Press Release - Year 3 UKSPF Event 16 May 2024

On the 16 May the Council launched the Year 3 UK Shared Prosperity Fund (SPF) Business Support Programme at an event attended by over 100 businesses.

The event at the Macdonald Portal, Tarporley, was an opportunity to celebrate and highlight the businesses supported through the projects delivered in Years 1 & 2 of the 3-year UKSPF programme. The event also introduced the projects and delivery partners for the Year 3 programme, which will run until March 2025.

The Year 2 programme supported over 200 new jobs and safeguarded a further 1000 jobs.  It created 30 new businesses, with over 190 receiving non-financial support and 330 businesses attending workshops, networking, and other business support events. 129 grants were awarded (17 in rural areas) and these matched by over £2m in private sector contributions. 

Cllr Nathan Pardoe, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Economy, Regeneration & Digital Transformation, said: “Cheshire West & Chester Council recognises that local support is essential for businesses to thrive. It’s why the Council is continuing to use UKSPF funding to support businesses of different sizes and from across the borough.

“It was fantastic to launch our Year 3 programme, and to have the chance to reflect on the successes from Year 2. In Year 2, over 200 new jobs were created, 1,000 jobs safeguarded, and 30 new businesses created. Thank you to the organisations, delivery partners and Council staff who made Year 2 a success, and to all those who will bring Year 3 to life.”

The Investor and Innovation projects supported growing businesses to invest in adopting new technologies and processes to build their resilience and supported new development and sustained growth.

The Decarbonisation project supported the installation of over 32,000 square ft of green infrastructure, saving over 280 tonnes of CO2.  It provided support and grants to help businesses improve their energy efficiency.

The Start & Micro Project supported enterprise activity to encourage new businesses to start and helped micro businesses to develop and innovate.

The Workspace Project worked with existing workspace providers to encourage entrepreneurship activity and collaboration space, with wrap around business support. This supported start-up businesses and home-based businesses and staff, to develop and grow, share good practice, knowledge, and networking.

The Year 3 projects focus on delivering the outstanding outcomes required as part of the three-year plan, which includes supporting businesses to improve productivity, adopt new technologies and introduce new products.

At the May launch businesses were introduced to the new Year 3 projects, which includes support to help growing businesses to innovate and look at opportunities to progress to Net Zero, as well as entrepreneurship activities aimed at supporting businesses to develop. The event also introduced support to help businesses recruit, retain and upskill staff.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. 

There is more information about the Year 3 projects on the Council’s Let’s Talk Business Website 

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