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Breckland Council to invest £1.5 million in community projects

PUBLISHED: 15:14 24 July 2018

Leader of Breckland Council William Nunn. Picture: Ian Burt

Leader of Breckland Council William Nunn. Picture: Ian Burt

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Breckland Council have announced they will be investing £1.5 million in a range of community projects.

The council approved the plans at a meeting on Tuesday, which involves allocating money to improve local leisure facilities, boost small businesses and help people into higher paid employment.

Among the series of agreed proposals are plans for the council to take ownership of vacant shops and then lease them at reduced rent rates to start-up businesses.

The council also plans to create a new ‘Dragons Den’ style grant scheme to support local entrepreneurs, as well as aiming to provide extra help for people to make the most of local employment opportunities through the provision of travel bursaries or moped hire.

Cllr William Nunn, Breckland Council’s leader, said: “Approval for this range of projects is fantastic news for our district’s residents and businesses. At the start of the year we set aside a considerable amount of money to be invested in our communities and the vast range of schemes given approval today will mean that money makes a big difference locally.

“These initiatives will improve local facilities and services, support people to access better jobs, and help existing and new businesses to succeed.”

Another of the new schemes aims to improve connections between local businesses and residents by employing new staff to liaise between companies, schools and job centres.

It’s hoped that the new staff will help to identify a skills shortfall among local businesses and encourage the necessary training to be offered to enable local people to make the most of the employment opportunities and to support businesses to grow.

The council also announced plans to improve leisure services in Swaffham and Attleborough by funding improved gym facilities, a climbing wall and an astro turf football pitch.

Approval of these proposals means that the majority of the £1.7m funding set aside by councillors in the 2018/19 budget has now been allocated to projects, which also includes further investment into the council’s existing Market Towns Initiative, extra investment in customer services support and the expansion of an existing contract to provide additional collections of dog waste bins and dog warden services.

A further £1.4m is also set to be invested in community projects in 2019/20.

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