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Could Newtown get a slice of £27m funding bid

Created on 03/08/2022 @ 15:27
Details of projects that will receive a slice of more than £27 million in funding will emerge as applications are received.

At a recent Powys County Council cabinet meeting, councillors discussed the bid for more than £42 million from the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund (SPF) which will be made jointly with Ceredigion County Council. Of this funding, £27.443 million is for Powys.

The SPF is seen as the replacement for the European Union structural funding which will stop following Brexit.

Cabinet member for a Prosperous Powys, Cllr David Selby, said: “I’m here to introduce a very welcome and exciting investment opportunity for us here in Powys. We welcome investment money from wherever it comes and in this case, it comes from the UK Government.

“It’s part of a regional scheme and we work together with Ceredigion.”

Cllr Selby added that the bid was submitted to the UK Government on Friday, ahead of the August 1 deadline, and he expected to hear back on it by October “at the latest”.

The report had been discussed at a meeting of the Economy, Residents and Communities scrutiny committee on Monday, July 25.

Scrutiny committee chairwoman, Cllr Angela Davies said: “We were assured that some consultation has taken place that will give town and community councils and other groups opportunities to consider projects for submission in the future.”

“We did express concerns about the lack of detail on how the funding might be spent. We understand it’s very early stages in the process and this detail will follow as applications are received.”

She added that “tight deadlines” by the UK Government might hamper smaller organisations who needed help to prepare a funding bid.

Council leader, Cllr James Gibson-Watt, told the meeting that he and Ceredigion council leader, Cllr Bryan Davies, had met with the UK Government Welsh Office minister Baroness Bloomfield at the recent Royal Welsh Show to discuss the SPF.

Cllr Gibson-Watt said: “We were very encouraged by her positive attitude towards the work that both councils have done in terms of putting forward projects and bids for this money.

“We can be confident that what we want to do can be achieved and that the funding will be in place.”

The report states that Ceredigion would be the “lead authority” for the SPF.

Projects need to come under three themes:

Communities and place.
Supporting local business.
People and skills.
The report states that the SPF would be split with 40% going to Communities and Place; 40% to Supporting Local Business and 20% to People and Skills.

The report was approved unanimously by cabinet.



By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporting Service