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UK Shared Prosperity Fund an opportunity to rebalance growth

This government’s central mission to level up the whole of the United Kingdom is about many things. It is about levelling up opportunity and prosperity and overcoming deep-seated geographical inequalities that have held us back for too long.

It is also, fundamentally, about levelling up people’s pride in the places they love and seeing that reflected back in empowered local leaders and communities, a stronger social fabric and better life chances.

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.

  • Boost productivity, pay, jobs and living standards by growing the private sector, especially in those places where they are lagging
  • Spread opportunities and improve public services, especially in those places where they are weakest
  • Restore a sense of community, local pride and belonging, especially in those places where they have been lost
  • Empower local leaders and communities, especially in those places lacking local agency

The Community and Place investment priority relates to:

  • Mission 9. By 2030, pride in place, such as people’s satisfaction with their town centre and engagement in local culture and community, will have risen in every area of the UK, with the gap between the top performing and other areas closing.
  • Mission 7. By 2030, the gap in Healthy Life Expectancy (HLE) between local areas where it is highest and lowest will have narrowed, and by 2035 HLE will rise by five years
  • Mission 8. By 2030, well-being will have improved in every area of the UK, with the gap between top performing and other areas closing.
  • Mission 11. By 2030, homicide, serious violence, and neighbourhood crime will have fallen, focused on the worst-affected areas.

The Supporting Local Business investment priority relates to:

  • Mission 9. By 2030, pride in place, such as people’s satisfaction with their town centre and engagement in local culture and community, will have risen in every area of the UK, with the gap between the top performing and other areas closing.
  • Mission 1. By 2030, pay, employment and productivity will have risen in every area of the UK, with each containing a globally competitive city, with the gap between the top performing and other areas closing.
  • Mission 2. By 2030, domestic public investment in Research & Development outside the Greater South East will increase by at least 40% and at least one third over the Spending Review period, with that additional government funding seeking to leverage at least twice as much private sector investment over the long term to stimulate innovation and productivity growth.

The People and Skills investment priority relates to:

  • Mission 9. By 2030, pride in place, such as people’s satisfaction with their town centre and engagement in local culture and community, will have risen in every area of the UK, with the gap between the top performing and other areas closing.
  • Mission 1. By 2030, pay, employment and productivity will have risen in every area of the UK, with each containing a globally competitive city, with the gap between the top performing and other areas closing.
  • Mission 6. By 2030, the number of people successfully completing high-quality skills training will have significantly increased in every area of the UK. In England, this will lead to 200,000 more people successfully completing high-quality skills training annually, driven by 80,000 more people completing courses in the lowest skilled areas.
  • Mission 7. By 2030, the gap in Healthy Life Expectancy (HLE) between local areas where it is highest and lowest will have narrowed, and by 2035 HLE will rise by five years.
  • Mission 8. By 2030, well-being will have improved in every area of the UK, with the gap between top performing and other areas closing.