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Council’s Executive to consider new investment for business and sport

Andrew Seekings

Allerdale Borough Council’s Executive is to discuss making new business and sporting investment in West Cumbria.

A report will go before councillors on Wednesday 17 April which recommends the £500,000 Allerdale Social Impact Investment Fund is used to support business growth and sports development in the borough.

Since 2014, Sellafield Ltd has allocated £1,000,000 per year to Allerdale Borough Council and Copeland Borough Council to support projects, initiatives and programmes which deliver benefits and growth to the communities of Britain’s Energy Coast.

Over the last four financial years, from 2014 to 2018, the funding received from Sellafield for the Allerdale Social Impact Investment Fund has helped 32 businesses across the borough, creating or safeguarding 410 jobs. There has been an additional spin-off too. Businesses which benefited from the SIIF have also provided funding for the local economy from other sources totalling £5,272,794. That equates to £2.64 for every £1 of Sellafield money invested.

For the forthcoming year, it is proposed that a business loan scheme, the Allerdale Loans Fund, continues. £250,000 of the £500,000 allocation will be managed on behalf of the Council by Cumbria-based Enterprise Answers, an independent not-for-profit finance organisation.

If the proposals are approved, an additional £70,000 will be dedicated to activity to support the Council’s Business Growth Strategy. Previously this has included match funding for businesses, assisting students to become ‘work-ready’ and for economy-boosting festivals and events.

It is also recommended that the Executive allocate £140,000 from the SIIF in 2019/20 and a further £140,000 in 2020/21, subject to the confirmation of Sellafield funding, to sports development activity, and to give £40,000 in each financial year towards the cost of the hosting fee for the Rugby League World Cup 2021.

Andrew Seekings, Allerdale Borough Council’s corporate director, says: “Benefiting business and health are two things which are very important to the Council. That is why the recommendation is being made that this generous funding from Sellafield Ltd is used to help people lead more healthy lives through sport, and to support activities which strengthen our economy and enhance our towns.”

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