Ashfield Council has submitted an investment plan to unlock up to £3.2million from the government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund to invest across the District. The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF or the Fund) is a central pillar of the UK government’s ambitious Levelling Up agenda and a significant component of its support for places across the UK. It provides £2.6 billion of new funding for local investment by March 2025, with all areas of the UK receiving an allocation from the Fund via a funding formula rather than a competition. It will help places right across the country deliver enhanced outcomes and recognizes that even the most affluent parts of the UK contain pockets of deprivation and need support.
The UK Shared Prosperity Fund supports projects based on the three themes set out by the government – communities, local businesses, and skills. The aim is to improve the places people live in, support training and skills to increase people’s employmentability and salaries, and support local businesses ‘to help them thrive, grow, and innovate’.
During the month of June, sessions were held to collect ideas before presenting a plan for approval to the board of Discover Ashfield. Overall, a list of 170 project ideas were received and reviewed to create a final shortlist featuring a vertical farming community initiative.
More than £380,000 of the fund is planned to be invested into several projects by the end of March 2023. These include help and support for businesses to increase productivity, adapt to automation, access overseas markets and reduce energy bills.
Community Vertical Farming initiative – establishment of a facility, delivered by Nottingham Trent University, promoting healthier eating and sustainable buying as well as allowing local residents to engage with cutting-edge food production technology;
Discover the other projects here.