Cheltenham Borough Council has received a total of £1,178,035 from the government's UK Shared Prosperity Fund, allowing it to green-light several business and community led projects in the town.
It says the funding will be used to encourage budding entrepreneurs to start new businesses; help existing businesses grow and develop; identify development opportunities; build strategic relationships; and improve infrastructure in Cheltenham, promoting it as a great place to live, work, visit, meet and invest in.
Helping to support the town's future employment needs, it will part-fund Gloucestershire College's new Construction and Skills School, as well as supporting a project to encourage local school children to learn about cyber skills including data and problem-solving, along with teamwork and confidence, to develop their interest in cyber careers.
The funding will also be used for carbon footprint reporting and carbon reduction plans for local businesses; new electrical infrastructure at Imperial and Montpellier Gardens to minimise the use of generators at events including Cheltenham Festivals and future Christmas ice rinks; and a new town centre cycle hub, to encourage active travel in the town.
The UK Shared Prosperity Fund was created to replace local area funding from the European Union post-Brexit, with its three investment priorities being community and place, to strengthen local communities and build pride; supporting local businesses to innovate and grow; and people and skills, to reduce barriers to employment and education.
Leader of Cheltenham Borough Council, Councillor Rowena Hay, said: 'This is fantastic news for our residents and businesses, and will hugely benefit a number of partnership-led initiatives over the next three years. The council has done a lot of work to support communities and the economy to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and these plans will further build on the work we are doing.'
Cabinet member for economic development, culture, tourism and wellbeing, Councillor Max Wilkinson, added: 'This funding will support two of our key goals - boosting the economy and getting to net zero. The projects will make a difference to the lives of people across our town.
'These sit alongside the council-led Golden Valley development, the investment of £180 million in more affordable homes – including our first carbon neutral development, as well as the redevelopment of The Wilson. These funds will help us bring even more of our environmental and economic goals into the work we are doing to make Cheltenham a top place to live, work and visit.'
Work is due to begin in the New Year with all projects completed by the end of March 2025.