Initial details of how a new £1.8m Powys Covid Recovery Fund could be used to help the county rebound from the pandemic will be considered by the council’s cabinet.
The cabinet announced the creation of a specific reserve fund to support council and community services after receiving additional financial support from Welsh Government. The allocation of £1.8million to set up the fund was approved by
Council at its meeting on February 25.
Council Leader, Councillor Rosemarie Harris said: “We are in a position to set aside £1.8m and put in place a Powys Recovery Fund to help community groups, charities, social enterprises, voluntary organisations and council services to support
people and communities to respond to the challenges presented by COVID-19.
“The fund will be used over two financial years to fund a comprehensive programme designed to deliver county-wide support and complement existing and planned Welsh Government recovery activities.
“Although we are at a very early stage in identifying how the fund will work it is extremely good news and will provide a much-needed boost to help our businesses, residents and communities recover from the devastating impact of COVID-19.
“We are developing the criteria for managing the fund but are clear that the priority must be our communities and the services that support them.
“Community groups, charities, social enterprises and voluntary organisations play a vital role in Powys in supporting residents and communities and have been hard hit by the pandemic. The fund along with existing Community Development Funding,
worth £100k per year, will be used to support their work.
“We know that the pandemic has increased the cost of maintaining public conveniences and that community groups that have taken on that responsibility need support. We will therefore provide grants to help them continue.
“To help business get back on their feet we will provide more specialist support to make sure they can make use of recovery packages available. We have already helped distribute more than £70m in business support grants but want to make
sure those that may have fallen through the gap get support.
“To help residents get back on their feet we will strengthen our income and awards support team and provide an extra COVID support officer to provide financial advice. The council may not always be able to provide financial support, but
it can help people get grants that our residents are entitled to.
“Libraries, art and culture have been badly affected by Covid, and the council has had to change the way it works in response to the virus. The change has brought benefits but needs investment to fully adapt to a post-Covid world and the
Recovery Fund can help,” she added.
Plans for the Recovery Fund will be considered by Cabinet on Tuesday March 2.