MAJOR talks have begun on a North Yorkshire investment plan for almost £17m of Government funding aimed at building pride in place and increasing life chances across the county.

North Yorkshire has been allocated £16.9m over three years from the Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund, which totals £2.6bn nationally. It replaces EU Strategic Investment Funds, funding which was available before the UK’s departure from the European Union, and aligns with the Government’s levelling-up objectives.

The county needs to submit a high-level investment plan for its funding to the Government by 1 August for approval. The county council and the seven district and borough councils are working closely on the project, which from April 1 next year will be administered by the new single North Yorkshire Council, which will replace the eight current councils.

A Local Partnership Group created to develop this plan held its first meeting last Thursday (June 16). The group brings together a wide range of local and regional organisations, including business support, community-based organisations and environmental groups, as well as national bodies.

Partnership chair Council leader, Cllr Carl Les, said: “The main objective of this fund is to build people’s pride in their communities and to increase opportunities for residents and businesses. We are looking at how we can best support these aims across three priority areas.

“Our focus will be on enabling places to restore community spaces and create the foundations for economic development at a neighbourhood level, supporting local businesses to thrive, innovate and grow and helping to reduce the barriers people of any age may face in moving towards employment and education.“Our first meeting was very productive, showing the strength of partnership working that exists in North Yorkshire. Everyone involved is sharply focused on extracting the maximum value from this funding for individuals, communities and businesses across North Yorkshire.”

Online workshops to feed ideas and comments into the investment plan will be held on 23 and 24 June. They will be online via Microsoft Teams. For details of the workshops, email

The investment plan will set out high-level objectives. Subject to Government approval of the plan, calls for projects will be made in October