UK Shared Prosperity Fund projects to begin
Three UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) projects are due to begin, focussing on the Broomgrove area of Hastings.
The Community Arts Engagement Project is due to begin in September. The Business Support & Skills Development Activity and the Greener Broomgrove Project are being finalised and will begin in the coming weeks.
Soundcastle has been appointed by the council to run a community arts engagement project titled Musical Beacons Broomgrove. Their programme includes music sessions in community spaces, where families can learn, create, and explore music together in a safe and supported environment. Through monthly Musical Beacons events, a digital workshop offer, and regular attendance at local community spaces/coffee mornings, Soundcastle will bring together the community through conversation, creative musical play and collaboration.
The council is working to appoint an organisation to put together a programme to support business and skills development. This will include providing enterprise and skills support to businesses, those looking to start their own businesses and the unemployed. The main focus will be on the Broomgrove area, and the aim is to establish opportunities for residents by building relationships with businesses, skills providers and the local community sector.
The Hastings Adventure Playground, operated by In2Play CIC have begun enhancing their outdoor spaces. The funding is being used to improve the range of activities that the playground can offer by improving surfacing, planting trees and enhancing the play space. The playground will run additional family and youth events encouraging more involvement in local developments through play.
Active Hastings have recruited a part time physical activity worker for Broomgrove, who is busy involving the local community in events and weekly activities. They will also act as the strategic link between a range of partners and providers, to ensure that funding and activity is directed where it is most needed.
The Greener Broomgrove Project will be run by Southern Housing and developed with local residents. The project will be based in buildings and green spaces in the heart of Broomgrove, creating volunteering opportunities and identifying community champions. The aim is to improve community perceptions of the neighbourhood, increase pride of place and resident wellbeing through community led group-based activities encouraging positive use of the estate's green spaces.
Cllr Andy Batsford, lead councillor for health and culture, said: "I'm really excited about all three of these projects, they will offer great opportunities for residents in Broomgrove, helping to boost their health and wellbeing."
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.
Hastings Borough Council was allocated £1,000,000 to spend over three years (2022-2025). The fund replaces the European Structural and Investment Fund and forms part of the government's Levelling Up agenda. The primary goal of the UKSPF is to build pride in place and increase life chances across the UK. The funding is being spent in the Broomgrove area of Hastings, which was identified as one of the town's most deprived wards. The fund is aimed at levelling up opportunity and prosperity and overcoming geographical inequalities that have held areas back in the past.
There are three investment priorities:
- communities and place
- support for local businesses
- people and skills.