Mid Sussex secures £1 million from Shared Prosperity Fund

Mid Sussex

Mid Sussex District Council has been awarded funding of £1 million from Government to invest in local parks, community hubs and youth employment support over the next three years.

The Government has introduced the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) to enable Councils to support the levelling up agenda at a local level. Funding is being provided to support projects that boost productivity, pay, jobs and living standards, improve public services, empower local leaders and communities, or restore a sense of community and local pride. The UKSPF succeeds the old European Union structural funds.

Mid Sussex has received a UKSPF allocation of £1 million for the next three years and the Government has now approved an Investment Plan submitted by the Council, which sets out measurable outcomes that meet local needs.

The Council is focussing the UKSPF investment on the improvement of local parks and community hubs.

The Investment Plan sets money aside to help Sussex Clubs for Young People utilise a refurbished and expanded pavilion at Barn Cottage Green to grow the community services provided by the Bentswood Community Hub.

Mid Sussex Voluntary Action will receive funding for the community support they provide from The Cherry Tree Centre in Burgess Hill, which includes drop-in support for Ukrainian refugee families and their hosts and digital assistance for vulnerable people to help them access health services, council support, shop online and anything else they might need.

Quarry Café and Community Fridge in East Grinstead will also benefit from the UKSPF allocation, with funding helping them to relocate to new premises and expand their range of community services. The group helps residents in East Grinstead and the surrounding villages by providing a low-cost community café where people can socialise and access support services, as well as a community fridge that turns surplus food into ready meals and shares them with local people in need of a helping hand.

The funding will also support the delivery of the Council’s parks masterplans to improve play facilities, sports provision and accessibility at Mount Noddy in East Grinstead, Victoria Park in Haywards Heath and St John’s Park in Burgess Hill. Grant funding will be provided to support events within the three parks that bring the community together and make best use of the facilities.

There will also be funding to support young people who are not in employment, education, or training (NEET).

Councillor Jonathan Ash-Edwards, Leader of Mid Sussex District Council said:

“The Shared Prosperity Fund will help us to enhance our local area, build on our strengths, and ensure Mid Sussex remains a place we are proud to live and work. Our investment plan focuses on improving our local parks and community hubs because they make such a big difference to our quality of life.

“Public open spaces not only provide us with somewhere beautiful to relax and unwind, but they are also a hub for sports activities and are important places for people to come together and socialise. We’re proposing to invest in one major park in each of our three towns to ensure people right across the District benefit from improved facilities and an enhanced environment.

“Local voluntary groups also make a massive contribution to our local community. We’re so fortunate to have a dedicated and diverse army of volunteers here in Mid Sussex and this funding will help them to continue and expand on the excellent work they are already doing to support those in need.”

The bid was supported in Westminster by Mid Sussex MP Mims Davies, who said:

“I’m absolutely delighted that Mid Sussex will receive £1 million through the new UK Shared Prosperity Fund over the next three years provided by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. It reflects the quality of our bid, and that Mid Sussex will be part of this important next stage as we look to level up the country. I look forward to seeing the projects brought forward focused around investment in community hubs, parks and events alongside additional support for young people who are seeking employment. I look forward to seeing the difference it makes to our communities and how this will impact brilliant projects and organisations who deliver great things in our community”.

Author: Lisa Thompson
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