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Good Growth Fund in Cornwall opens for applications – overview

Things are certainly moving at a quicker pace than I anticipated in terms of the Shared Prosperity Fund being open for applications from Cornwall and Isles of Scilly organisations. (The Good Growth Fund being the title given the Shared Prosperity Fund in our LEP area).

As a reminder:

• The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is the post Brexit replacement for EU funding

• Cornwall and Isles of Scilly’s allocation of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund is £132m over 3 years

I have blogged previously on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and at that time the indications were that it would not be open for applications until October at the earliest. However, at the end of last week there was an announcement that “Bids invited from organisations which can drive ‘good growth’ for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.” This is, we understand in advance of UK Government sign off of the Good Growth Fund and has been done to give the county a greater chance of being able to spend the £50m of money allocated to CIOS for Fiscal Year 2022/23 by the 31 March 2023.

Having read further over the weekend I try and give a synopsis of what is available with a focus on what may be more applicable to our business clients. I would encourage anyone who has a project that can drive ‘good growth’ in the region such as creating more skilled jobs, delivering greener and more inclusive work opportunities and investing in communities and places to have a look at the full release from Cornwall Council at link. We do understand, however, that amongst further releases of the Good Growth Fund may be a fund more similar in design to existing grant funds which many of you will be familiar with; the timing of the release of these will be aimed to coincide with the demise of those existing, EU funded, schemes.

Good Growth Fund – first round of funding

There are seven funding categories for projects to be targeted towards in the first round of funding:

Theme (and link through to further information) Funding Overview
Strategic Business, Enterprise and Research and Development Infrastructure £18.7m Site-specific funding to accelerate workspace and infrastructure projects that will enable business growth
Town, Rural and Coastal High Street Development and Skills Programme £4.4m Funding for businesses, property owners (public/private/third sector), developers and skills providers in towns, rural and coastal communities and on the Isles of Scilly to regenerate high streets and neighbourhood shopping areas
Cultural Events and Talent Programme £4.4m Activities to engage communities, promote growth and wider participation and create sustainable jobs by generating more year-round, permanent, higher paid employment, by using our cultural product to reduce the seasonal nature of the tourist sector.
Culture / Heritage-led Regeneration and Skills £10.82m Investment in the creative economy, cultural institutions and heritage buildings and assets that regenerate places and communities, drives pride in place and supports development of skills, sustainability and social mobility
Community Skills Hubs £5.198m Using existing community and education buildings to promote and deliver skills and training and skills opportunities
Community Connectivity and Digital Inclusion £1.5m Projects which improve digital connectivity, digital inclusion and skills.
Multiply numeracy programme £0.496 Promoting opportunities to support adult numeracy

Other headline information:

Aspect: Overview:
Who can apply? Any organisation can apply, as long as you can show you can deliver good growth against the criteria that is set out in each funding category

Businesses, community organisations, public bodies and partnerships which can deliver positive and sustainable outcomes for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

Who will consider the applications A new Economic Prosperity Board made up of councillors from Cornwall Council and the Council of the Isles of Scilly
How do I know which part of the programme is right for my project There will be support and advice from our Shared Prosperity Fund team to make sure that each enquiry is directed to the right part of the programme.
Which activities are focused on supporting local business Among the activities identified as supporting local business are:

·         Strategic Business, Enterprise and R&D Infrastructure

·         Town, Rural and Coastal High Street Development

·         Net Zero and Resilience and Green Skills Programme

(see further at link and below)

Key focus  To speed up the growth of high value and wage sectors such as renewable energy, technology, metals, digital and creative industries
Deadlines Deadlines for this first tranche of project applications range from September 2 to 16 depending on the funding category.
Assistance There is a single point of contact for enquiries to the Good Growth Fund, with all queries to be directed to the mailbox

Business focused elements – more details

For a few more details on what I understand to be the elements of the programme focused on businesses. This companion piece will also touch on the application process.

PKF Francis Clark

My colleagues and I will continue to keep our eyes and ears open for developments and further information on Shared Prosperity Fund, not only in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly but in other LEP areas where we have an office.

For CIOS I will be looking to register for one of the two webinars to be delivered by the Good Growth Team, which are:
• Tuesday 16 August, 3 – 4PM, online via Teams. Register here.
• Wednesday 24 August, 11 – 12AM, online via Teams. Register here.

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