Some of the most deprived areas of Hastings are set to received a boost as part of a £7.4m initiative part-funded by the European Union.
Money will come from the Community Led Local Development (CLLD) scheme, with the Hastings version called CHART CLLD, with CHART standing for Connecting Hastings and Rother Together.
In his monthly report to Hastings Borough Council, its leader Peter Chowney says that CHART CLLD has been a complicated scheme to sort out, with the original Hastings Council bid for funding through the scheme having been approved three years ago. Now though the green light has been given to get things rolling and Mr Chowney says the official launch will take place after the council elections in early May.
The CLLD programme will fund measures to link people in deprived communities to jobs, skills development, and entrepreneurial activity.
The programme is aimed at wards in the 20 per cent most deprived neighbourhoods in Hastings and Rother and wards being targeted are: Ore, Tressell, Baird, Hollington, Wishing Tree, Castle, Gensing, Central St Leonards, Sidley, and Central Bexhill.
The total EU funding for the programme is £3.7m, with another £3.7m in match funding and there will be four main packages in the programme, which are:
• Developing physical assets of value to local communities;
• Enterprise and business support;
• Community development and capacity building;
• Employability support.
Mr Chowney explains: “The funding is made available through a grants programme, where organisations will bid to deliver projects with specific outcomes in the target neighbourhoods, to fit to one or more of the work packages. The council will be able to bid for money to run projects itself. Four bids for funding will open when the project launches in May, with delivery os the actual projects starting later in the summer.
“The programme will go some way to replacing activity the council used to carry out in the more deprived wards before 2010.”