Coronavirus (Covid-19) recovery plan
Herefordshire Council is investing in a £6 million economic and wellbeing recovery plan, funded by Government Covid-19 outbreak management funds, to support the county to recover from the impact of Covid-19.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound impact globally, nationally and locally for society, the economy and the environment and in many areas, compounded existing challenges and inequalities. Measures taken to reduce the spread of Covid-19 have had a significant impact on the economy and on people's wellbeing, mental and physical health.
In Herefordshire, many of our key sectors have been hardest hit, such as tourism and leisure, food production and distribution. Young people have been adversely impacted through the disruption in education and the lack of apprenticeships and employment opportunities.
The economic and wellbeing recovery plan focuses on four priority areas:
- Business viability and resilience - Business support such as grants and facilities will be made available, and there will be promotion of Herefordshire as a fantastic place to visit and shop, supporting the tourism, hospitality and retail sectors, as well as an attractive investment location
- Safe and welcoming places - People will be encouraged to return to our towns and city with incentives such as discounts for activities, enhancements such as refurbished shop fronts and infrastructure for events, and to the wider county with investment in footpaths and public rights of way and public seating areas
- Support employment - Advice and support for return to work, opportunities to re-skill and change career path, and find new job opportunities will be available in a one stop shop. A new Youth Employment Hub will offer additional support for young people who are not in education, employment or training
- Support wellbeing - There will be opportunities for individuals, families and communities to improve physical and mental wellbeing, with free events, activities and online resources, and enhanced support to reduce alcohol consumption
Projects launched so far
- Free children's swimming lessons and free family swim sessions - hundreds of children and families enjoyed these sessions held at Halo leisure centres in the county during the school summer holiday
- Free adult swimming lessons - offering lessons at Halo pools in the county, for adults who are unable to swim the length of a pool
- Free weekend bus travel throughout the county - with additional Sunday routes
- New grants to support community and voluntary groups to offer a range of activities that look to improve overall wellbeing
- The Revive and Thrive grant for businesses wanting to take their first steps into occupying commercial and retail premises
- Free gym membership at Halo leisure centres for those in years 11-13 (or equivalent)
- New grants available through Active Herefordshire and Worcestershire, to help tackle inequalities by supporting local communities to become and remain active following the pandemic
- Businesses can apply for grant funding to purchase an e-bike or e-cargo bike to give a low carbon solution to business travel
- The Shop Local scheme where Herefordshire residents can apply for a prepaid card loaded with £15 to spend with local businesses in the county