District council chiefs submit bid for ‘essential’ £1.8million to boost East Devon residents and businesses

A bid to net nearly £1.8million of ‘essential’ cash to boost East Devon residents and businesses has been submitted to the Government.

The district council’s ‘Investment Plan’ aims to secure UK Shared Prosperity Fund money to help ‘level up’ the local economy and support communities.

Members of the authority’s cabinet approved the plan at their July meeting.

It will ‘unlock’ East Devon’s allocation of £1,796,363 to be spent over three years.

A decision from Whitehall is expected by October 2022.

Councillor Paul Hayward, East Devon District Council (EDDC) portfolio holder for economy and assets, said: “The Investment Plan will unlock essential funds for our local residents and businesses, enabling a range of initiatives.

“The plan reflects local needs and opportunities as well as addressing key priorities such as supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy.

“I would like to thank local businesses, community groups and other stakeholders and partners who have helped to shape and develop the Investment Plan.

“Local support and buy-in is key to ensuring the funds will have the maximum impact on the ground.

“We look forward to receiving government approval later in the year so we can start delivering this extensive package of initiatives.”

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund sees spending determined locally to ‘more effectively address local needs’.

EDDC’s Investment Plan sets out a dozen separate themes to be delivered either locally or collaboratively with other local authorities in Devon.

They are the:

  • Action on Poverty Fund
  • Active Travel Fund
  • Business Support Programme
  • Disability Employment Support Programme
  • East Devon Council for Voluntary Service
  • East Devon Culture Programme
  • East Devon Leisure Programme
  • East Devon Towns Feasibility Work
  • NEET Employment Support Programme
  • Net Zero Innovation Fund
  • Retrofit Programme
  • Sustainable Tourism Fund

“A local partnership group of stakeholders has played a key role in reviewing and advising on actions to be included in the Investment Plan,” said an EDDC spokesperson.

“And a panel of East Devon councillors will provide guidance and oversight on how these are delivered

“Local authorities from across Devon are exploring ways to work collaboratively and align their investment plans.

“This will help achieve improved results across a wider geography with better value for money.”

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