Funding boost as Council marks 50th anniversary

EXTRA funding for regeneration and community projects in Bexhill and across Rother was praised this week by Council leaders who say it’s a real boost to the authority as it marks its 50th anniversary.

Members of Rother District Council’s Cabinet Committee highlighted millions of pounds of funding from different initiatives including the Long-Term Plan for Towns and Levelling Up Partnership.

The funding boost for Rother will help regenerate the economy, boost tourism, help vulnerable people, support community safety, and improve housing, and comes as the Council marks 50 years of service since it was formed in 1974.

Council Leader, Doug Oliver said: “The good news we’ve had recently comes as we celebrate 50 years of service to our local communities.

“We’re receiving just over £19.5m over ten years from the Long-Term Plan for Towns and we’ve boosted that with a further £14.9m from our own capital programme. We’re also getting over £18m from the Levelling Up Partnership – as one of only two areas to receive this funding in the whole of the south east!

“This is all in addition to the funding already secured for the De La Warr Pavilion and Heart of Sidley projects in Bexhill, and funding for projects across Rother from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

“As we mark our 50th anniversary these investments will help us to continue to support our communities, as the council has done since it came into being in 1974.”

At their Cabinet meeting on Monday (8 April), members welcomed the Long-Term Plan for Towns Funding for Bexhill. The project is a regeneration initiative administered through the Department of Levelling Up and Communities (DLUHC) that aims to support improvements to UK towns.

Councillors also discussed the Levelling Up Partnership funding – also allocated by DLUHC – for projects across Rother. The Partnership aims to boost economic growth, improve infrastructure, enhance social well-being and reduce disparities in areas most in need.

However, as well as celebrating the good news, Cllr Oliver provided a note of caution on council funding overall – reminding people about the continued pressure on district budgets.

He said: “People seeing all this investment in Rother could be forgiven for thinking that all is well with our finances. However, it’s worth reminding everyone that all the extra funding is for specific, ring-fenced projects, and we can’t use a penny of it to help our core budget.

“We still need to make savings and look at different ways of providing services to help balance the books and manage our finances in a responsible manner,” added Cllr Oliver.

Published: 12th April 2024

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