South Shropshire MP Philip Dunne has welcomed news over Easter that Shropshire will receive £2.5 million from the Government to support local businesses and create jobs to grow the rural economy.
The Government is investing £110 million into local areas through the Rural England Prosperity Fund, a top-up for rural areas to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
Eligible councils will begin to deliver on their plans in the coming weeks and receive the extra investment over the next two financial years.
This additional funding is intended to improve community facilities and support arts and culture to grow local tourism. Agricultural businesses looking to diversify and rural businesses looking to launch or grow will also be eligible for grant funding.
The UK Shared Prosperity Fund gives local leaders more say over grant spending in their area than previous EU funding for rural areas and is delivering on the commitment to allow England to decide on how investment is allocated.
The funding builds on the Government’s commitment to level up rural areas by delivering major upgrades to connectivity through Project Gigabit. The share of rural premises with access to gigabit capable connects has already increased by 11 per cent since January 2021 alone.
Commenting, Philip Dunne said:
“South Shropshire has unique opportunities for growth and with the right investment and support we can harness that potential to create jobs and help deliver on our priority to grow the economy.
“As the past chair of an all-party group in Parliament championing rural areas, I welcome the Government’s investment of £2.5 million into Shropshire as part of £110 million in extra funding for councils across England to grow local tourism and support rural businesses looking to start-up or expand.
“This extra funding will help to support communities while unleashing the potential of areas by creating new jobs and boosting the rural economy.”
Commenting, Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs Secretary Therese Coffey said:
“Driving investment in rural areas is a vital part of our vision for levelling up the country.
“The new Rural Prosperity Fund replaces the bureaucratic EU funding system - allowing us to work closely with local leaders to direct funding where it is most needed to close the rural productivity gap, create job opportunities and protect the English countryside.
“This confirmed spending will allow local authorities to deliver on their plans to level up businesses and communities in rural areas from today, in line with their residents’ priorities.”