Blackpool’s £5.1 million investment plan for Shared Prosperity Fund was approved by government in December 2022.
In April 2022 we were allocated £5,885,134 from the government’s Shared Prosperity Fund designed to build pride in place and increase life chances across the UK.
£770,711 of which must be used to support the national “Multiply” programme which aims to reach adults over the next three years to improve their functional numeracy skills.
In order to receive the funding an investment plan was submitted detailing the proposed schemes, benefits to the community and expected outcomes.
Following an evaluation process 13 capital and revenue project proposals were agreed under the themes of:
- People and skills
- Supporting local businesses
- Community and place
The schemes provide a range of variety from physical town centre regeneration, through to direct business support encouraging existing and new business development, low carbon schemes and community skills and improved learning projects for residents.
People and skills
Under the theme of people and skills the council sought to access £812,000 for three projects.
The Youth Hub, now referred to as The Platform, which opened on Cookson Street in 2023, is currently funded through Town Deal monies. Via SPF monies from April 24, it will continue to support disadvantaged 16 to 24 year olds to access the skills they need to progress in life and into work
The Community Navigators scheme will provide intensive wrap around support to unemployed Blackpool residents living in the most disadvantaged wards who are furthest away from the labour market and the “Let’s get digital” project to improve digital inclusion.
Supporting local businesses
£1.2 million has been allocated to supporting local businesses through a variety of schemes including enhanced business support to increase entrepreneur and business growth and engagement. Specialist business support around themes such as low carbon will be provided.
Community and place
Finally, £2.89 million is allocated to community and place. This theme includes:
- Eco-coaching for residents
- The establishment of an eco-hub
- An incentive for resident property owners to invest in flood protection measures
Another scheme provides infrastructure support to the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise sector (VCFSE). The scheme is working to increase the capacity of the local VCFSE sector to deliver support to the community.
There are ambitions to improve public realm and wayfinding in the town centre. The feasibility of extending the Grundy Art Gallery and library and a review of the wider Queen Street area along with the continuation of Showtown’s community engagement project is also included.
The projects are administered by the council and some delivered through a variety of external organisations further to commissioning which has been undertaken.
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.
For more information, visit UK Shared Prosperity Fund Prospectus