A tender program totaling more than £ 12million that could generate around 620 jobs, support the creation of 400 new businesses and help 3,000 people retrain has been tabled.
On Wednesday, the Devon County Council Cabinet unanimously agreed to support the promotion of 16 projects under a new government funding program that aims to help communities and businesses recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
County Council is bidding for a share of the £ 200million Community Renewal Fund, which was made available as part of a one-year test ahead of the launch of the government replacement for funding of the EU, the Shared Prosperity Fund.
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More than £ 8.5million of the bid is intended for projects in Mid Devon, Torridge and West Devon to help the national leveling program, tackling economic and social inequalities in the hardest-hit disadvantaged communities affected by the impact of the pandemic.
Offers include plans for the regeneration of Tiverton, a feasibility study conducted by Project Eden to examine the potential for creating a new high-quality tourist and food / green attraction at J27 of the M5, and a project focused on addressing and speed – job tracking for people with disabilities in Devon.
Cllr Rufus Gilbert, Cabinet Member of Devon County Council for Economics and Skills, said: “We received an incredible amount of project ideas from all over Devon and all had to undergo a rigorous evaluation. to make sure they met the community’s criteria. Renewal Fund.
“As we seek to rebuild better after the pandemic, the projects selected to move forward in our offering have the potential to provide targeted support to foster a strong economic recovery.
“This process is also important in showing how Devon can work together to provide funds on behalf of the government, ahead of the launch of the largest Shared Prosperity Fund next year.
“We have submitted a strong program offer of 16 projects, all of which can have a positive impact in our county and we believe they all fully deserve government support. There is no doubt that the government fund will be oversubscribed and there will be fierce competition from across the country, but we believe that if our offer is successful it can make a real difference.
THE 16 PROJECTS
1. Devon County Council – Devon Agri Tech Accelerator – £ 503,318.59 – Building on Devon’s Natural Capital, an innovative project led by Devon County Council that will help farms diversify and innovate, and the sector at large to work together.
2. The Biosphere Foundation CIC – Biosphere – £ 1,350,140.00 – An integrated economic and environmental development program, led by the Biosphere Foundation, which seeks to take advantage of the rural and coastal natural capital of Torridge and North Devon, as well as the recently remobilized Appledore shipyard
3. Mid Devon Mobility – Stronger Together – £ 500,449.68 – A hybrid social transport / employment project, led by the Mid Devon Mobility VCS partnership, working with people from harder to reach backgrounds in rural areas to access employment opportunities in the public transport sector.
4. Devon County Council – Retrofit Skills and Business Accelerator – £ 995,284.28 – A retrofit training project led by the Retrofit Foundation, promoting associated employment opportunities through a blended learning approach.
5. Serco Limited – Engage the Company – £ 795,171.00 – A new self-employment support program from Serco, which introduces additional innovative products and approaches to support those who can thrive in self-employment.
6. Petroc – Promoting innovation and business – £ 500,939.00 – A project that seeks to use new digital technologies (AR, VR, MR) and knowledge transfer to accelerate innovation and empowerment. skills in North Devon companies.
7. Petroc – Innovation for Youth and Community – £ 503,074.00 – Led by PETROC College in partnership with North Devon partners, a project to fill gaps in existing services for young people and the community to create a unique program that will support rural / coastal Devon youth to return to work and learning.
8. Devon and Cornwall Training Providers – Digital Devon – £ 585,200.00 – A digital skills and training project, led by the Devon and Cornwall Training Provider Network in partnership with the HotSW DSP, aimed at aligning current digital skills and the training offer, as well as promoting the training of the trainer and the deployment of intermediate-level digital skills
9. School for Social Entrepreneur – Devon Enterprise Support for Social Enterprise – £ 649,369.76 – A targeted social entrepreneur project led by the Dartington School for Social Enterprise, aimed at supporting people interested in starting their own social enterprise in the most difficult to reach regions / disadvantaged areas.
10. Devon County Council – Devon Elevation Fund – £ 1,174,928.00 – A Devon County Council-led delegated grant scheme that will support business innovation and agility, creating new jobs, new products and enabling for local businesses to play a more active role in building better and improving local economic resilience.
11. Devon County Council – Ability not Disability – £ 601,134.00 – A project focused on treating and accelerating the employment of people with disabilities in Devon.
12. Project Cosmic – Velocity – VCSE Devon – £ 500,034.92 – A social enterprise support program offering business support, training and peer group development that builds resilience and innovation in the social sectors. volunteering, community and social enterprises.
13. YTKO – Devon Start and Grow – £ 1,050,000.00 – A business / enterprise support program that will support the development and rapid monitoring of micro-businesses to seize post-pandemic opportunities
14. Mid Devon – Reconnecting Tiverton – £ 1,365,201.00 – A regeneration and renewal project within Mid Devon, led by the District Council, which aims to strengthen and improve the resilience of its main market town , Tiverton.
15. Eden Project – Eden Grounds – £ 250,000.00 – A feasibility study conducted by the Eden Project, examining the potential to create a high quality new visitor and food / green attraction at J27 of the M5.
16. West Devon – West Devon Rural Recovery – £ 922,339.00 – A West Devon Council-led Natural Capital / Visitor Economy / Employment Project which will support the renewal and expansion of the tourism offering in the West Devon.
Earlier this year, organizations were invited by the County Council, which has been chosen by the government as the main authority in Devon, to present their ideas for innovative projects to help revive the local economy. The aim was to find initiatives that invest in skills and employment opportunities, support the growth of local businesses and help local communities become more resilient and sustainable.
In the report to the firm, Keri Denton, Head of Economics, Business and Skills, added: “The bid submitted consists of 16 individual projects seeking funding of £ 12.25million. It supports the priorities set out in the Devon Team’s Economic Stimulus Handout and the Council’s broader goals to support better outcomes for vulnerable people and communities. The offer complements the investment program of projects submitted under the Leveling Up Fund.
Cllr Alan Connett, leader of the Liberal Democrats, said: “This is an exciting opportunity and I hope all offers are successful, and if all of this happens it will be a good day for Devon.”
Cllr Rob Hannaford, leader of the Labor group, joked that the projects could be “removed from the Labor manifesto”, but added that he welcomed the emphasis on supporting young people.
The Department of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) will now review bids and an announcement on successful bids is expected next month.
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