DETAILS of a £6million funding boost to kickstart Somerset's economy have been announced today (Tuesday).

Somerset County Council has put up the financial support for businesses and individuals, as well as a range of other measures to stimulate the economy and boost the county as it recovers from coronavirus.

Cllr David Hall, cabinet member for economic development, planning and community infrastructure at County Hall, said: "We’re investing in public health, adults' and children’s services, but we also have to recognise the enormous importance of our economy which has taken a huge hit over the past 18 months.

“That’s why we’re promising £6million to help Somerset prosper. We’ll be providing funds for tourism, hospitality and high streets, we’ll be helping new businesses grow and we’ll be creating much-needed jobs for our residents.”

The funding will include:

  • Financial support for businesses – assistance for the recovery and growth of businesses in Somerset, focussing on those which have not been eligible for assistance from Government’s schemes;
  • Financial support for individuals – assistance for self-employed people who have not been eligible for assistance from Government’s schemes and for less advantaged individuals with costs associated job search and returning to work;
  • Business start, restart and recovery – providing business start-ups with support, offering targeted support to hard hit sectors and support for local buying;
  • Stimulating the economy – investment in strategic actions to drive longer term recovery, clean and inclusive growth and levelling up in Somerset.

More detail of the funding and how businesses and individuals can apply will be released in the next few weeks.

This investment is in addition to work already being done by the county to support businesses so they can thrive and grow.

Those projects include:

  • iAero, the cutting-edge aerospace innovation centre in Yeovil which will provide high-quality workspace and specialist support services to facilitate collaboration and innovation amongst local aerospace supply chain businesses;
  • Enterprise centres delivered in Wells and Wiveliscombe, with another nearing completion in Bruton. The new centres will join the existing enterprise centre portfolio of sites in Dulverton (Barle); Frome (Keyford); Wheddon Cross (Market); Highbridge; Minehead; and Williton;
  • Partnering with local employers to offer 50 six-month work placements through the Kickstart Programme that offers young people aged 16 to 24 who are claiming Universal Credit the chance to land a six-month work placement, paid at national minimum wage for 25 hours per week;
  • Taking the lead role in bidding for Community Renewal Fund money – up to £12million is available for Somerset.