Cornwall Council has today approved a spending plan for the £132m Shared Prosperity Fund (SPF) to benefit the region’s businesses and communities as well as boost residents’ job skills.
The council backed the three-year investment strategy for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly at a cabinet meeting held at Lys Kernow today (20 July 2022).
Part of the government’s levelling up agenda, the SPF plan will see cash injections made to meet the three priorities of business, communities and skills as well as tackling inequalities in deprived areas. £2 million is earmarked for digital upskilling, as well as £5.2 million to be spent this year on new super-connected skills hubs and institutes across Cornwall.
It will aim to level up residents’ life chances to create a thriving, sustainable Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
A key focus will be to speed up the growth of high value and wage sectors such as renewable energy, technology, metals, digital and creative industries.
Further details of how the funding will be allocated across the region and how organisations and community groups can apply for funding will be announced next month.
Councillor Louis Gardner, Cornwall’s portfolio holder for economy, said: “Today’s Cabinet decision is an important step in investing £132m in Cornwall’s future. I’m determined that we now push on with getting investment to where it is needed most.
“The first projects we will fund will enable communities to shape future investments in their towns and villages. We will be funding community projects including capital funding, town centre and high street investments, rural and coastal rejuvenation and skills and inclusion projects. We will also be setting up capacity and support for communities to help develop their ideas and apply for the funds.
“In the first months of the programme we will be prioritising developing project ideas for communities in north and south east Cornwall to ensure levelling up across the region. Our project teams will be bringing forward programmes to create jobs and skills improvements in the future.”
Councillor Barbara Ellenbroek, Cornwall’s portfolio holder for children and families, said: “An important feature of the strategy we approved today is how it integrates skills in our communities to give our residents equal opportunities to access programmes and support to give them a chance to prosper.
“We need to ensure that especially young people get the support they need to make the most of exciting opportunities in emerging sectors such as renewable energy, nature recovery and the creative industries, improving both core skills and higher-level skills at college and university.
“We will also be launching opportunities for organisations and businesses across Cornwall to apply for funding for workspace, cultural events, community hubs and digital inclusion, all of which will have skills development and furthering opportunities for local residents at the heart of their delivery.”
The SPF Investment Plan has been widely supported by the private sector. Mark Duddridge, Chair of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP said: “It’s great to see Cornwall Council and the Council of the Isles of Scilly set out such exciting plans for the future. Just over 12 months ago the eyes of the world were on Cornwall and we took the opportunity to highlight both the many social challenges we have and the exciting future opportunities which people sometimes don’t see.
“This investment will help accelerate and make real many of the projects we showcased to the world and could attract further investment from the private sector.”
All opportunities for funding will be made available on the council’s new SPF portal www.ciosgoodgrowth.com
Cornwall Council will be recruiting staff to manage the programme and support communities and applicants in accessing funding. All job opportunities will be available on Cornwall Council’s website.
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