A RECORD number of local organisations have applied for the final year of funding from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), which Southend City Council manages on behalf of the government.
A spokesperson for the council said: “It’s fantastic to see so many local businesses showing an interest in the funding, wanting to grow and be a part of a thriving Southend. During early January over 40 applications were received totalling almost £2m, which exceeds the available funding by over £1m.”
To unlock the UKSPF allocation, the council has produced an investment plan with partners, which shows how the funding is to be used in Southend to meet the government’s three investment priorities: Communities & Place, People & Skills and Local Business.
The Council and partners have targeted projects, which increase volunteering, provide training and skills opportunities, and support new and existing local businesses.
2024/25 will be the last year of a three-year funding allocation and UKSPF funding is already providing eight local organisations with financial support. This is helping them to deliver a range of projects, providing positive outcomes to residents and businesses.
For the 40 applications received a comprehensive evaluation process is now underway. Final funding decisions will be taken by an independent panel to ensure that the assessment and decisions are fair, and that successful applications are a good strategic fit with the investment plan.
Coun Daniel Nelson, cabinet member for economic growth and investment, said: “It’s wonderful so many businesses are showing an interest and have applied for the funding available.
“We know that not everyone will be successful, but I would encourage local businesses to reach out to our economic development team who will do all they can to support and advise. We sincerely thank everyone who has taken the time and trouble to apply, and we hope to support as many organisations as possible.”
The council’s economic inclusion team can be contacted at: [email protected].
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