In our previous blog we looked at the impact of losing EU funding had on the UK’s business grants landscape. In this blog we’ll look at its replacement – the UK Shared Prosperity Fund – but details of how the fund will be managed and distributed are still limited. Here we take you through the latest information available.
1. What are the UKSPF’s spending priorities?
Details have been released about the UK Shared Prosperity Fund over the past several years through the Conservative manifestos in 2017 and 2019 and through government announcements.
The UKSPF aims to address inequalities between communities across the four nations by raising productivity, especially in those parts of the country whose economies are furthest behind.
To achieve this, the UKSPF’s investment priorities are:
- Investment in people and skills tailored to local needs, such as work-based training, supplementing, and tailoring national programmes (e.g. the Adult Education Budget), and other local support (e.g. for early years).
- Investment in communities and place including cultural and sporting facilities, civic, green and rural infrastructure, community-owned assets, neighbourhood and housing improvements, town centre and transport improvements and digital connectivity.
- Investment for local business including to support innovation, green and tech adoption, tailored to local needs.
2. When does the UKSPF start?
According to the Conservative Party website the UKSPF will be introduced from April 2021.
3. Do the same rules apply to the UKSPF?
The UKSPF will have its own rules and it will be subject to the subsidy control provisions in the Trade Cooperation Agreement.
4. How will the UKSPF be rolled out?
A £220 million pilot program will be launched to help local areas prepare over 2021-22 for the introduction of the UKSPF.
The government will set out further details of the UKSPF in a UK-wide investment framework to be published in the spring.
5. Who will be administering the fund?
No confirmation has been published on who will deliver the UKSPF but it is expected that the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and the Northern Irish Executive will manage the funds in the devolved administrations.
In England, the UKSPF will be delivered by the eight Mayoral Combined Authorities (the North of Tyne, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, the Tees Valley, Sheffield City Region, the West of England and the West Midlands), and Local Enterprise Partnerships.
To keep up to date with the latest on the UKSPF fund