Stowmarket, Suffolk

Mid Suffolk District Council outlines £5.1m investment plans

A total of 39 projects are set to receive a share of a £5.1m investment plan outlined by Mid Suffolk District Council, which is looking to dip into banked reserves to help boost a post-Covid recovery across its region.

At a meeting of the council’s Cabinet, the investment sum – which was first mooted in February – was approved to priority areas around communities, the environment, economy, housing and wellbeing among others.

The approval came following a series of cross-party task groups to discuss areas in need of support in the Mid Suffolk area.

Mid Suffolk District Council was able to fund the investment through cash banked from its reserves, which the council administration has now said it could use to invest in post-Covid recovery.

Among the standout local schemes winning an allocation of the funding are:

  • £75,000 – Support for domestic abuse victims, including security measures like alarms and stronger locks
  • £300,000 – Loan fund for Community Land Trusts to obtain deposits for mortgages
  • £100,000 – Targeted apprenticeship scheme for those at risk of homelessness
  • £100,000 – Increased aspirations for young people, including youth market stalls and youth social prescribing
  • £100,000 – Business case for a skills and innovation centre at Gateway 14
  • £100,000 – Supporting a sustainable travel plan
  • £100,000 – Supporting town centre visions for Stowmarket, Needham Market and Eye
  • £100,000 – Covid recovery grants for community groups
  • £38,000 – Expanding Active Schools Programme to tackle obesity in schools
  • £30,000 – Continuation of school holiday activity programmes

Council Leader Suzie Morley was quoted by local press as saying: “I am delighted to present these proposals for just over £5m worth of investment to support our district to thrive over the next few years, and to recover from the impacts of the Covid pandemic.

“I am very proud of the proposals I am setting out today, and I believe they will make a huge difference to our local communities.

“Make no mistake, we will see far better outcomes for both businesses and people as a result.”

The decision to invest some of the council’s reserves into boosting the post-Covid recovery was backed back opposition councillors, including Cllr Keith Welham, too.

Work is now being carried out to finalise the details of the newly-funded projects, with timescales for delivery set to vary between projects.

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