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Preston receives £5.2 million funding as part of Levelling Up agenda

Posted on - 16th December, 2022 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Business, Health, Parks, Politics, Preston City Centre, Preston Council, Preston News
Preston skyline with a sprinkling of snow and ice Pic: Mick Gardner
Preston skyline with a sprinkling of snow and ice Pic: Mick Gardner

Preston City Council’s investment plans for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) have been approved by government.

It has been confirmed that the council will receive £5.2m over the next three years as part of the Levelling Up Agenda. This is Preston’s allocation of the £2.6 billion government funding being shared across the UK for local investment by March 2025.

The overarching aim of the fund is to build pride in place and increasing life chances being delivered via three investment priorities – communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills.

In order to secure the funding, Preston City Council submitted an investment plan proposal to identify local opportunities, challenges and projects that would benefit from the funding, and a local partnership group was established, consisting of local and regional partners, civil society organisations, business groups and local MPs, to agree the best way to make the biggest difference to our communities.

Read more: Neglected part of Preston to be transformed into social and cultural destination

The activity will focus around various themes that will meet the government’s set priorities including:

  • Addressing energy efficiency to reduce fuel poverty
  • Increasing sports activities and improvements in the city’s parks and green spaces
  • Improving community safety with inner city environmental improvements
  • Tackling digital exclusion
  • Supporting new and refurbished venues in the city centre to attract more visitors to the city through a three year events programme
  • Developing plans for a community tree planting programme, electric vehicle infrastructure, decarbonisation and more cycling opportunities
  • Improving volunteering schemes across the city  
  • Offering business support and innovation
  • Supporting residents who are out of work, including young people, into employment, education or training
  • Providing skills and training to address local skills needs in Preston

The detail of each initiative and/or service has not yet been developed, and Preston City Council is now working on a project-by-project basis, to finalise the first year of the programme, with further information to be announced in the next few months.

Read more: Old Tram Bridge secures spot in Preston City Council’s ‘Levelling Up’ bid

Cllr Matthew Brown, Leader of Preston City Council said: “We are pleased that our proposed investment plan has been approved by government, and we can get started on delivering a comprehensive programme of activity with our community partners across the city in line with our values and priorities.

“This significant investment will allow us to make a difference in many ways, improving the lives of many in our communities.”

Read more: See the latest Preston news and headlines

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