investment.

“This will then allow projects to come forward for funding.”

“It is expected that projects developed under the SPF will be aware of and address, the wellbeing of current and future generations, whilst addressing the needs of the people Powys County Council currently serves.”

The report states that Ceredigion would be the “lead authority” for the SPF.

Projects need to come under three themes, and these are:

• Communities and place.

• Supporting local business.

• People and skills.

The report adds that to approve that the SPF would be split between the with  40 per cent going to Communities and Place; 40 per cent to Supporting Local Business and 20 per cent to People and Skills.

If SPF funding has not been spent by the end of the fiscal year, the UK Government may hold back the next year’s instalment.

This could be until the UK Government have received credible plans” setting out how underspends would be used.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) is a central pillar of the UK Government’s  Levelling Up agenda.

It provides £2.6 billion of new funding for local investment by March 2025, with all areas of the UK receiving an allocation from the fund by a funding formula rather than a competition.

The UK Government say the SPF will:

• Boost productivity, pay, jobs and living standards by growing the private sector, especially in those places where they are lagging.

• Spread opportunities and improve public services, especially in those places where they are weakest.

• Restore a sense of community, local pride and belonging, especially in those places where they have been lost.

• Empower local leaders and communities, especially in those places lacking local agency.

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