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06 Jul 2016

Residents urged to speak up to help £1.29 million funding bid

Those who live, work or volunteer in certain areas of York are being asked for their opinions in a short survey, to help secure European Union funding to improve their local communities.

York city (4)The ‘4CommunityGrowthYork’ project is embarking upon its second stage of a funding bid for £1.29 million and would like to hear views from those with connections to the Tang Hall, Bell Farm, Clifton, Navigation Road and Walmgate and Westfield areas of the city, together with neighbourhoods around Haxby Road Primary Academy and Children’s Centre.

City of York Council is working closely with a group of residents, community groups and businesses who have formed a local action group with the aim of maximising opportunities to stimulate the local economy.

As part of the bidding process, 4CommunityGrowthYork is now seeking views and opinions on a range of areas which can help rejuvenate communities, from support with learning new skills, finding work and childcare to setting up businesses and support for small business. It also asks respondents to rate the importance of suggested projects such as jobs, training and enterprise.

The 4CommunityGrowthYork project has already benefitted from an initial £22,000 from the European Structural and Investment Funds, which was match funded to £40k by the council. Its plans, including results from this consultation, will be developed into a formal Local Development Strategy to be submitted to the European Union by the end of August 2016. If successful, the funds will be match-funded through council, Government and Tang Hall Big Local funding to a total of £2.58 million.

Tang Hall Big Local is a similar project in York which has already secured £1million from the Big Lottery fund to spend over the next 10 years to help improve the lives of its residents.

Councillor Keith Aspden, Deputy Leader of City of York Council with responsibility for Economic Development and Community Engagement said: “It’s important that this is a really positive bid with lots of feedback from the communities who will benefit from the funding. Gathering views of the challenges and experiences faced in these areas is key to the bid and I’d urge as many people as possible to give us their views.

“Responses to the questionnaire will demonstrate residents’ involvement in the bid and will also help us to focus how funds can be best spent if the bid is successful. This is a great opportunity to share your aspirations for the future of your local community.”

Anna Bialkowska, chair of Tang Hall Big Local, said: “Developing community decision making is a major part of both Tang Hall Big Local and 4CommunityGrowthYork. Active participation in programme design encourages a longer term commitment and provides a sustainable framework that allows for flexibility and innovation that reflect each communities needs and aspirations. We would love to see residents work together to find out how to spend their community funds to support pathways to work and to build collaborative links with local businesses.”

The survey can be found online at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/4CGY or contact 4communitygrowthyork@york.gov.uk for a paper copy. The closing deadline is Sunday 24 July. Other opportunities to share views locally will include a volunteering event in Acomb on Wednesday 13 July from 12.30pm to 2.30pm at Tang Hall Community Centre.

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