A £2m fund to help communities in the wake of Covid-19 has been hailed as a “game-changer” by business leaders.
Sheffield City Council set up the Economic Recovery Fund in March 2021 to help get communities back on their feet and overcome the impact of trading restrictions imposed during the pandemic. Communities, businesses, and traders were asked directly about their priorities, and as a result, with the guidance of Sheffield Chamber, funds were allocated to 26 projects across the city, 15 of which were led by businesses in district centres.
Sheffield Chamber interim CEO, Louisa Harrison-Walker, said: “This new approach to funding in collaboration with community groups and private businesses is a real game-changer. It’s meant communities have funds to tackle barriers to trade or issues preventing an area from reaching its true potential. Working in this way has allowed fresh ideas to emerge, and Sheffield Chamber has been there to share specialist knowledge of the local economic picture and what works best for
The Economic Recovery Fund has distributed £50,000 for smaller projects and up to £200,000 for larger projects.
Councillor Ben Miskell, deputy chair of the economic development and skills policy committee, said: “Our district centres needed a helping hand as we came out of multiple lockdowns and the Economic Recovery Fund has given them a real buzz. Businesses and communities are best placed to come up with initiatives that help customers and visitors return. The Economic Recovery Fund was an opportunity to do things differently, and I’m pleased that this dynamic relationship is proving successful and building pride in local communities.”