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Rugby Local Strategic Partnership launches new regeneration strategy

THE Rugby Local Strategic Partnership (LSP) has launched a new regeneration strategy for the borough.

Our Rugby, Our Future - A Regeneration Strategy for Rugby 2016-2019 outlines the LSP's plans to tackle unemployment, increase community cohesion, help residents access education and training, and improve health and wellbeing.

The regeneration strategy focuses on developing and supporting projects in five 'priority areas' - Brownsover, Newbold, New Bilton, Overslade and the town centre - considered to be the borough's most deprived according to Government data.

The LSP has put the concept of 'intergenerational working' at the heart of the strategy - bringing different generations together to learn from each other.

The strategy's action plan includes working with borough businesses to develop a new volunteer programme and increase support for job clubs, and launching a new job fair for apprenticeships.

Other plans include improving access to online services for older residents with support from young people, helping community associations to launch new youth services, and developing a new, intergenerational edible gardening and cooking project.

Rugby Borough Council's community grants fund aims to support the regeneration strategy's action plan by providing funding to voluntary and community organisations.

Just over £73,000 has been earmarked for the fund in 2016/2017, with grants set to be awarded to projects which support the strategy's key priorities.

In addition to the community grants, the council has earmarked a further £122,500 in 2016/2017 to support community and voluntary organisations via service level agreements, bringing the total proposed financial package to just under £200,000, subject to final budget approval.

Cllr Leigh Hunt, chair of the Rugby Local Strategic Partnership and the council's portfolio holder for sustainable inclusive communities, said: "The LSP brings together representatives from a range of public, community and voluntary sector organisations who all want to make Rugby a better place to live.

"By sharing our expertise, working with community associations and, most importantly, listening to the views of residents, the new regeneration strategy aims to make a real difference to our communities.

"The action plan remains a dynamic document, giving us the flexibility to tailor our work to meet the challenges our communities face, but I believe the strategy lays the foundations for a range of exciting and innovative projects over the next three years."

In addition to data from the Government and the Warwickshire Observatory, the LSP used evidence provided by community associations and feedback gathered during a number of consultation events to support the new regeneration strategy.

The Rugby LSP, which launched its first regeneration strategy in 2008, includes representatives from Rugby Borough Council, Warwickshire County Council, Warwickshire Community and Voluntary Action (CAVA), Warwickshire Police, Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, and Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group.

Councillors look set to consider both the regeneration strategy and the council's community grants fund for 2016/2017 at a full council meeting on Tuesday 9 February.

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