A grant for £1 million has been awarded to Uttlesford District Council to invest in community infrastructure over the next three years.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund has been provided to local councils by the government to boost productivity, pay and employment chances, support high quality skills and training, restore a sense of community and regenerate the town centre.

In the council's approved investment plan, funding will be allocated based on priorities agreed by local stakeholders, such as business groups, town and parish councils, schools and the voluntary sector. The fund will be overseen by a local partnership group.

Leader of Uttlesford District Council Cllr Petrina Lees said: "While Uttlesford is identified as an affluent area, with high property prices, a highly skilled population and very high levels of car ownership, the population density here is one of the lowest in the region and rural isolation, loneliness and access to services are significant issues.

Dunmow Broadcast: Leader of Uttlesford District Council Petrina Lees Leader of Uttlesford District Council Petrina Lees (Image: Uttlesford District Council)

"We would like to thank everyone who participated in our engagement sessions which were held in the summer – their contribution has been vital in identifying some of these local challenges.

"I’m pleased the Investment Plan has been approved and we can now begin work on projects that will support Uttlesford’s businesses, residents and communities."


Stakeholder engagement sessions in the summer identified areas which could be supported by the funding.

These include support for local arts, cultural, heritage and creative activities, as well as investment in capacity building and infrastructure support for local societies and community groups.

Other areas identified include investment in open markets and improvement to town centre retail and service sector infrastructure - with additional support for small businesses - and employment support for economically inactive people.

Finally, the funding could go towards tailored support to help people in employment address barriers to accessing education and training courses.

The first year of the funding runs until March 31, with applications open for capacity building projects and infrastructure support for voluntary and community groups. Applications for funding in the second year will open shortly.

For information on how to apply go to www.uttlesford.gov.uk/ukspf-call-for-bids.