The green light has been given for more than £4.5m to be spent on a raft of projects in Stafford Borough.
Stafford Borough Council was awarded one of the largest pots of money in the country from the government’s ‘UK Shared Prosperity Fund’ after successfully putting forward schemes to help regeneration, climate change and culture.
And senior councillors have now given the go ahead for the money to be spent on a string of projects at a meeting this week (Thursday 9 February). They include the new Crown Wharf Theatre and scout building in Stone, the History Centre in Stafford, town centre regeneration, supporting businesses through new grants schemes and the possibility of creating an enterprise centre to encourage investment in rural businesses.
The money has come from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and is part of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda.
A report which was discussed by members of the council’s cabinet said: “Stafford Borough Council was allocated a provisional sum of £4,673,363 to cover both revenue and capital expenditure.
“To access the funding allocation the Borough Council was required to prepare an Investment Plan to show how it would wish to use the monies in line with guidance and criteria published alongside the provisional allocations.”
The total allocation covers a three-year period to 2025 and is aimed at boosting communities, supporting local businesses and improving skills as part of the government’s ‘Levelling Up’ fund.
Along with helping to kit out the auditorium at the theatre in Stone, finishing the refurbishment of the town’s scout building and supporting the £7m History Centre development in Eastgate Street, other areas the funding will be spent on include:
- £1.5 million towards the Stafford town centre transformation programme
- Around £1m to drive the visitor economy
- £250,000 on climate change projects
- £500,000 for grants to help local businesses grow and
- £1m to support business innovation
Councillor Frances Beatty, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Planning, said: “Our allocation was one of the highest that any district council was awarded and is further demonstration of the confidence the government has in us to deliver for our community.
“There are so many exciting things planned, starting up or ongoing, in the borough and we have drawn up a list of ways we can assist a number of projects using this money and I am confident this will support different sectors of the borough - such as the rural and visitor economy.”
And the council is also hoping to receive confirmation from Government for another £500,000 to support businesses and communities specifically in the rural areas of the borough.
This latest funding is on top of significant investment that the borough has attracted recently for major projects including the ‘Future High Street Fund’, the proposed Meecebrook Garden community, the Stafford Station Gateway scheme and the Stafford Western Access Road in partnership with the County Council.
Work is well underway on the new £28 million skills and innovation centre for Stafford College - with a planning application submitted for their £13m Institute of Technology.
Press Release No 6001