Good news has arrived with the start of the new year – the Yorkshire Coast Community Led Local Development bid for over £6 million of European funding to be directed into Bridlington and Scarborough over the next five years has been invited to the final stage of a Full Application.
East Riding of Yorkshire Council is dealing with the application process, and working in partnership with Scarborough Borough Council, but the programme needs to be exactly what it says – “Led by the community” – so here’s more information, now that things are moving up a gear.
What does this mean for Bridlington? It means that the Local Development Strategy that was submitted in August 2016 has been approved.
This is the plan that sets out the proposals for how around £2.4 million would be used for projects in Bridlington, to help people to improve their skills, and employment prospects, along with support for new business enterprise and local business growth.
In addition, it included proposals for a further £4.5 million available for Scarborough, recognising it is around twice the size of Bridlington.
However, a plus point is that Bridlington will benefit from grant rates 10% higher than Scarborough, with maximum grants of between 60 and 70%, depending on a project meeting certain requirements, including the need to provide matching funds, and being located in, and providing support for people living in the qualifying areas of Bridlington.
What happens next?
The East Riding of Yorkshire Council will continue to work with Scarborough Borough Council and the Yorkshire Coast Communities Local Action Group, to develop the delivery plan for the programme.
This ambitious but realistic proposal is looking to make the most of the remaining period during which European Structural Funds will still be available for the UK.
The programme is also being developed to ensure that it delivers national priorities – skills, jobs, work, enterprise, business growth – to give the best chance of continued support through the UK Government for delivery of the full programme, even after leaving the EU.
The full application will be submitted by the end of February, and a final decision is expected in Spring 2017.
How will grants be made available? Later in Spring 2017, if the full application is approved, projects will be invited to apply for grants.
They will need to show that they deliver the type of activity that the Local Development Strategy has already identified (a copy can be viewed at www.bridlingtonrenaissance.com).
This is mainly aimed at projects that support people, to improve their skills and employment prospects, new business enterprise including self-employment, and existing businesses that are looking to expand and create new jobs.
There will also be some small capital grants available for eligible new or improved community and business space. Grant amounts will be set in the coming weeks, along with local application arrangements.
How can people find out more? The Local Action Group is already meeting regularly with almost 50 representatives from groups, organisations and businesses from both towns. In the coming months, there will be regular updates on progress, and more information through the local press and radio.
More details about the Yorkshire Coast Community Led Local Development Programme and how local people can get involved, can be found by visiting www.bridlingtonrenaissance.com, by calling Tel: 01482 391708, or by visiting Bridlington Town Hall during normal opening hours.