Preston Supports Climate Change and Community Wealth Building Through New Funding
25 May 2023
Preston's programme for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund has been approved by the city council which will benefit the city's communities, businesses and residents by building pride in Preston and increasing life chances.
The programme will roll out over the next two years and will focus on strengthening local communities and the voluntary sector, supporting local businesses and assisting people into good jobs through employment support and skills development.
Preston City Council received an allocation of £5.2m from the Government's UK Shared Prosperity Fund for its investment plan which was approved by Government at the end of last year.
The plan prioritises the council's commitments to improving the city by:
- investment in place-making, the local economy and the creation of a strong cultural offer
- promoting fairness and inclusion by supporting the community, faith and voluntary sectors
- delivering on the council's climate emergency declaration
A common thread running through the plan was the council's commitment to Community Wealth Building, widely known as the Preston Model.
Leader of Preston City Council, Cllr Matthew Brown said:
"I am delighted that through the UKSPF funding, the city council will be supporting a wide range of local projects and initiatives which will deliver direct, long-lasting benefits to the people and communities of Preston, as well as to the local economy. This evidences the council's continuing commitment to the development of a resilient and more inclusive city.
Community Wealth Building
More than £2 million has also been allocated to projects that will contribute to delivering the council's Community Wealth Building priorities by strengthening the voluntary and community sector, investing in a more inclusive economy and providing employment support, training and skills for residents from the city's most marginalised communities.
Specific projects will:
- establish a volunteering centre in Preston
- provide funding for volunteering and social action projects in the city
- invest in community infrastructure
- invest in local sports facilities, tournaments, teams and leagues
- invest in digital connectivity to address digital exclusion including exploring municipally owned broadband
- provide support for democratic businesses
- deliver employment support for economically inactive adults and young people facing the greatest barriers to employment
- invest in a major programme of skills development and training to address local skills needs
Addressing the climate emergency
Funding for projects to support the council's commitment to address the climate emergency totals £1.4 million. The benefits of these projects will extend beyond a reduction in carbon emissions by delivering the co-benefits of a low carbon economy including cleaner air, greater access to green spaces, warmer homes and new job and investment opportunities for local businesses and communities.
Specific projects include:
- improvements to parks and green spaces in the city
- a community tree planting programme
- support for the development of active travel in Preston
- a Climate Assembly for Preston
- investment in energy efficiency for those in fuel poverty
- support for local businesses to decarbonise and develop low carbon technologies
The City Events Programme has also received a cash boost from the UKSPF to encourage more visitors to the city centre. This will help regenerate the city centre and promote the diversity of the city through celebrating and sharing the cultures of Preston's communities.
Preston City Council actively applies and prioritises the principles of Community Wealth Building wherever applicable and appropriate. Community Wealth Building is an approach which aims to ensure the economic system builds wealth and prosperity for everyone.