Government invests almost £1.8million of levelling-up funding in East Devon in a three-year boost to the economy, jobs, skills, culture and leisure

Funding worth around £1.8million will be invested in East Devon over the next three years in a bid to boost the economy, skills, jobs and leisure.

A government grant of more than £1.75million has been awarded to the district council over the next three years as part of the Secretary of State’s levelling up pledge.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) said the funds would be used to help with the move to become a net zero economy, support business development, improve employment opportunities and boost the areas towns and villages.

As first-year funding must be allocated before March 31, 2023, EDDC said it was working ‘very quickly’ to open grant applications to the public.

Cllr Paul Hayward, EDDC portfolio holder for economy and assets, said of the ‘fantastic news’: “We’re delighted that our plan has been approved. It means we can progress our aims to transition to a net zero economy, improve skills to create a vibrant workforce and support culture and leisure.

“We had expected confirmation of the funds in October. This means we will need to work very quickly to allocate year one funding before 31st March 2023.”

He added: “We will be calling for grant applications from East Devon businesses for a new round of the Innovation and Resilience Fund and a new Culture, Leisure and Tourism Fund.

“Full details of the criteria for grants will be made available as soon as possible.”

He urged interested businesses to sign up to the newsletter for the latest information.

East Devon will receive a total of £1,796,363 in government funding over three years – a cash pot designed to replace European Union structural funds.

EDDC said the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) conditionally approved the funds after assessment of the district council’s investment plan for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund,

An EDDC spokesperson said: “The primary goal of the Investment Plan is to support the transition to a net zero economy, build pride in towns and villages, support business development and improve opportunities for local people to grow their skills.”

Funding for year one (2022/23) is set at £218,005; year two (2023/24) has been agreed at £436,011; the allocation for year three (2024/25) is expected to be £1,142,347.

EDDC said receiving the money was conditional on complying with the terms of the funding

The East Devon Investment Plan proposes funding for 12 interventions:

  • Action on Poverty Fund
  • Active Travel Fund (starts 2024)
  • Business Support Programme
  • Disability Employment Support Programme (starts 2024)
  • East Devon Council for Voluntary Service
  • East Devon Culture Programme
  • East Devon Leisure Programme
  • East Devon Towns Feasibility Work
  • NEET Employment Support Programme (starts 2024)
  • Net Zero Innovation Fund (delivered through the Innovation and Resilience Fund II)
  • Retrofit Programme (starts 2024)
  • Sustainable Tourism Fund (partly delivered through the Culture, Leisure and Tourism Fund)

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