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  1. ITV Report

£20m investment in projects tackling loneliness as part of Jo Cox legacy

Twenty million pounds is to be pushed into projects that tackle loneliness as part of the legacy of the murdered Batley and Spen MP Jo Cox.

The investment is part of the legacy of the murdered Batley and Spen MP Jo Cox

Theresa May announced the funding for community projects and charities that bring people together.

It comes ahead of the Great Get Together from June 22 to June 24, which will see events take place across the country to celebrate Mrs Cox's "more in common" philosophy on what would have been her 44th birthday.

Feeling lonely or isolated can have a profound and devastating impact on people's lives - it can affect anyone of any age and from any background.

But just as loneliness can affect any of us, so any of us can help to overcome it.

The new funding set out today will make a big difference, helping more people to establish and maintain connections.

This will build on work already going on, including through the second Great Get Together this weekend, which will see people up and down the country celebrating the strength of their communities.

This is just part of Jo Cox's legacy, and I am determined we continue to take this forward.

That's why we need to do all we can to tackle loneliness, and our forthcoming strategy will build on today's funding.

– Theresa May

More than half the money will form the Building Connections Fund, which will help open up spaces for community use and support projects that use technology to link people in remote areas and improve transport links to help people get together in person.

Last week saw the second anniversary of the killing of Mrs Cox, who was killed by Thomas Mair in her Batley and Spen constituency on June 16 2016.

The Great Get Together was set up in her memory to encourage people to stage a range of activities designed to bring communities closer together, from dog walks to street parties.

Kim Leadbeater Credit: Press Association

Kim Leadbeater, Jo's sister and part of the Jo Cox Foundation, said loneliness was a key issue to the late MP.

She would be so proud to see how much progress has been made in recognising the importance of building stronger and better connected communities to help reduce the terrible damage done by loneliness.

I'm particularly pleased that this significant funding announcement is being made in the week that we remember my sister's murder two years ago and celebrate the values she lived by with The Great Get Together this coming weekend.

– Kim Leadbeater, Jo Cox's sister