Monday, 24 September 2018

Community-led Local Development funding

My article in this coming week’s Cornish Guardian looks at the opportunity of Community-led Local Development funding. It will be as follows:

Brexit continues to dominate the news, as the United Kingdom approaches its “leave” date of 29th March next year. Most recently, this included the various reports that the European Union did not consider Theresa May’s approach to leaving the EU was workable.

But here in Cornwall, some European structural funding is still available and four Local Action Groups (LAGs) have just been launched to promote CLLD (or Community-led Local Development). This involves the allocation of monies from the European Social Fund (ESF) and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to benefit businesses and community groups.

The official paperwork for CLLD states that it “aims to provide pathways to better economic opportunities for people and businesses … strengthening local availability of employment, skills and training, and developing the ability of local residents to access these.”

I am pleased to have been appointed to the South and East Cornwall LAG, which covers an area that stretches from the China Clay Area to the Tamar.

The investment for this LAG totals over £2,800,000, while the other three Cornish LAGs have similar levels of funding to invest and the UK Government has confirmed it will guarantee the financial basis of this programme.

It does however need to be pointed out that the money has to be targeted principally on those Lower Super Output Areas (LSOAs), which fall within the 30% most deprived in terms of the UK’s Index of Multiple Deprivation.

This means that, in the South and East Cornwall CLLD Area, priority will be given to “core” areas such as Clay Country (including Bugle, Foxhole, Penwithick, Roche, St Dennis and Treviscoe); the nearby towns of St Austell and St Blazey; plus Callingon, Liskeard, Looe, Saltash and Torpoint. It has also been confirmed that some of the funding could be spent in the hinterland around these disadvantaged communities, though projects would need to demonstrate that it would benefit people in the core areas.

Each LAG has produced its own Local Development Strategy and in South and East Cornwall, objectives include: “stimulating new and existing local businesses,” “maximising the potential of proposed developments and activities in the Mid Cornwall Economic Corridor,” “developing community led initiatives / community based projects” to build capacity in he local area and “addressing transport barriers that prevent people from accessing work and training opportunities.”

If you have a project that you think might be suitable for CLLD, now is the time to get in touch with the team to find out more. The website ( is a good place to start.

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