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Contact: Katie Storr
Members' Declaration of Interest
Members may make any declarations at this point but may also make them at any time during the course of the meeting.
No Declarations of Interest were made at this stage of the meeting.
For Members to Note the Procedure applied to Concurrent Committee Meetings.
The adopted Procedure by which the Concurrent Meeting would be held was NOTED.
Consideration was given to a report which provided Members with information regarding opportunities for West Lindsey District Council (WLDC) in respect of the Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF). The report further sought to update Members on the development of WLDCs submission to the Rural England Prosperity Fund, outlined the emerging challenges and opportunities identified through the Theory of Change and set out suggested interventions that could be funded through West Lindsey's’ Rural Fund.
In support of the report the Director of Planning, Regeneration and Communities gave a short presentation to Members during which they were advised how the Rural England Prosperity Fund had been announced on 3 September 2022. The fund was a specific allocation made to “rural districts” only and West Lindsey had been notionally allocated £795,821 to be invested during the period 1 April 2023 - 31 March 2025.
The allocation of funding had taken account of an areas;
Ø rural population
Ø rural businesses and productivity
Ø the importance of farming in each authority area.
The allocation had to be used to address challenges that had been identified in rural areas and which had been set out in the Government’s prospectus, namely: -
Ø Lower productivity rates
Ø Poorer connectivity
Ø Poorer access to key services
It was noted these challenges had already been highlighted within the West Lindsey UK Shared Prosperity Fund Investment Plan (UKSPF), as important challenges for investment in ‘Levelling Up’ across the District
The rural fund objectives within the UKSPF investment priorities for “Community and Place” and “Supporting Local Businesses” had been used as the basis for the Council’s REPF submission, given it was a requirement that the REPF must be aligned with the main UKSPF Investment Plan with two main investment areas identified.
Ø Supporting Rural Business
Ø Supporting Rural Communities
The REPF would provide 100% capital funding to:
Ø Support new and existing rural businesses to develop new products and facilities that would be of wider benefit to the local economy. This included farm businesses looking to diversify income streams;
Ø Support new and improved community infrastructure, providing essential community services and assets for local people and businesses to benefit the local economy.
In order to access the REPF an ‘addendum’ to the District Council’s Investment Plan submission was required to be made to Government by 30November 2022 and needed to include: -
Ø Local Context - demonstrating an understanding of specific challenges for rural communities and businesses.
Ø Interventions – selected from a list of options linked to UKSPF; and
Ø A delivery Plan setting out how and when interventions would be delivered.
West Lindsey’s approach to the REPF was detailed in Section 3 of the report and Members noted that a “theory of change” had been developed to consider the challenges and market failures, together with the opportunities for improvement being experienced in rural communities across the District.
This had been strongly informed by the wide ranging and cross cutting engagement completed through the work on the main ... view the full minutes text for item 6.