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New funding brings ''tangible benefits for our communities''

James MacCleary.jpeg

Hot on the heels of the council's multi million bid for Newhaven being agreed, Lewes district has received more good news in the shape of a £1.8m award as part of the UK Community Renewal Fund.

Three projects, the Innovation Masters Programme (£529K), Sustainable Wine and Cultural Tourism (£705K) and Minding The Gaps (£547K) will each receive a share of the fund.

Through links with higher education, the Innovation Masters Programme will improve productivity in the district by showing businesses how to develop innovation potential and raise investment capital, resulting in improvements in their economic performance.

Sustainable Wine and Cultural Tourism will implement a high-impact campaign to create a global brand for wine and cultural tourism, alongside pilot activity and research that will inform future investment and demonstrate how Sussex can take a share of international wine tourism.

Minding The Gaps is a pioneering partnership project offering flexible, individually tailored employment-related support for those furthest from the labour market who lack confidence and motivation. Support will help people overcome the barriers, including finance, to gain qualifications needed to get work or educational support.

Councillor James MacCleary, Deputy Leader of Lewes District Council and Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Prosperity, said: "All three of these excellent schemes will help businesses in the district to grow and connect with local people looking for work. It builds on our recent successful funding bids for Newhaven by supporting businesses across our area. There is an untapped potential in Lewes district that can flourish and I hope these projects are the catalyst that will make it happen and provide real, tangible benefits for our communities.

"We have a flourishing wine industry locally and the council is very keen to support that and make the most of it to benefit the wider local economy and bring more visitors to our area, so it is wonderful to see some funding to boost that sector and help our local producers to unlock more of their potential.

"We will continue to support and lead bids whenever funding becomes available and I am very proud that we can welcome this funding for key projects."

The lead partners for each project are: Investing in Wine/Cultural Tourism - Lewes District Council with Charleston, SDNPA and Plumpton College; Minding The Gaps - Sussex Community Development Association, East Sussex College Group, 3VA and others with focus on supporting people into employment; Innovation Masters Programme - Sussex Innovation at University of Sussex.