The plan, which will look to deliver a variety of projects across the whole of the Chichester District, aims to boost the local economy; help local businesses grow and thrive; enable investment in community spaces; and reduce the barriers to employment and education.

The UKSPF is a government allocated fund of £2.6 billion that is intended to support places and communities through encouraging pride in the local area and increasing opportunities for residents and businesses. With that in mind, the council's bid includes a particular focus on supporting projects that have been identified through the district's vision groups.

"We've fully embraced this opportunity and carefully considered how we can best use this funding to bring about significant benefits to our district," says Councillor Tony Dignum, Cabinet Member for Growth, Place and Regeneration at Chichester District Council.

"We have been working with our partners to make sure that the objectives we put forward for investment will meet local needs and deliver the very best outcome for our residents, communities, and organisations.

"Over the past few years, a number of valuable community projects have been identified through our local vision groups, and this funding offers a fantastic opportunity to make some of these projects a reality.

"Projects that aim to enhance the public realm through cleaning, landscaping and planting; increase footfall to the district and its cultural facilities; and provide support to community groups — including through improvements to facilities — are all examples of the types of initiatives that are being proposed.

"The funding also enables us to offer further grants to local businesses and community groups, who will be able to submit bids for projects that meet the funding criteria.

"With the current cost of living crisis and following the challenging and disruptive period at the height of the pandemic, this continues to be a difficult time for our local communities and businesses. Accessing this funding will mean that we can further invest in projects that will offer a visible and tangible benefit to our district for years to come.

"I would like to thank our officers for the work they have put into this proposal, and we're all keen to thank our partners, community groups, and organisations who are supporting this important piece of work."

The plan was submitted to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities for consideration earlier this month, and subject to approval, the funds are expected to be made available later this year.

Date of release: 24 August 2022

Reference: 4153