Shropshire Star

Councils in region to receive millions more to fund fight against Covid-19

Councils across the region are set to receive millions of pounds in a major cash boost as part of a £1 billion package of additional support announced by the Prime Minister earlier this month.

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The Local Government Secretary has today confirmed the allocations for councils – which includes individual authorities across the Black Country, Staffordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire.

More than £900 million of the funding will be provided to councils for their ongoing work to support communities during the coronavirus pandemic.

It brings the total funding given to councils since the start of Covid-19 crisis to help with spending pressures to £5.7bn – including a £1.1bn Infection Control Fund.

In the Black Country, Sandwell Council will receive £7,920,795; Walsall £6,643,519; Wolverhampton £6,118,180; and Dudley £3,943,754.

While in Staffordshire, £4,652,260 is set to go to Staffordshire County Council; £356,491 to Cannock Chase; £100,000 to Lichfield; £112,356 to South Staffordshire; and £177,870 to Stafford.

Across the border in Shropshire, £3,401,361 has been allocated to Telford and Wrekin Council; and £2,059,606 to Shropshire Council.

Wyre Forest District Council is set to receive £414,087 and Worcestershire County Council has been allocated £4,359,381.

Ongoing challenges

And Birmingham City Council is set to receive the largest sum with £44,241,470.

To address the ongoing challenges local authority leisure centres are facing, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has also confirmed today that £100m will be used to introduce a new fund which will support council leisure centres most in need.

Further details on the scheme will be set out shortly.

These funds are part of an unprecedented package of support for councils, which also includes up to £465m through the new Local Alert Level system, £300m to support Test and Trace and £30m for enforcement and compliance of the lockdown regulations.

Councils can also claim funding through a compensation scheme for lost income from sales, fees and charges.

Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “Since the start of the pandemic, we have backed local councils with the funding they need to support their communities, protect vital services and recover lost income.

'Essential role'

“This extra £1bn funding will ensure that councils have the resources they need over the winter and continue to play an essential role on the frontline of our response to the virus while protecting the most vulnerable and supporting local businesses.”

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden added of the new leisure centres support: "It's vital that we keep ourselves fighting fit through the winter months and local authority leisure centres are crucial to this.

"This £100m fund will help keep leisure centres across the country open.

"I urge leisure centres to bid for the money and people to make the most of these precious local facilities."

Funding has been allocated based on levels of population and deprivation, while also considering the amount of funding each council has received from the Government so far.

All councils will receive a minimum of £100,000.

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