£2m help for firms and communities

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ALMOST £2 million of extra funding has been announced by Sheffield Council to help deprived parts of the city and assist struggling businesses.

The council’s Keep Sheffield Working Fund, which aims to fund projects supporting local businesses is to be doubled in size from £400,000 to £800,000.

Coun Bryan Lodge, cabinet member for finance, said: “We are trying to help support struggling businesses not through handouts but if there are any other ways in which the council could make life easier for them.

“We could spend money on projects such as improving their local environments.”

The Keep Sheffield Working Fund aims to ‘create the conditions for private sector growth and be able get behind new ideas that will help create jobs and drive the local economy forward’.

Richard Wright, Sheffield Chamber of Commerce executive director, said: “The current administration seems to have a pragmatic view on how to increase employment in Sheffield.

“I believe they understand there is no instant quick fix and the extension of this fund is a further example of the city council’s long-term view.

The authority has also allocated £1 million to spend on tackling inequalities between different areas, reducing the difference in life expectancy and prosperity.

Details of how that money will be spent have not yet been decided and await a report from the council’s Fairness Commission into the scale of problems and how they can be overcome.