£5.3million bid to reshape Lancaster's future

Lancaster City Council is bidding for £5.3million to help level up the local economy, support local communities and develop ‘life-changing opportunities’ for residents.

By Debbie Butler
Monday, 1st August 2022, 3:06 pm

The investment plan, approved by the council’s cabinet, will unlock the Lancaster district’s three-year allocation from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).

The allocation will be split between the three core areas, as defined by Government: Communities & Place, Supporting Business and People & Skills.

The structure of the investment plan is based on a prescribed list of 41 possible interventions. Local authorities have been tasked with selecting the most appropriate for their local area and apportioning funding to deliver them through local projects and activities.

Lancaster Town Hall. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

Thirteen have been identified as part of the council’s investment plan, with an overarching theme of “addressing the Climate Emergency” in mind.

They will support initiatives that contribute to the district’s environmental and decarbonisation goals.

The interventions identified as part of Lancaster City Council’s plan are:

Community & Place

• Funding for improvements to town centres and high streets, including better accessibility for disabled people• Local arts, cultural, heritage & creative activities• Campaigns to encourage visits and exploring of local area• Capacity building & infrastructure support local groups• Community measures to reduce the cost of living

People & Skills

• Employment support for economically inactive people• Enrichment & volunteering activities• Support to fund local skills needs• Green skills courses

Supporting Local Businesses

• Investment in research and development• Strengthening local entrepreneurial ecosystems• Growing the local social economy• Supporting decarbonisation whilst growing the local economy.

The plan will now go forward to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. Subject to being approved, money will be allocated to individual projects via upcoming commissioning rounds.

Coun Caroline Jackson, Leader of Lancaster City Council, said: “The UKSPF presents an unprecedented opportunity for the council and its partners to reshape the future of the district.

“I would like to thank all of the local businesses, community groups and other partners who have helped to shape the investment plan – their support has been invaluable and I am confident that together we will be able to use this funding to develop life-changing opportunities for our residents.”