The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) is the Government’s domestic replacement for the European Structural and Investment Programme (ESIF) which the UK continues to participate in until 2023.
The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) is the government’s domestic replacement for the European Structural and Investment Programme (ESIF) which the UK continues to participate in until 2023. The ESIF programme was essential for local regeneration, employment and skills.
In February, the Government published the UKSPF pre-launch guidance and identified the delivery geographies for the fund allocated.
The Government has published the prospectus and allocations for the UKSPF, as well as Frequently Asked Questions. In addition, the Government has now published additional guidance for UKSPF which is available on gov.uk.
The LGA has put together a briefing on the prospectus and have signposted to good practice and guidance for local government as they develop their investment plans. For more details on Levelling Up, please visit the LGA’s Levelling Up Hub.
The Government has also published their evaluation strategy and related documents to support lead authorities in evaluating their UKSPF projects and programmes.
Please continue to check the Government webpages for more information. For further information, you can email DLUHC about the fund at UKSPFenquiries@levellingup.gov.uk.
Rural England Prosperity Fund
DEFRA has launched the Rural England Prosperity Fund (Rural Fund), a top up to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund worth up to £110 million for 2023/24 and 2024/25. It is the domestic replacement for the European funded LEADER Programme used to support the development of rural economies. Lead authorities will need to submit their UKSPF Investment Plan with an additional rural addendum, and consult with relevant partners on priorities by 30 November 2022 to access the funding.
More information is available on gov.uk:
We welcome that the Government recognises the role of local government as democratically elected leaders of place, in the design of the fund It is an opportunity for a new partnership between central and local government to deliver the Government’s levelling up agenda. By delivering the right funding and flexibilities, the UKSPF can empower local leadership.
We also welcome the move towards the allocation of funding to places, instead of competition, and the intention to offer local flexibility on how the funding is spent, removing funding silos. The fund is an opportunity to boost productivity and enhance employment opportunities, tackle inequalities and deliver real change to local communities, places and businesses to support the levelling up agenda. It is essential that national government now work with local government to ensure the UKSPF is a fully co-designed and localised funding stream that provides the quantum and longevity needed to deliver the intended outcomes.
It is now imperative that the Government works with us now to ensure other funding streams join up with UKSPF so they become greater than the sum of their parts and help areas level up.
- Learning from the Community Renewal Fund
In 2021, the Government launched the Community Renewal Fund (CRF), to pilot approaches for the UKSPF for six months. You can read the learnings from it below.
- Developing local investment plans: useful resources
Lead authorities will be developing their local investment plans over spring and summer. We have identified some useful resources to support lead authorities:
The UKSPF's three investment principles
- Priority One: Community and places
This priority will:
Strengthening our social fabric and fostering a sense of local pride and belonging, through investment in activities that enhance physical, cultural and social ties and amenities, such as community infrastructure and local green space, and community-led projects.
It will build resilient and safe neighbourhoods, through investment in quality places that people want to live, work, play and learn in, through targeted improvements to the built environment and innovative approaches to crime prevention.
Some useful resources to help you develop this priority:
- Priority Two: Supporting local businesses
This priority will:
Create jobs and boosting community cohesion, through investments that build on existing industries and institutions, and range from support for starting businesses to visible improvements to local retail, hospitality and leisure sector facilities.
Promote networking and collaboration, through interventions that bring together businesses and partners within and across sectors to share knowledge, expertise and resources, and stimulate innovation and growth.
Increase private sector investment in growth-enhancing activities, through targeted support for small and medium-sized businesses to undertake new-to-firm innovation, adopt productivity-enhancing, energy-efficient and low carbon technologies and techniques, and start or grow their exports.
- Priority Three: People and skills
This priority will:
Boost core skills and support adults to progress in work, by targeting adults with no or low-level qualifications and skills in maths, and upskill the working age population, yielding personal and societal economic impact, and by encouraging innovative approaches to reducing adult learning barriers.
Support disadvantaged people to access the skills they need to progress in life and into work, for example, the long-term unemployed and those with protected characteristics through funding life, and basic skills where this is not delivered through national or local employment and skills provision.
Support local areas to fund local skills needs and supplement local adult skills provision e.g. by providing additional volumes; delivering provision through a wider range of routes or enabling more intensive/innovative provision, both qualification based and non-qualification based.
Reduce levels of economic inactivity and move those furthest from the labour market closer to employment, through investment in bespoke employment support tailored to local needs. Investment should facilitate the join-up of mainstream provision and local services within an area for participants, through the use of one-to-one keyworker support, improving employment outcomes for specific cohorts who face labour market barriers.
This priority will commence in 2024/25
ESIF: map of funded programmes
The UKSPF is the domestic replacement for the ESIF Programme which ends in 2023. Click on the link below for a map that sets out the ESIF funded programmes as of October 2020. The programmes are mapped by postcode of the delivery organisation and so may not reflect the geography of delivery.
For more details of delivery organisations for European Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund, please visit Gov.uk useful resources page.
- ESIF funded programmes as of October 2020