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Additional millions will make a real difference to local neighbourhoods

Today's announcement of additional Government funding to help revitalise deprived neighbourhoods will make a real difference to people in South Tyneside.

Welcoming the announcement by Jeff Rooker, Minister for Regeneration, that South Tyneside will receive an extra £5.385 million from the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund over the next three years, Councillor John Temple, Deputy Leader of the Council, said that money will have a lasting benefit for local communities.

Councillor Temple said: "I am absolutely delighted with the announcement of extra Neighbourhood Renewal Funding for South Tyneside it is great news especially for those who will benefit most. The Neighbourhood Renewal Fund is already beginning to make a real difference and this additional funding will underpin what is already being done.

"NRF money is allowing South Tyneside Council to deliver change in those 12 wards where the needs are greatest. The programmes will include helping to raise educational attainment amongst pupils at Key Stage 2 and 4 and to raise attainment among our looked after children."

He said: "The Council will work closely with its partners through the Local Strategic Partnership to ensure that this money is targeted at programmes that will provide significant improvement and have a lasting benefit for local communities," said Councillor Temple.

The extra funding is part of the Government's national strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal to give financial support to the most deprived areas in England to enable them, in collaboration with the Local Strategic Partnership to improve services in their most deprived areas.

South Tyneside is one of 88 areas eligible to receive NRF grant for the last three years (2001-2004). South Tyneside has an allocation of £12.11 million. NRF has now been extended for another three years and a further £5.385 million has been allocated.

As part of its commitment to help deliver neighbourhood renewal South Tyneside Council has recently set up a new Area Coordination Team to promote joined up working at local level and to ensure effective use of the NRF resources.

The Local Strategic Partnership has established a Neighbourhood Renewal Strategic Development Group, chaired by the Chief Executive Irene Lucas.

A number of provisional priorities have been identified and detailed work is now underway to identify specific targets and proposals.

Initial themes identified include improving accessibility and transport, focussing on young people: lifestyle, behaviour and citizenship, ensuring a good start in life, improving primary care services, supporting people into employment through training and other initiatives, developing enterprise in disadvantaged areas, tackling anti-social behaviour, reducing fear of crime and funding local issues.

Some of the current NRF programmes in South Tyneside include:

  • A £700,00 Into Work Training Scheme which allows the Council and other partners to support the provision of training opportunities to enable people to access jobs within the Borough and its periphery.
  • A pilot project to provide financial assistance and advice to target improvements and repairs to private sector properties in one of our most deprived wards.
  • The provision of £2.5m of funding directly to schools to help them to raise levels of educational attainment.
  • A £500,000 programme of activity to reduce crime and disorder and the fear of crime within hotspots of South Tyneside in partnership with Northumbria Police.
  • A project to facilitate and enable the development of innovative schemes to encourage children, young people, the vulnerable and other disadvantaged groups to participate in sporting and recreational activities they would not normally have access to as a diversionary to crime and improvements to physical health.

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