Innovative local business projects to receive latest round of discretionary funding

BCP Council is issuing its latest round of ARG Stream 3 discretionary grant funding, which will be used to turbo charge innovative business projects across the region and drive long term economic growth.

From Monday 24 May, business support organisations, groups representing the retail, hospitality, leisure (RHL) and welfare sectors and local Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) will collectively receive around £700,000. This funding will breathe life into a variety of local projects that have successfully demonstrated innovation, will generate pride in the place we live, provide benefits for the wider economy and are deliverable.

Councillor Philip Broadhead, BCP Council Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Economy, said:

“With our most recent grant stream, we wanted to open a competitive application process that would unearth innovative projects from across a wide section of the local business community. We believe we are the only authority in the country to take this unique approach and I am delighted to share just a few examples of the projects which we will be funding initially with the money supplied to us from government.’’

Some examples include:

  • Bournemouth Town Centre BID – crime prevention and the creation of a Peer to Peer board to help businesses improve their in-store experience.
  • Bournemouth Coastal BID – funding for an electric vehicle, equipped with a pressure washer and hose, which can also be used to collect food waste from local businesses for composting.
  • Poole BID – grant to support street enhancements, LED lighting, festivals and pop up market events to make their area more welcoming to visitors.
  • Silicon South (co-ordinating Business sub-group) – funding a new business Innovation Programme to help local companies stay relevant and keep one step ahead over the next 18 months.
  • Citizens Advice Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole (co-ordinating Welfare Business sub-group) – funding a new web and app-based support platform to address employment issue, mental health in the workplace, access to skills and learning.
  • Christchurch Chamber of Trade and Commerce (co-ordinating RHL sub-group) funding for a group research project to explore innovative and industry-leading ways to bring people back to town centres and high street and create an event filled city region.

In the next few weeks, individual and groups of businesses who applied for the Stream 3 Bounce Back Challenge Fund will also be notified of the outcome of their applications, with a further £2.75 million provided to deliver innovative local projects. BCP Council is also aiming to shortly distribute a further £1 million in grants through its Exceptional Circumstances Fund for businesses that have not received any grant support so far.

Councillor Broadhead continues:

“We are in the process of reviewing over 270 applications for the Bounce Back Challenge Fund and aim to contact all businesses directly in the next few weeks. Showcasing A breadth of creativity, it’s already becoming apparent that this has the potential to go way beyond an initial bounce back. We will therefore be developing a comprehensive BCP Futures programme to build on these projects, as they are delivered and sustain long-term economic growth. We are also considering options for future Stream 4 to support this plan.’’