£2.5m funding boost to back businesses in the everyday local economy
Written by Gavin on 27th August 2021
The Welsh Government is providing a further £2.5 million for projects which support the everyday economy, improving services and bringing better jobs, closer to home. The new funding will support innovative projects to help improve recruitment into social care and boost local Welsh NHS spending.
The everyday economy, also known as the foundational economy, describes the jobs at the heart of our local communities, across sectors such as care and health services, food, housing, energy, tourism, construction and retail.
Estimates suggest four in ten jobs, and £1 in every £3 we spend, fall into this category. The Welsh Government’s recovery plans commit Ministers to supporting the foundational economy so that more local spending and projects support jobs and businesses in the community.
Projects selected for funding include:
- Social Care Wales – £200,000 to tackle recruitment and retention challenges in care homes, offering 960 new training places;
- NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership (NWSSP) – £500,000 for work to enable the Welsh NHS to deliver plans to spend an extra £8.4m with local businesses. This will also support the Welsh NHS to develop a ‘Foundational Economy Health Plan’, which will set out how more Welsh NHS spending can support local economies;
- Digital High Streets – £200,000 to grow the digital capability of 1,000 businesses in towns on high streets across Caerphilly, RCT and Blaenau Gwent local authority areas by helping them set up delivery and click/collect services;
- Flintshire Micro Care Project – £92,000 is being made available to the local authority to promote the growth of micro-care services offering localised care and support services. This funding will allow the local authority to build on success to date and will support the establishment of more micro-care businesses and embed them into commissioned services to provide care and support for people in their own homes.
The investment is further to the Welsh Government’s Foundational Economy Challenge Fund, which supported almost 50 projects to test new and innovative ways of making the everyday economy work better for all communities in Wales. The additional £2.5 million being announced today will enable this valuable work to continue.
Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said:
“Throughout the pandemic, we have depended on the everyday economy more than ever. We are committed to doing more to boost these services and opportunities to bring better jobs, closer to home. Social care, food, retail and construction, are the pillars which have kept our communities safe and secure and our plans will help us strengthen those services.
“Nurturing these sectors, which deliver the everyday goods and services that people across Wales depend on, is central to the Welsh Government’s economic recovery plans.
“The £2.5m funding I’m announcing today will help us back local businesses by creating new opportunities for them to grow and thrive.”
Deputy Minister for Social Services, Julie Morgan said:
“Social care are vital services that makes a real difference to people lives by enabling them to continue to live independently in their own homes or providing 24 hour care within a care home environment. Social care provides much needed support in the community to assist disabled people to access meaningful work opportunities and a range of other projects to promote wellbeing and combat isolation and loneliness. The last 18 months has highlighted the value and commitment of those working within the social care sector.
“To help promote the benefits and opportunities of working in the care sector, we haves partnered with Social Care Wales to launch a media and recruitment campaign. We are committed to ensuring the right people, with the right skills, work throughout social care and this funding to help nurture and grow the foundations of our local economies, along with the recruitment campaign, will enable us to encourage more people to take up employment in the sector. By supporting and strengthening our social care workforce, we can ensure the communities we live in are stronger and more resilient and improve the lives of people across Wales.”