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County Council Leader awards new grants to support economic recovery, innovation and sustainability

The Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Keith Mans has approved grants totalling up to £161,000 as part of a major funding stream aimed at supporting economic recovery, innovation and sustainability within Hampshire.

At his Executive Member for Policy and Resources decision day on Tuesday 19 January, Councillor Mans agreed bids to support three Hampshire schemes in relation to Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton, the University of Southampton Science Park, and Andover Trees United.

Approving the funding from the ‘Investing in Hampshire’ grant scheme, Councillor Mans said: “It’s wonderful to see projects such as these, which will support local businesses and local people, now and into the future. We have seen how some sectors have suffered during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the impact it has had on our local economy in Hampshire. Therefore, grant funding as awarded today, is an important way for the County Council to support organisations, businesses and charities to flourish and thrive in the face of major challenges, as well as work towards economic recovery.

“Tourism is among those areas that have been particularly hard hit during the pandemic, so I’m delighted we can help the Jane Austen House Museum. This unique cultural asset for the county is one of the nation’s most important literary heritage sites – generating international interest and visits from all over the world.

“The environment and quality of place is also a crucial economic asset for Hampshire, as well as fundamental to our climate change objectives. With its vision to become a legacy to all the people of Andover, Hampshire and the United Kingdom; to provide a habitat for scarce and declining species; and offer an area for recreational countryside space for future generations, the Andover Woods educational facilities project is clearly deserving of our support.

“The ‘Investing in Hampshire’ grant scheme is also about supporting business development and growth in Hampshire, once life begins to return to normal, post-Covid. The future prosperity of Hampshire centres around encouraging business to locate, grow and succeed here; ensuring tomorrow’s workforce has the right skills to thrive; and creating an environment which is attractive for people of all ages and backgrounds. With its focus on technology and innovation in Hampshire, the University of Southampton Science Park project has an exciting part to play in this ambition.”

The grant funding awarded will be used for specific programmes of work by each of the organisations:

  • £85,000 to the Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton, to enable critical ‘heritage at risk’ structural works to take place to the building, including roof repairs. This work forms part of the museum’s business plan to boost visitors, support major improvements in the visitor experience and much enhanced education and outreach programmes.

  • Up to £61,000 to the University of Southampton Science Park, to enable the piloting of an enhanced Catalyst Tech Start Up Programme – supporting new businesses to set up and flourish. Over the eight years of the Catalyst programme to date, it has supported 57 start-up companies and leveraged over £20m of grants and investments for the companies concerned.

  • £15,000 to Andover Trees United to improve educational facilities at Andover Woods and create a field study base and volunteer room, that is sensitive to its surroundings and sits well in the landscape. Andover Woods was purchased by Hampshire County Council in 2008 to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. A new public woodland was created on the site now known as Andover Woods. The majority of the site is currently managed under license by Andover Trees United.

View further details of each of the full grants awarded - https://democracy.hants.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=173&MId=6513

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