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Councils to pilot innovative ways of working with £5m funding boost

Councils are being empowered to better tackle issues affecting their communities, including youth unemployment, health disparities and crime, through an innovative programme backed by £5m of government funding.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has announced the 13 councils in England that have been selected for its Partnerships for People and Place initiative.

The programme will trial new ways of working across local and central government and deliver innovative, locally led solutions to key challenges that communities face.

Local authorities will be provided with funding and specialist support for projects targeting specific issues in their areas.

The projects will be spread across urban, rural and coastal communities and will tackle a broad range of issues, including increasing apprenticeship opportunities, tackling crime, health disparities, youth unemployment and poverty.

Each pilot will be looking to test whether closer working between different parts of central government and local places can bring measurable benefits to local communities and people.

The projects will support the government as it delivers on its mission to level up all parts of the UK.

The selected pilots will take place in the following areas:

  • Birmingham
  • Bradford
  • Cornwall
  • Durham
  • East Sussex
  • Hackney
  • Liverpool
  • Luton
  • Newcastle
  • Northumberland
  • Southwark
  • Sunderland
  • Wakefield

Commenting, Minister for Levelling Up and Communities, Kemi Badenoch said:

“This is an innovative programme with the potential to make a real difference to people’s lives.

“From skills shortages and unemployment to tackling poverty and reducing crime, local people are best placed to solve challenges in their own areas.

“That is why we are empowering communities as we level up every corner of our country.”

Each project will receive between £150,000 and £350,000 over a two-year period from the Treasury’s Shared Outcomes Fund.

Councils and their local partners will also be offered a range of support.

This includes contact with senior officials across central government to solve problems identified at a local level, as well as external expertise and resources to map existing funding and outcomes, including to evaluate their projects.

Partnerships for People and Place will also look at whether improved government structures, more flexible funding models and greater collaboration across the public sector could be effective in addressing specific issues in local areas.

The exact amount of funding each project will receive will depend on the delivery plans local councils work up and submit over the next few months.

It is therefore likely that each of the pilots will receive a different amount, depending on the outcomes and interventions they propose to deliver.

All 13 pilots will get a portion of the programme funding in November 2021 to support them to develop these more detailed resourcing plans.

The exact detail of each project will be clarified in the coming months as councils work with central government and partners to create delivery plans.

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