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Monmouthshire County Council is encouraging local business groups, voluntary and community sector organisations and Universities/Higher Education establishments to apply for a new UK Government Fund that offers £220million to local authorities across the UK for 2021-22 only. The UK Community Renewal Fund offers individual local authorities up to £3million to support collaborative, innovative projects that will align with long-term strategic plans for local growth, target people most in need and support community renewal.

Projects will need to be pilot in nature, and the Fund will provide capacity funding to help Monmouthshire prepare for the introduction of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund in 2022.  Projects should therefore demonstrate innovation through service delivery and the introduction of new delivery approaches and will need to be completed by March 2022.

The council invites anyone interested in the new Fund to join a livestreamed event on Tuesday 27th April at 4.30pm, when the UK Community Renewal Fund will be explained further and there will be the opportunity to ask questions. To register for the livestreamed event, potential applicants should complete the short form on the council’s website.

It is anticipated that the Fund will have a wide reach and will be of interest to local business groups, voluntary and community sector organisations, Higher Education and training providers wishing to collaborate on pilot projects. The Fund is open to applications on Wednesday 21st April and will close at 17:00hrs on Friday 14th May.

The Fund is designed to explore how to tackle local and unique challenges whilst addressing four UK Investment priorities: Investment in skills; Investment in local business; Investment in communities and place; Supporting people into employment.  

Investment in skills to equip people to capitalise on opportunities and needs in Monmouthshire to meet the needs of the green and digital economy. Applications can include work-based training, retraining, upskilling or reskilling members of the workforce or promoting digital skills.

Investment in local business to increase opportunity for all and create an innovation culture through collaborations between higher education and small businesses.  Applications to support entrepreneurs and businesses to create more job opportunities for current or new employees, to develop their innovation potential and support decarbonising measures.

Investment in communities and place will consider project proposals to deliver net-zero and local energy projects; opportunities for promoting culture-led regeneration and community development; supporting the private sector by increasing footfall; improving efficiency and collaboration by joining up local public services to produce better local outcomes; promoting rural connectivity and enhancing accessibility and social, economic and cultural opportunities for rural communities, including rural and green infrastructure.

Supporting people to engage with local services, which support them on their journey towards employment by addressing local barriers to engagement or raising aspirations to find sustainable employment. Testing interventions to maximise the effectiveness of employment programmes aimed at those furthest from the labour market.

Further details of the fund, to register for the livestreamed event, and how to apply can be found at monmouthshire.gov.uk/community-renewal-fund