05 May West Northants Local businesses, voluntary organisations, cycleways and net-zero ambitions are among areas to benefit from £5.4m funding
Local businesses, Voluntary organisations, and the provision of new cycleways in West Northamptonshire are among the areas set to benefit from more than £5.4million funding from the Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).
The funding is the largest allocation in the South East Midlands and will be used to create pride in place, improve people’s life chances, increase skills, create stronger communities and support local businesses over the next 2 years.
West Northamptonshire Council’s (WNC) plans for the funding include creating new and improved pedestrian crossing facilities between the Billing Road and Abington, in Northampton, and improving paths and cycleways to encourage active travel.
The funding will also be used to tackle fuel poverty and the cost of living through the provision of a range of services across West Northants, including improving Household Energy performance in people’s homes.
Local voluntary and community organisations will also receive a portion of the money to help increase engagement in community centres and improve the support available to residents.
A range of initiatives, including a new grants programme to help local businesses at all stages to start, sustain, grow and innovate and tailored employment support to help people into work, will also receive some of the funding.
Other areas planned to benefit include:
- Funding for volunteer and social action projects
- Decarbonisation and improving the natural environment
- Business support to enable employers to better utilise the local workforce and understand the advantages of being flexible in terms of recruitment
In addition to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund a further £1.9m has been allocated to free adult numeracy courses, through the Government’s Multiply funding programme, which are specifically targeted at improving confidence around day-to-day maths for all levels and advancing people’s chances of progressing their careers.
WNC has also been allocated a further £1.367m from the Government under the Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF), which is a top-up of the UKSPF and aims to support small business and community infrastructure specifically in rural areas.
Cllr Daniel Lister, WNC’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth, said: “This funding is a much-welcomed tool in our strive to build stronger communities and make West Northamptonshire a great place to live, work, visit and thrive.
“We have worked closely with stakeholders, community groups and local partners to analyse the greatest needs for this funding, and most importantly, to deliver economic prosperity in our area whilst supporting sustainability, increasing employment opportunities and offering greater support for local businesses.
“Fantastic things are happening in West Northants and we are proud to be playing a major role in improving the lives of our residents, communities and businesses, and making this a greater place for all.”
The UKSPF is a central pillar of the UK government’s ambitious Levelling Up agenda and a significant component of its support for places across the UK. It provides £2.6 billion of new funding for local investment by March 2025 and replaces European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF) funding.
See UKSPF for more information.