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New prospectus outlines how local organisations can access UKSPF cash to benefit the city

Published: Tuesday, 14th February 2023

A prospectus outlining how organisations can access government funding to spend on projects to benefit the city has been launched today (February 14).

Stoke-on-Trent City Council has been awarded £9,477,820 from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) to deliver projects which support local businesses, improve local spaces and assist residents with employment and skills.

It is proposed that a total of £3 million be allocated to a number of priority projects to support specific initiatives within Stoke-on-Trent over the next two years, and that the bigger share of £6 million be made available to organisations and partners across the city to bid for – with an open round for funding applications proposed for February / March 2023.

The council’s cabinet will determine whether or not to accept the grant at a meeting on Tuesday 28 February.

Ahead of the meeting, businesses and organisations from across the city were invited to learn more about Stoke-on-Trent’s proposed UKSPF programme at an event which saw the launch of the brand-new prospectus.

During the event, which took place at Stoke-on-Trent College earlier today, attendees heard about a number of priority projects which the city council hopes to deliver across Stoke-on-Trent, with support from partners and community groups.

The projects focus on three investment priorities: Communities and Place, Supporting Local Business and People and Skills. The proposed projects which fall under these themes include:

Making Great Places: A project to help drive down anti-social behaviour in town centres through the provision of more community wardens and work with schools and community groups to educate and encourage them to look after the environment;

Fly High Start-Ups: A programme to develop a mentoring package and financial assistance to potential entrepreneurs and businesses to start-up, grow and innovate;

Powering Inward Investment: A grant programme to assist local businesses with growth;

Culture and Heritage Programme: A programme which will promote and encourage communities to participate in cultural arts provision;

A City of Imagination: A project, working with local venues, to grow the city’s events programme and expand the number of music festivals and concerts held in Stoke-on-Trent.

Other proposals include schemes to improve accessibility and reduce crime and disorder in local parks and town centres, including a plan to support the city council’s ongoing efforts to safeguard Stoke-on-Trent’s most historically important buildings.

Councillor Abi Brown, leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said: “There is a broad range of initiatives that can do so much good for the city, as well as specific support for local businesses.

“I’m committed to ensuring that any money for our city is stretched as much as possible to give the biggest positive impact to support residents, communities, businesses and our city’s heritage.

“We want to support businesses to grow and employ, to enable residents to upskill and take advantage of the city’s increased employment opportunities and to improve community places to increase the visitor economy and develop the local environment.”