Grants available now to support creative and culture projects in the Argyle Street area

Creative or cultural projects based in and around the Argyle Street area of Birkenhead are being invited to apply now for an immediate injection of cash support.

Wirral Council is currently focused on submitting a major bid for regeneration funding to the Government’s Town Deal programme and, as part of that process, it has already been awarded £1m to help certain projects get underway.

This means the council has the “accelerator” funding ready to go, it just needs to hear from active creative and cultural projects which meet the criteria and can be delivered by 31st March, 2021.

Argyle Street. Credit www.birkenhead2020.com

These creative and culture projects are fundamental to the successful regeneration of Birkenhead and this has already started to take shape around Argyle Street and the neighbouring area, which is fast-emerging as a creative quarter in its own right.

The accelerator grants, earmarked for capital expenditure only, such as improvements to premises and/or land, will enable further development of this creative sector, through business and profile growth.

To secure the available funding, projects must be:

• “Shovel-ready” and be able to be actioned and completed before 31st March 2021

• Capital schemes (physical works to buildings, rather than the provision of services)

• Have all relevant agreements already in place including any necessary planning permission, conservation area consent, freeholder consent.

The application process closes at 11.59pmon 3rd January 2021 and applicants will be advised of the outcome in the week commencing 11th January 2021.

The council is particularly keen to receive applications from community interest companies, charities and other not-for-profit organisations and SMEs with fewer than 250 full-time equivalent employees, a turnover of no more than 50m Euros and/or an annual balance sheet of no more than 43m Euros.

Full details of the eligibility criteria and how to apply are available on the website www.wirral.gov.uk/argylest or please email [email protected] if you would like to arrange an informal discussion with a member of the Town Deal Accelerator Grant team, ahead of submitting an application.

Councillor Anita Leech, Chair of Wirral Council’s Economy, Regeneration and Development Committee said, “We see this additional accelerator grant as a vote of confidence from the Government that we are agile and can deliver projects quickly and within stipulated guidelines.

“It offers a fantastic opportunity for our visionary and entrepreneurial creative sector to access funding which will help them realise their projects, making the difference between having a great idea and having the wherewithal to get it across the line.

“We would urge any project team, which meets the criteria, to apply as soon as possible as we have a very narrow window to get this money out to our community.”