ORGANISATIONS in South Craven are being invited to bid for a share of a £16.9 million funding pot.

Businesses, community groups, and cultural and voluntary sector organisations can seek cash for schemes designed to improve residents' lives and to help develop a 'green' economy.

It follows Government approval of the so-called North Yorkshire UK Shared Prosperity Fund Investment Plan.

The county council is inviting expressions of interest from organisations wishing to deliver projects that address issues and priorities within the investment plan.

A wide range of activities is covered by the fund, which is available to almost all formally constituted organisations and businesses, for projects ranging from small community-based initiatives to larger capital schemes.

The county council has worked closely with York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership and the region's seven district and borough councils, including Craven Council, on the venture.

From April 1, the scheme will be administered by the new single North Yorkshire Council, which is replacing the current councils.

A Local Partnership Group has brought together organisations to develop the investment plan and oversee delivery of the fund.

Councillor Carl Les, leader of North Yorkshire County Council, says: "Communities across our county face diverse challenges, and each also presents its unique opportunities. This funding application invitation offers a chance for local organisations which understand and live with the challenges facing their towns and villages to come forward with solutions.

"We want to see this fund used to maximum effect to enable communities to build the foundations for their own economic development, to help businesses to thrive and to reduce the barriers people of any age might face in entering and progressing in work or education.

"The Government’s priorities for the fund include enhancing communities and pride in place, supporting local business and improving people’s life chances and skills.

"The North Yorkshire funding will be delivered against five themes designed to tackle challenges and priorities identified across the county. These are addressing rurality and inequality, building pride in our places, boosting productivity, decarbonising communities and businesses, and supporting an active labour market."

Eligible organisations can submit expressions of interest at any time, but most of North Yorkshire’s funding will be available in the 2024-25 financial year.

Further information about how the scheme is being delivered is contained in the North Yorkshire Shared Prosperity Fund prospectus, which is available to view at or email for details.