From inspiring the next generation of musicians to preserving one of the city's most significant ancient monuments, Gloucester City Council has revealed the nine community projects it has selected to receive a share of £160,000 from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the government's Levelling Up agenda to provide investment and improve pride in local communities across the country.
Gloucester City Council received a total of £1.48 million after submitting its investment plan following extensive local consultation, £160,000 of which it is now providing to community projects to improve opportunities and quality of life for residents in the city.
The largest grant, totalling £32,000, has been awarded to social enterprise The Nest on Southgate Street, which hopes to replicate the success of The Long Table in Stroud. The cafe and restaurant will operate on a 'pay as you can' basis and hopes to offer cookery skills to local people and provide a base for start-up food companies, too.
Restauranteur Wanja Odhiambo, a director of The Nest, said: 'This is something I’m passionate about. Good food shouldn’t be just for those who have money, it should be for everyone. If people can’t pay, we will find a way to offer the food and will invite families or people who haven’t been out for ages and can’t afford to go out and socialise.
'We will also offer local people the opportunity in the evenings to run a pop-up. They could be the next big thing in Gloucester and offer a cuisine that is not already available in the city.'
The Music Works is getting a £10,000 grant for its Gloucester Music Hub at Kings Square, which aims to help 2,000 young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to transform their lives through music; while business incubator Jolt is set to receive £9,924 to improve access and facilities for disabled people.
St Oswald's Priory has been allocated £16,010 to improve the landscaping around the historic landmark, as well as installing new lighting and CCTV — and funding a community engagement programme to highlight its national importance as the alleged resting place of Queen Athelflaed; and Gloucester Park receives the same amount for new signage, a social enterprise cafe and a bid for Green Flag status, to encourage greater use of the park.
The Venture Community Hub, Community Roots CIC, All Nations Community Centre and Friendship Cafe are also getting a share of the funding for everything from essential maintenance and repairs, sustainability improvements to volunteer training.
Managing director of Gloucester City Council, Jon McGinty, said: 'We’re delighted to be able to award this money to some truly inspirational projects taking place across our community. It’s fantastic to see there are so many people in our city working hard to support each other and put back into their community through new and innovative ideas.'