The Suffolk 2020 Fund is a one-year fund of £3m earmarked for investment in emerging policy priorities. When this guidance was first published, following the budget in March 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic had not hit the UK. Since then, the UK and Suffolk has seen a rapid and significant shift in activity. This is not just in direct response to the Covid-19 pandemic, but also a renewed focus on keeping essential public services running during this time and an increase in the amount of innovation in services and processes, especially through the use of technology.
It is clear some of the original policy themes identified for funding remain important, or have even grown in importance, because of Covid-19. Safer places and safer spaces are important as we transition from response to recovery. The importance of remaining active and taking exercise outdoors has been stressed as part of the response. Innovation and the use of technology has grown significantly during the time of the pandemic. As we transition from a period of lockdown, from response into a cautious recovery, the Suffolk 2020 fund can support schemes covering the following themes:
- Built environment – addressing the improvement of buildings and assets across Suffolk, often in conjunction with reducing carbon emissions or improving energy efficiency.
- Natural environment – protecting or enhancing Suffolk’s natural environment and building on Suffolk County Council’s leading role in the green economy.
- Road safety – addressing issues of safety on Suffolk’s road and enhancing safe forms of travel.
- Carbon reduction & carbon offset – supporting initiatives to reduce carbon emissions and to create carbon ‘sinks’ or offset emissions.
- Innovation – stimulating innovation in public service policy in Suffolk and the delivery of the priorities of the County Council.
- Use of technology – making better use of technology to support the delivery of public services and address the Council’s priorities.
Each scheme/project will be sponsored by a SCC Cabinet member. The intention is to adopt good ideas covering more than one geographic area of Suffolk, rather than having a number of small-scale projects.
The Fund is open to proposals for projects of between £50,000 and £500,000.
Further details on the Fund, including how project proposals will be developed, are set out below.