Councillors allocate £150,000 to boost Richmondshire’s economy

Richmondshire District Council offices at Mercury House. Photo: Google.

Richmondshire councillors have allocated £150,000 towards a recovery plan which aims to help boost the district’s economy following the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Members of the district councils corporate board have approved funding for the authority’s economic action and recovery plan.

First approved five years ago, the plan has now been extended to include a series of actions to assist economic growth and mitigate the effects of the pandemic on the local business community.

Initially, £300,000 was allocated to it with money already given to the Swale Cycle Trail, Wensleydale Railway and two local garages to provide 27/7 fuel and electric charging.

The remainder of the fund has been used for feasibility studies for key development sites – junction 52 on the A1 which has the potential to house a major distribution centre, and Shute Road in Catterick Garrison for a town centre regeneration and green travel plan.

Funding has also been allocated for grants for apprentices and small businesses and for larger events such as the Tour de Yorkshire and UCI cycling events.

The latest allocation of £150,000 will be used to fund more small business grants, apprenticeships, the annual business week and further feasibility studies, including rural sites and Colburn Lorry Park.

As part of the approved funding members agreed that £80,000 be set aside to allow for preparatory work in connection with a bid to the Levelling Up Fund.

Projects are required to be ‘shovel ready’ so further work is necessary to develop the feasibility studies into deliverable schemes.

A number of projects are being assessed and a further report is due to be brought to Members possibly as soon as October this year.

The council said a bid has also been put into the government’s community renewal fund where a number of Richmondshire based projects have been nominated for a share of the new funding.