THE regeneration of the Basing View business park has been given a helping hand after the borough council was awarded a £100,000 grant.

The money will support the implementation of a local action plan aimed at developing skills and employment in the area, and will help ensure that Basingstoke has the right skills to meet the needs of current and future Basing View occupiers.

URBACT, an urban exchange and learning programme that promotes sustainable urban development, and which is the European funding programme behind the ESIMeC project, invited the borough council to apply for a grant in October last year.

The borough council has been working with ESIMeC, which brings together eight medium-sized towns and cities from across Europe that share similar challenges and priorities.

The main aim of ESIMeC is to develop economic strategies for medium-sized places to ensure they are better equipped to cope with economic downturns and to encourage faster economic recovery and long-term economic growth and resilience.

The project has a total budget of €425,000 to spend over 14 months, and €129,000 (£106,000) is coming to the borough.

It will help Basingstoke improve the delivery of its local action plans and will involve working closely with the Basingstoke Skills and Employ-ment Zone, a partnership bringing together a wider range of local partners involved in skills and employment development.

Councillor Ranil Jayawardena, deputy leader of the borough council, said: “Yet again, Basingstoke and Deane is leading the way when it comes to getting taxpayers’ money back from Europe and putting it to good use here in Hamp-shire.

“This new grant will help our borough’s children and young people get the skills they need for the future, enable the council to raise the profile of Basing View internationally, and encourage companies to relocate here in the years ahead.”