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Mayor Dave Announces Funding for Series of New Initiatives

June 19, 2019 6:12 PM

Mayor Dave Hodgson by the River in BedfordMayor Dave Hodgson has announced a series of new initiatives including a climate change fund, support for young people, local public realm improvements and further measures to attract people to Bedford town centre. Alongside the new initiatives, continued funding is also set to be allocated for the successful Bedford Jobs Hub.

The initiatives will be delivered over the next four years, and will be funded via a £2.4 million reserve created via a reallocation of existing council reserves which are no longer required. It follows a process a thorough examination of council reserves to ensure they are directed at key priorities.

The reallocation of the funding for the initiatives is set to be approved by Mayor Dave's Executive at its meeting on Wednesday 26th June.

Commenting, Mayor Dave Hodgson said: "Despite ongoing reductions in government funding, we are working to ensure every penny we do have is used for the benefit of local people and communities. The funding being allocated to these initiatives over the next four years demonstrates the strength of our commitment to making a real difference to people's lives. From the town centre to our local neighbourhoods, from our local to our wider environment, and from our young people to those of all ages seeking employment, this funding will have a positive impact on people and places right across Bedford Borough."

The full list of initiatives are as follows:

  • Town Centre Initiatives

This will help fund initiatives, such as public events and activities, which will attract people to Bedford town centre and encourage additional visitors. It will be additional and complementary to the range of services, goods and attractions offered by the town centre's traders

  • Climate Change Fund

The re- establishment of a climate change grant fund will seek to repeat the success of Mayor Dave Hodgson's Climate Change Fund previously in reducing carbon emissions in Bedford Borough. The previous fund helped to make not-for-profit organisations and facilities more sustainable, via a wide array of renewable energy and energy conservation measures

  • Young People Empowerment Fund

The Council will support local initiatives operated by the Third Sector to enable children and young people to develop and expand their skills and experiences. Funding will be used to support initiatives taking place in local communities which can demonstrate a positive impact for children and young people

  • Street Scene and Local Environment Improvements

Measures supported will protect and enhance open spaces, highways and the public realm in general. It will be designed to help ensure the public realm in local neighbourhoods is maintained to a good standard

  • Jobs Hub Funding

Funding for the successful Bedford Jobs Hub will be secured within this Reserve for the next four years. The Jobs Hub offers bespoke careers advice and guidance to people of all ages who live in Bedford Borough, helping them to find work, training and business opportunities.