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What the Shared Prosperity Fund means for Digital Skills in Cornwall

Date: 11 Aug

As part of the UK Government’s Levelling Up agenda, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly have been allocated £132million for local investment through the Shared Prosperity Fund.

Thanks to the work of the Digital Skills Partnership as well as the Employment and Skills Board and other LEP and council colleagues, digital skills are woven throughout the investment plan.

On this page, we’ve broken down the opportunities in year one and highlighted the areas relevant to the DSP’s workplan.

Proposals are now being accepted for a range of investment programmes and as the funds for year one need to spent before 31st March 2023, there are some tight deadlines.

The team will be delivering webinars to provide an overview of the fund and what is expected from projects in their applications. We strongly suggest that DSP members attend one of these sessions:

Here’s a summary of the opportunties in year one, with links to more information.

Community Connectivity & Digital Inclusion (COM006)

  • Projects which improve digital connectivity, digital inclusion and skills
  • £1.5m total (£900k capital)
  • Close date 16/9/22

Project(s) commissioned under this investment priority will help people and communities within Cornwall & Isles of Scilly (CIoS) to gain access to online services and information. It will also improve the capacity of people to engage in digital services, civil society, health, education, training and employment opportunities.

Projects should bring together voluntary, public and private sectors to provide access to broadband, devices, data, information, advice and guidance to engage individuals and communities in digital services such as healthcare, training, education and skills and budgeting, for example.

Projects should identify the most digital excluded areas and improve community facilities to enable access to digital connectivity, devices and delivery of basic digital skills training; whilst enabling individuals to improve confidence, resilience, financial skills and the ability to access and engage in civil society more widely.

Community Skills Hubs (COM005)

  • Community Skills Hubs, established in existing buildings in order to strengthen the sustainability of the asset. This includes reimagining of community and education buildings within Cornwall & Isles of Scilly (CIoS). Aligned to programmes of digital skills, Multiply and wider training and skills opportunities.
  • £5.2m total (£3.5m capital)
  • Close date 16/9/22

The Community Hubs should be designed and delivered in partnership with local skills providers, acting as ‘satellite’ buildings to existing campus(s) or provision.

Community Skills Hubs should provide geographical coverage and proximity for the most deprived neighbourhoods as well as neighbourhoods who have previously been less likely to engage with skills training offers and should offer the following types of activity (…)

  • Wrap around support, for example digital, numeracy and literacy
  • Enable local business engagement and knowledge exchange in order to co-design and develop skills provision to meet local labour market needs
  • Engage with local primary and secondary schools to highlight local skills priorities and provide business engagement and work experience opportunities

Strategic Business, Enterprise and Research & Development Infrastructure (BUS003)

  • 18.7m (mostly capital)
  • Review points 2/9/22, 2/12/22, 3/3/23, 4/8/23
  • Close date 4/8/23

The investment will unlock or accelerate the development or delivery of infrastructure for businesses, enterprises or organisations, to enable them to grow and fulfil their potential.

Projects that can contribute to supporting … Cornwall’s unique sectors opportunities will be prioritised. This will include Clean Energy Resources, Geo Resources, Data and Space, Visitor Economy and Agri-food. Support to organisations involved in research and development (R&D) will be preferred. Improvements to digital connectivity is a key objective for the programme and projects that can help to achieve this ambition are encouraged.

The minimum contact award value for capital investment is set at £500,000; maximum £5m.

Cultural Events and Talent Programme (COM002)

  • Interventions to engage communities, promote growth and wider participation and create sustainable jobs by generating more year[1]round, permanent, higher paid employment, and reducing the seasonal nature of the tourist sector by promoting our cultural offer.
  • Up to £4.4m (all revenue)
  • Review points 2/9/22, 2/12/22, 3/3/23, 4/8/23
  • Close date 4/8/23

Proposals could build on specialisms [eg Screen] and/or help places bid for and host international business, sector and industry events and conferences that support wider local growth sectors. We particularly welcome activity which seeks to develop growth and skills development through digital and immersive technology collaborations, further accelerating the growth of our CreaTech sector and associated skills development initiatives through new and targeted events and productions.

Town, Rural and Coastal High Street Development and Skills Programme (BUS006)

  • This invitation to bid encourages applications from businesses, property owners (public/private/third sector), developers and skills providers across towns, rural, coastal areas in Cornwall and on the Isles of Scilly with a particular focus on regenerating high streets and neighbourhood shopping areas
  • Up to £4.4m (£3.15m capital)
  • Review points 2/9/22, 2/12/22, 3/3/23, 4/8/23
  • Close date 4/8/23

Applications are invited from retail and non-retail businesses, property owners (public/private/third sector), developers and skills providers across our towns, rural, coastal and island settlements with a particular focus on projects that can regenerate existing retail centres and/or improve the productivity of business located on our high streets and other neighbourhood shopping areas.

…Development and refurbishment of new and/or existing buildings to encourage reducing “holes on the high street”, increasing footfall and promoting growth of businesses…including… pop up shops and mixed use, meanwhile uses, office/manufacturing space, leisure, creative and cultural activity as well as encouraging the use of upper floors in existing buildings including disused storage space and ancillary floorspace.

Creating managed workspace hubs to enable different ways of working… that encourages the clustering of professionals engaged in specific sectors and/or across sectors will be considered.

Developing improved training and skills programmes that help workers and businesses located on high streets adapt to the new skills needed for future high street employment, particularly digital skills targeted, but not exclusively, at retail employment, business management and entrepreneurialism.