Project Call: Year 1 Funding
UK Shared Prosperity Fund: Year 1 project call now open. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF or the Fund) is part of the Government’s Levelling Up agenda. It provides £2.6 billion of new funding for local investment by March 2025. All lead local authorities in the UK have been allocated an amount from the Fund through a funding formula. The Fund replaces the current European Union structural funds, which will have finished by the end of 2023.
The primary goals of the UKSPF are to help build pride in place and increase life chances across the UK. Underpinning this are three investment priorities which are:
- Community and Place
- Supporting Local Business
- People and Skills
Within Eden the UKSPF is being taken forward as part of Inspiring Eden the Council’s plan for economic recovery, levelling up and prosperity
We submitted an investment plan to Government on 1 August 2022, to secure a funding allocation of £1.99m to be invested over the next three years up to March 2025. The funding is allocated annually. The majority of funding will be available in the final year of the programme, as EU structural funds in the community come to an end. We expect to hear if our investment plan has been approved by Government in October 2022.
We have worked closely with the South Lakeland District Council and Barrow Borough Council, who together with Eden will make up Westmorland and Furness Council from 1 April 2023. To ensure the priorities of our three investment plans are closely aligned to enable cohesive delivery by the new unitary authority.
During preparation of our investment plan we consulted with a variety of partners and stakeholders through focus group sessions and an expression of interest survey. A Local Partnership Group has also been formed made up of representatives from strategic organisations from across the local area. Our investment plan has been shaped by feedback from this consultation and engagement, an assessment of the ambitions, needs and opportunities of the area and the priorities of our Council Plan.
As part of our investment plan we had to select a number of planned interventions and the outputs and outcomes we aim to achieve through this investment. The interventions we have selected under each priority are:
Community and Place:
- E1: Funding for improvements to town centres and high streets, including better accessibility for disabled people, including capital spend and running costs
- E6: Support for local arts, cultural, heritage and creative activities
- E7: Support for active travel enhancements in the local area
- E9: Funding for impactful volunteering and/or social action projects to develop social and human capital in local places
- E10: Funding for local sports facilities, tournaments, teams and leagues
- E11: Investment in capacity building and infrastructure support for local civil society and community groups
- E13: Community measures to reduce the cost of living, including through measures to improve energy efficiency, and combat fuel poverty and climate change
- E14: Funding to support relevant feasibility studies
Supporting Local Business:
- E19: Increasing investment in research and development at the local level. Investment to support the diffusion of innovation knowledge and activities
- E23: Strengthening local entrepreneurial ecosystems, and supporting businesses at all stages of their development to start, sustain, grow and innovate, including through local networks
- E29: Supporting decarbonisation and improving the natural environment whilst growing the local economy
People and Skills:
- E33: Employment support for economically inactive people: Intensive and wrap-around one-to-one support to move people closer towards mainstream provision and employment, supplemented by additional and/or specialist life and basic skills support where there are local provision gaps
- E37: Tailored support to help people in employment, who are not supported by mainstream provision to address barriers to accessing education and training courses. This includes supporting the retention of groups who are likely to leave the labour market early
We will deliver these interventions together with external organisations. A delivery plan covering the Eden district area and the Westmorland and Furness geography is currently in development. The plan will establish a programme and process for accepting project applications from potential delivery partners and their appraisal and selection. Funding available will be limited and it is anticipated that the application process will be highly competitive. Further information on this process will be made available soon.
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