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Applications invited for second round of Government funds secured by Chichester District Council

Applications are being invited for the second round of two pots of government money that have been made available to community organisations and business in Chichester District.

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Last year, Chichester District Council applied for a portion of the Government's UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) and Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) to spend on a variety of projects across the district. The council's official spending plan was approved last winter by the Government's Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the council was allocated £1 million for UKSPF and £700,000 for REPF.

The purpose of the UKSPF is to help encourage economic growth and improve the quality of life for people across the district. The REPF is intended to support projects to which assist with supporting businesses and community infrastructure to address particular challenges faced by rural areas.  Projects have has already started to be delivered to improve public areas, as well as delivering events across the district.

During the first round of funding, 23 projects across the district were approved. These projects will all be completed by April 2024. Examples of projects achieved so far include funding to assist with the installation of an air source heat pump to reduce carbon emissions; contribution to improve a commercial kitchen in order to assist with business expansion; improvement to an outdoor community seating facility to enable year-round use and installation of bike racks. Funding has also supported the CultureSpark programme to stage the hugely successful Earth Day and Fold Our Town events this year.

Community groups and businesses are now being encouraged to apply for the second round of grant funding for projects to be delivered from April 2024 and completed by March 2025.

Applications for both funds will open on 6 November and the deadline is 3 January 2024.  For more information about the funds and to find a contact officer to speak to about a potential application, go to our .

"We are really pleased to be able to offer this funding and I would really urge community organisations and businesses across the district to find out more," explains Councillor Harsha Desai, the council's Cabinet Member for Growth and Place. "Examples of projects that could benefit from the funding include those that are aimed at improving town centres and high streets; those that create and improve green spaces in our district as well as cultural, heritage and creative activities. We also want to support social action and volunteering projects, and initiatives which support local businesses and tourism as well as projects that will help people who are unemployed into work.

"This is another exciting opportunity for communities across the district and we're really looking forward to helping make many of these projects a reality."

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government's Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills.

The council's spending plan has four key aims:

  • to boost the local economy;
  • help local businesses grow and thrive;
  • enable investment in community spaces; and,
  • reduce barriers to employment and education.

Funding through the Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) to be used for assets such as new buildings or equipment that meet the following criteria:

  • Supporting new and existing rural businesses to develop new products and facilities that will be of wider benefit to the local economy, including farm businesses looking to diversify income streams. 
  • Supporting new and improved community infrastructure, providing essential community services and assets for local people and businesses to benefit the local economy.