Published 25 August 2022

Upgraded CCTV cameras, an increase in community gardens and enhanced focus on tourism in West Dunbartonshire are all included in proposals for use of UK Shared Prosperity Funding.

West Dunbartonshire Council was provisionally awarded £3.8million from the fund subject to demonstrating it can be distributed over the next three years to enhance residents’ pride of place and improve life chances of residents in the area.

A collaborative investment plan has been submitted to the UK Government by the Glasgow City Region- partners, detailing local priorities and proposals for action.

The plan outlines that of the potential £3.8million, £500,000 will be earmarked for capital investment over the period.

At a meeting of the Housing and Communities committee this week, members were told of proposed uses for the funding if the award is confirmed.

Each is aligned with the fund’s key principles of community and place; supporting local business; and people and skills.

It is proposed that £944,222 would be used under community and place to introduce shopfronts and small business improvement grants to support town centres; create four new community garden sites; improved CCTV infrastructure: and the development of a community pantry network.

Under the principle of supporting local business, it is proposed that grant based initiatives would be introduced to support Enhancing West Dunbartonshire’s Tourism Events and Attractions; Business Recovery & Growth; work towards Net Zero; and provision of expert help for businesses.

As part of the people and skills principle, £1.7million is proposed to be invested in employment support for economically inactive people; continued employability programmes and advice: introduction of a competitive grant fund for specialist employability support and local skills needs; and case managed support for young people.

A total of £672,771 is ring-fenced as part of the funding guidelines to ensure provision of Courses designed to increase confidence in maths; courses aimed at encouraging people to upskill to access jobs/careers; additional maths modules in vocational courses; intensive courses targeted at those without Level 5 maths; and courses designed to help people use numeracy to manage money.

Councillor Craig Edward, Convener of Housing and Communities, said: “We welcome the news that this process is moving forward and the detail around how this additional funding with its wide ranging principles can be used to benefit our residents and communities in so many different ways.

“The fund’s core principles are very closely matched with our own, and I am particularly pleased to hear that the proposals for funding use in our communities will restore and enhance common spaces, as well as invest in our people and enhance their skills.”

Councillor John Millar, Vice Convener of Housing and Communities, added: “If we are successful in being awarded this money, it will be invested in West Dunbartonshire making sure our residents and communities who need it the most are supported.

“It is particularly pleasing to see that we will invest money in supporting residents with numbers. Having confidence working with numbers can have a very positive effect both in the home and at work.”