UK Shared Prosperity Fund Helps MCO

We’re delighted to announce that our application to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund1 (UKSPF) was successful, helping us to purchase our home on 31st August 2023, the Old Police House here at the heart of Masham so that our charity can do more to support our rural community.

Over the past 22 years Mashamshire Community Office have delivered a wide range of services that benefit both residents and visitors to the area. The community office supports more than 80 community groups, over 100 businesses, responds to 10,000 visitor enquiries and more than 6,500 queries from residents annually. Our community library serves almost 3,500 visitors, we lead 50 wellbeing walks and provide trusted information to visitors and residents, keeping people supported and connected. Our building is also home to Acorns Preschool, Citizens Advice, MIND and Masham Parish Council who all need a safe space to provide face-to-face services.

Masham and the various surrounding villages and hamlets are situated a stones throw away from the beautifully scenic North Yorkshire Dales, an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Although a picturesque landscape and inviting community, our rural location presents various challenges. Not least that homes are often unaffordable to young families, our aging population and limited public transport options create difficulties for people accessing health appointments, information and educational opportunities.

Our charity has been awarded £145,000 of UKSPF funding over two years. £115,000 of which will go towards capital (£60,000 towards the building purchase which completed on 31st August 2023 and £55,000 towards decarbonisation works; making the traditional 19th century building more energy efficient, environmentally friendly and cost effective to run). £30,000 of the funding will be invested in additional staffing to develop our own capacity to establish and progress priority projects that align with our aims and objectives. We also plan to improve our marketing and promotion of Masham and local businesses to improve the local economy. Some projects in the pipeline include:

  • Engaging older and isolated people to connect, stay healthy and maintain their wellbeing
  • Extending what we do to increase digital inclusion and confidence with technology
  • Encouraging people to actively engage in volunteering opportunities
  • Promoting collaboration, information and skills sharing between local groups
  • Further exploration of ways to enable better access to transport solutions.

We would like to take this opportunity to not only acknowledge and thank North Yorkshire Council for the UKSPF funding, but to also say a huge thank you to our fantastic team of volunteers that contribute 8,000 hours annually to our charity, without whom we simply would not exist.

  1. This project is part-funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. For more information, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-shared-prosperity-fund-prospectus ↩︎