Central Bedfordshire to gain £4.9m funding to help local communities grow and thrive.

  • Central Bedfordshire Council has been allocated £4.9million from the Government to help local communities grow and thrive.*

Central Bedfordshire Council will receive £3.5million from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund which is designed to build pride in where people live and increase life chances across the UK. The funding will support local people to gain high-quality skills, important training and ultimately rewarding jobs by investing in targeted local initiatives which promote employment opportunities, innovation and productivity.

The funding will help address challenges faced in town centres and communities in Central Bedfordshire. It will enable the council to identify and fund improvements in places where people live and support individuals and businesses. The intention is to enhance the things that matter most to local communities, foster local pride and offer opportunities to all.

The council has also been notified of an indicative allocation of £1.4million from the Government’s Multiply programme, to support adults to improve their numeracy skills. This will enable the council to invest in appropriate courses for more residents to make real progress in their lives and get good, well-paid jobs.

Cllr Kevin Collins, CBC Executive Member for Planning and Regeneration, said: “We welcome the news and the allocation of this significant funding to help us support our local communities.”

The news was also welcomed by local MPAndrew Selous, who said, “I am incredibly proud of Central Bedfordshire and know that our best days lie ahead. I am determined to work with the Government to ensure that everyone from our area is able to reach their full potential.

“That is why I welcome the investment of £4,944,685 for Central Bedfordshire, which can be used across a range of projects from supporting adults who lack basic numeracy skills, helping young people into good jobs, and regenerating our high streets.

“This investment will help to local residents to fulfil their potential, while reducing regional inequalities that have been left untouched for too long”.

Cllr Kevin Collins, added “There are clear synergies between the objectives of the Shared Prosperity Fund and our Strategic Plan priorities. We aim to continue to drive our economy forward at speed, create rewarding opportunities for all our residents and most importantly make them proud of where they live and what Central Bedfordshire has to offer. This funding will help us achieve these goals.

“We look forward to working with our local communities, business and residents to identify how we can best use this funding to enable local people to live their best lives, both now and in the future. We are determined to create opportunities for all people in all parts of Central Bedfordshire.”

Full Council Meeting

At the CBC Full Council Meeting later,  Labour's Cllr Toni Ryan asked how this money would be spent, “Good news!!! Central Bedfordshire Council will be getting £4.9 million from Central Government to help local communities grow and thrive AND even better news there will be an additional £3.5 million granted from the UK prosperity group. This funding is to support local people gain high quality skills to obtain good jobs. The Equality and Fairness task force's research shown at Houghton Regis to have the worst outcomes in terms of health, education, and the highest amount of working poor. Can Cllr Shelby confirm how this money will be apportioned throughout Central Bedfordshire in consideration of fairness?”

Cllr Shelby told the meeting, “As you will be aware, this is being looked at by the Equality and Fairness task force. It's not for me to make that decision.”

After consideration, Cllr Wenham pointed out that the Council had only been notified of the allocation yesterday.

The next step 

Investment Plans will be submitted for approval by the Government. These need to focus on creating a sense of local pride, creating jobs, boosting core skills, and supporting people into work.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund was launched by Government in early 2022 and is central to its ‘levelling up’ agenda, with £2.6 billion of funding set aside for local investment by March 2025. 

The Multiply Fund aims to improve adult numeracy skills through new courses, helping to level up opportunities for more people to progress and get good, well-paid jobs.

CORE FUNDING : 3,559,318
MULTIPLY: 1,385,368
Total: 4,944,685
Source: gov.uk