As regular readers will have seen the replacement funding for previously EU-administered schemes such as the ERDF and Objective One, the Shared Prosperity Fund has been announced. My team recently met with Cornwall Council to discuss how the project is going and I was concerned to see that only 13% of the bids come from North Cornwall and just 4% in East Cornwall. I am strongly encouraging any interested parties to put forward expressions of interest for the shared prosperity fund while it remains open. If you have been thinking about a scheme that you would like funding for – now is the time. It is extremely important that you express interest as a matter of urgency so that any projects you wish to bring forward are considered for funding. I have been assured by Cornwall Council Leader Linda Taylor, that North Cornwall is being prioritised due to its previous lack of funding by ERDF and the council so again, I urge you to put forward bids no matter how large or how small. I have worked hard with the council and in Westminster to get North Cornwall at the front of the queue for this important post-Brexit funding. We need to work together as we all want North Cornwall to finally get the funding it fully deserves. Organisations interested in accessing the SPF must fill in a very simple one-page enquiry form on the website, and after that, they will be contacted and offered help and advice going forward. More information, including how your organisation can express interest, can be found here: https://ciosgoodgrowth.com/funding-opportunities/. If I can be of any assistance to you with this, or if you would like any additional information please get in touch.
I was delighted to get out and about in the constituency this week with a schedule of visits in Bude where I met with the team at the local job centre to discuss some of the work they are doing. I was especially impressed with the ‘Way to Work campaign’, an exciting initiative which builds on the success of the Kickstart programme, working closely with employers to move claimants into work. On Saturday I was in Wadebridge for the launch of the Wadebridge Sports and Leisure Centre. Wadebridge Sports and Leisure Centre was under threat of closure, but due to the hard work and dedication of a small group of local people, it was passed into community ownership on 1st September 2022. In the first 10 days of opening the new team has welcomed over 100 new members and is increasing available classes and swim school places too. Several well-attended volunteer events have taken place to give the centre a lick of paint and rebrand it with the new colour palate and logo. I’m really proud of the community for coming together and very pleased to have supported the project from day one.