Priorities for £300k of Strong & Connected Communities funding agreed

Westmorland & Furness Council’s three locality boards have agreed their priorities for £300k of Strong & Connected Communities funding over a range of programmes aimed at supporting improvements in their respective communities.

The locality boards for Furness, Eden and South Lakes, who were allocated £100k each, met last week to approve proposals for allocating their share of the cash, which was made available as part of the Council’s £5m Priority Investment Fund.

Each board adopted a slightly different approach, reflecting the different needs and priorities for each locality. A broad theme of supporting communities to help themselves was evident in all of the proposals.

The Furness Locality Board approved a recommendation that applications for funding from the Strong and Connected Communities fund should be considered by the Priority Wards Working Group. The group’s key objective is to map existing activities and identify key partners to develop a long-term plan covering the key issues of environment, education and health.

The South Lakes Locality Board approved a recommendation to combine Strong and Connected Communities funding with General Provisions funding, in order to create a funding stream for the Building Community Assets and Addressing Inequalities Working Group and the Climate Action and Increasing Biodiversity Working Group, who will then make spending recommendations to the Locality Board.

Eden’s Locality Board approved a proposal to work with eight Place Action Groups to bring key partners together within electoral wards to discuss and drive local priority setting, place shaping and project work. The Place Action Groups will represent the eight Westmorland & Furness Council electoral wards in Eden and each area will be allocated £12,500 of Strong & Connected Communities funding.

Now that each of the locality boards have approved their priorities, work will begin to confirm the mechanisms by which communities can apply for and receive funding. The Council will make more details available, soon.

Westmorland & Furness Council’s Cabinet Member for Sustainable Communities and Localities, Cllr Virginia Taylor, said; “The Strong and Connected Communities Fund is designed to support priority improvements in communities that make a real and visible difference to the quality of life in local areas.

“The funds will be used to support the priorities identified by the Locality Boards in their Place Plans. This money is in addition to the delegated funding that the Locality Boards receive from the Council and it will support their communities to be strong, cohesive and resilient.”

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