Falkirk Council: Plans to spend £6 million in Falkirk district

The Falkirk Council area is to receive £6 million as its share of cash to replace funding from the European Union over the next three years.

By Kirsty Paterson, Local Democracy Reporter
Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 4:45 pm

Members of Falkirk Council’s executive heard on Tuesday that the UK Shared Prosperity fund is intended to “help build pride in place and increase life chances”.

Just over £1 million of the funding will go to the Multiply programme, which is being developed with Forth Valley College to help boost numeracy and maths skills in the area to improve employability.

The rest of the money will be used for various projects that will include supporting local businesses, employability skills, boosting tourism and improving “dignified access to affordable food”.

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Malcolm Bennie, Falkirk Council's Director of Place

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Malcolm Bennie, Falkirk Council’s Director of Place, told members: “The report outlines how this funding will continue the good work that already existed around the employability side of things with money that used to come from the European Union as well as identify some new approaches for investment in local communities.”

He told councillors that the proposal is “advanced but not complete” and the final report will be locked down in the coming weeks and shared with group leaders before it is finally submitted to the UK government for approval.

The UK Government will release funds to each Council over the three years, with the first payment in October 2022.

This year, the area will receive £620,846 as well as £322,840 for the Multiply programme.

Proposals include improvements to tourism to encourage more visitors to stay longer in the local area, with plans such as creating a new Visitfalkirk.com.

They also want to create an “impactful marketing campaign” with that will encourage visitors to consider the area as a destination for two or three night stay.

Several grants will be offered to provide digital, resilience and energy efficiency solutions to businesses.

In addition, there are also plans to recruit more advisers and experts to engage with local businesses .

Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn, Leader of Falkirk Council said: “We have already spoken with local partners, businesses leaders and the third sector about where this award will best make a difference locally.

“It’s clear that areas such as employability, business support and supporting people are priorities and our plans will match these.”