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

Community groups and business across Chichester District are being reminded that applications are still open for the second round of two pots of government money that have been made available.

Grant funding

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 which assist with supporting businesses and community infrastructure to address particular challenges faced by rural areas.  Projects have already started to be delivered to improve public areas, as well as delivering events across the district.

Community groups and businesses were advised in October that applications for funding could be submitted from November and are being encouraged to apply for the second round of grant funding for projects to be delivered from April 2024 and completed by March 2025.

The deadline for applications to both funds is 3 January 2024. People can find out more information about the funds and to find a contact officer to speak to about a potential application.

"I appreciate that the Christmas period is in full swing at the moment, but we really don't want eligible groups and businesses in our district to miss out on applying for this key funding, so we are reminding everyone of this opportunity," says 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.

"Our website has lots of information and advice about the funding, who is eligible and the kinds of projects that could benefit."

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.

Date of Release: 13 December 2023                                                   

Reference: 4305