News from the Geopark
£1.76 million Shared Prosperity Funding to increase life chances and opportunities in Torbay4 Jul 2023
Torbay has received £1,764,043 million from the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) to invest in local projects.
The fund is a central pillar of the UK Government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment across the UK by March 2025, replacing EU structural funds. Its overarching aim is to build pride in place and increase life chances across the UK.
Managed by TDA on behalf of Torbay Coucnil, Torbay’s allocated funding will be spent over three years on several local projects delivered by a range of community, private and public organisations. The projects will focus on three key investment areas including: communities and place, local businesses and people and skills.
Eight new projects in the local area have already been commissioned thanks to the funding, with more expected to start in the coming months.
One of the projects will focus on improving Torbay’s green spaces, making them places for everyone to enjoy. Led by the charity Groundwork South, 90 volunteers will improve sites in Westerland Valley, as well as working at Parkfield House on a grade II listed building regenerating and maintaining the historic gardens. Additionally, a new access point will be created at Watcombe Beach, making the beach accessible to the public for the first time since it was closed in 2020. Other exciting initiatives in the project include plans to create an entirely new green space at a disused car park in Melville, Torquay.
Another project receiving UKSPF funding will see the creation of new Geopark walking trails and experiences. Led by the English Riviera BID Company, the new programme of activities will enhance Torbay’s offer to visitors and residents, particularly in the shoulder season, and help support local businesses.
Running alongside these projects is the government-funded Multiply Programme which launched in Torbay earlier this year. The programme offers free maths and numeracy courses to adults aged 19 and over, giving people the skills, they need to progress in their careers, secure well-paid jobs and improve their wellbeing. We received £613,000 to deliver the Multiply Programme as part of the government’s Levelling Up agenda.
Councillor Chris Lewis, Cabinet Member for Place Services and Economic Growth for Torbay Council, said: ‘‘We’re using Torbay’s allocation of Shared Prosperity funding to support local businesses, boost opportunities for local people to develop their skills and create spaces for communities to enjoy. The projects that we’ve commissioned cover a wide range of activities and will make a big impact to local people and the local area. With this funding, we’re working hard to increase people’s life chances and create a Torbay where people are proud to live, work and visit.’’
To read more about UKSPF and to see a full list of the commissioned projects visit https://investintorbay.com/ukspf/