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Daily Record
Daily Record
Judith Tonner

Lanarkshire councils receive share of UK funding

Social enterprises, active travel initiatives and numeracy skills programmes will be among a raft of projects in North Lanarkshire to benefit from a new three-year funding award.

The local authority is receiving nearly £13.9 million over a three-year period from the UK government’s shared prosperity fund; neighbouring South Lanarkshire will also receive £12.2m under the same scheme.

Council leader Jim Logue welcomed news of the funding for North Lanarkshire and said: “The range of projects will help to improve people’s core work skills, drive economic regeneration and importantly help people who have been plunged into poverty through the impact of the current cost of living crisis.”

North Lanarkshire’s award consists of £11.4 million in “core” funding under the Levelling Up scheme, which will be spent across the three investment priority areas of communities & place, people & skills, and supporting local business – plus nearly £2.4m specifically allocated for adult numeracy programme Multiply.

A paper on the funding scheme application previously presented to the council’s enterprise, growth and fair work committee outlined proposals relating to fuel poverty, tourism, volunteering and community empowerment; plus work on supporting business start-ups and growth including advanced manufacturing technology, net zero transitions, employability and skills academies for the key local priorities of health and social care, construction and digital skills.

The Multiply programme on adult numeracy is set to include financial literacy help to assist people with budgeting and managing money.

Councillor Logue said: “Getting approval for our investment plan will mean that we can start working on a range of exciting projects that will ultimately create opportunities for people, local communities and businesses.

“A clear priority for us is to provide support to those most in need, reduce inequalities and help people to improve their prospects; these projects will have a clear positive outcome while providing businesses with the support they need to prosper.”

North Lanarkshire officials say the investment plans were developed following consultation with organisations including the area’s local employability partnership, Tackling Poverty officers action group, community and voluntary sector form, Voluntary Action North Lanarkshire, the Lanarkshire economic forum, plus North Lanarkshire partnership, the NHS and local parliamentarians.

With the funding covering a period until March 2025, North Lanarkshire will be allocating a first tranche of £2.1m during the current 2022-2023 financial year – including £739,000 for people & skills projects, £506,000 for communities & place and £91,541 to supporting local business.

Project work will include making grants and challenge funds available to third-sector organisations, businesses and local groups.

South Lanarkshire will receive £10.1m in core funding and a further £2.1m for the Multiply programme, after the eight authorities forming the Glasgow City region submitted a combined £73m investment plan to the fund.

News of the allocations for both local authorities was welcomed by Central Scotland Conservative MSPs Meghan Gallagher and Graham Simpson, who are former councillors in North and South Lanarkshire respectively.

Mr Simpson called it an “example of the UK government delivering for people and communities in Lanarkshire” and added: “The announcement comes at a crucial time due to the economic challenges facing residents in the area.”

Party colleague Ms Gallacher said the funding “is hugely positive news [and] will deliver to those who need it most, including businesses who are going through a tough time and to improve people’s skillset”.

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