Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

Council set to deliver £4.6m investment in Central Bedfordshire

Thursday, 14 September 2023

We are finalising plans for £4.6 million of government funding to deliver investment in town centres, provide support for businesses and rural communities, and enhance skills for local people.

Our vision was outlined in an investment plan that secured the £4.6 million of UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) and Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) money for the area. Over the coming months, we will announce how we will use the funding to achieve outcomes including:

  • improved town centres, community facilities and shared green spaces
  • local organisations improving their cultural offering and communities enjoying the associated health and wellbeing benefits
  • hundreds of new and existing businesses, including those in rural areas, increasing efficiency, developing new products and services, increasing exports, and becoming more energy efficient
  • local people learning new skills, including in relation to the green economy, to help them get better jobs or start their own businesses

As part of the plans, we've written to Biggleswade, Dunstable, Flitwick, Houghton Regis and Leighton Buzzard town councils offering to co-develop investment plans for their town centres and activities in their community spaces.

Councillor Mary Walsh, our Executive Member for Planning and Development, said:

We wrote to five town councils last week to introduce the first funding allocation for investment in town centres. This is just one of the ways we’re planning to use the UKSPF and REPF money. Other projects and funding will support the rural economy, the area’s cultural offering and sustainability, and local businesses and skills. We look forward to providing more detail about these over the coming weeks and months.

Read more about the planned work using both UKSPF and REPF money.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. It is positioned as the UK replacement of the European Structural and Investment Programme (ESIF).

The fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local businesses, people and skills. Visit GOV.UK for more information.