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LGA - Councils call for urgent clarity on future of Community Renewal Fund

Councils have called on the Government to provide urgent clarity on the future of the Community Renewal Fund, after announcements of successful projects have been delayed.

The Local Government Association, which represents councils in England and Wales, has said the Government must now commit to an extension past the March 2022 cut off for which the funding can be spent, warning that the lengthy delay means the successful delivery of projects will now be very difficult.

Councils were invited to apply for the £220 million Community Renewal Fund, which is due to prepare areas for the UK’s Shared Prosperity Fund, earlier this year with the Government initially committing to announcing successful bids by the end of summer.

The fund is designed to support investment in local job creation, training opportunities, and infrastructure improvements and act as a replacement for previous European Union Structural Funding.

Mayor Marvin Rees, Chair of the LGA’s City Regions Board said:

“Councils stand ready and able to work with the Government to deliver this important investment, which will help support local communities build back better from the pandemic.

“However, they need urgent clarity about the future of the Community Renewal Fund, on when successful projects will be announced and how the fund will be delivered, given the narrow time frames councils have in which to do this.

“We are very concerned that the delay in the announcement of the successful programmes has reduced the timescales for the fund and will now have an impact on the ability of councils to successfully deliver schemes on the ground.

“It’s important that the successful projects are given flexibility and are able to deliver schemes beyond the March 2022 deadline so they can be as effective as possible in supporting their communities and levelling up the country.”

Original article link: https://www.local.gov.uk/about/news/councils-call-urgent-clarity-future-community-renewal-fund

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