Stephen Williams, MP for Bristol West and Minister for Communities, has helped to ensure that the Department for Communities and Local Government will be providing over £100,000 of funding towards the Bristol based community economic development project.
Mr Williams is keen to support key local organisations such as Bristol City Council and the Bristol Housing Partnership, who are joining up with communities to develop local community economy plans to boost investment into several areas.
Across the UK, the Government has committed over £50 million to support communities make use of the range of community rights powers and other initiatives that were brought into force through the Localism Act. The support package helps groups to become investment ready, develop business plans and carry out pre-feasibility studies.
This project builds on lessons learned from international programmes in Canada and the United States, which have successfully increased neighbourhood employment and attracted further investment into local economies that were otherwise economically marginalised.
Stephen Williams MP said:
"Local people know far better than politicians in Whitehall how best to make decisions for and their communities. I am proud to be part of a government that has empowered communities to take control and given them a raft of new powers to do so. These include listing and protecting local assets from closure, creating local neighbourhood plans to help shape development in their local areas and making it easier for communities to set up new town and parish councils.
"I am keen to take this further and want to give people the power and incentive to boost their local economy. This is why I am happy to announce today that my department will be funding a Bristol community economic development pilot worth over £100k to involve local people, public and private sector investors and support them to come up with radical new plans to encourage local growth, helping to build a stronger economy and fairer society for all. This approach has already delivered great success in the U.S. and Canada and I'm very pleased Bristol is leading the way here at home."