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District Dispatch - 14 March 2023

£1 million of funding from the Government's UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) is being spent on a variety of projects across the district, with the hope that more funding is on its way.

District dispatch 1

The funding was awarded to the council to help encourage economic growth and improve the quality of life for people across the district. The money has already started to be spent on a number of projects to improve public areas, including the removal of graffiti, the introduction of new signage and to deliver events, including Culture Spark and the popular Light Extravaganza.

The council is encouraging community groups to apply for funding for community projects and improvements. There is also a pot of money to support businesses. £50,000 is available from 2023/24 and this will increase to £438,000 in the following year. The council has also bid for a further £718,000 from the Rural England Prosperity Fund and is hoping that this will provide further opportunities for the district over the coming months. This money will be awarded to rural areas in the district, outside of Chichester. To find out more and apply for the funding, please visit our .

I'm really pleased to announce that we have reopened our St James Industrial Estate on Westhampnett Road in Chichester, following a £6 million redevelopment. The estate now offers 30 new industrial units for businesses to rent. The estate, which was originally developed on an old council depot site in the 1980s needed updating. By making the improvements we have been able to bring the whole site back into use and deliver the quality accommodation that businesses have told us that they want to see.

It is also part of our desire to provide quality business accommodation throughout the district and follows a number of investments that the council has made over the past five years to support local businesses and attract businesses outside of the district to relocate here. These include the building of the £6 million Enterprise Centre for start-up businesses, which is now run by Basepoint, and the building of £2 million Ravenna Point industrial units, both of which are based on Terminus Road in Chichester.

The project has been supported by a £1,183,017 grant allocated by Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership from the Government's Getting Building Fund, which aims to deliver jobs, skills and infrastructure across the country. If you are interested in finding out more, please call 01243 534632 or email property@chichester.gov.uk.

While I'm talking about business support, I also want to remind you that we're inviting local businesses in the district to a free event on Friday 17 March to find out more about the range of support that's available to them. The event will take place at St James Industrial Estate, Chichester, from 1pm to 3pm. Businesses will be able to speak to representatives from the council, Coast to Capital, Chichester College, University of Chichester, and Federation of Small Businesses, amongst others, with refreshments available. The event is funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. If you run a local business and would like to attend, please register through Eventbrite (opens new window).

From next week, Diane Shepherd, our Chief Executive at the council will be taking over the council's district dispatch column until after the elections, due to pre-election rules. Thank you for reading my weekly column, I hope you have found it useful. Remember to keep in touch with the latest council news by signing up to our monthly email newsletter.   

Cllr Eileen Lintill

Leader of Chichester District Council