The government has allocated £2.6 billion of funding to communities across the UK from its UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
The UK Shared Prosperity Fund enables communities to draw up plans to deliver on local priorities, based on a conditional allocation of funding over the next three years. These could include, for example, regenerating high streets, fighting anti-social behaviour and crime, or helping more people into employment.
Local areas across England will receive £1.58 billion, Scotland £212 million, Wales £585 million and Northern Ireland £127 million under the fund.
According to the government, the funding delivers on its commitment to match the previous EU funding from the European Social Fund and European Regional Development Fund.
Funding decisions will be made by elected leaders in local government, with input from local members of parliament and local businesses and voluntary groups.
The fund also includes a £559 million adult numeracy programme for the UK called Multiply, which will support people with no or low-level maths skills get back into work. The scheme will offer free personal tutoring, digital training, and flexible courses to improve adults’ confidence and numeracy skills.
Secretary of State for Levelling Up Michael Gove MP said:
“The UK Shared Prosperity Fund will help to unleash the creativity and talent of communities that have for too long been overlooked and undervalued.
“By targeting this funding at areas of the country that need it the most, we will help spread opportunity and level up in every part of the United Kingdom.”
The allocation formula for UK Shared Prosperity Fund takes into account local population data, and a broadly based measure of need, including factors like unemployment and income levels.
Funding for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund will be £2.6 billion between 2022 and 2025, with this figure reaching £1.5 billion per year by March 2025, delivering on the UK government’s commitment to match the average spending of EU structural funds over the previous programme.
According to the government, in England each Local Enterprise Partnership area will receive the same in real terms as it used to under EU funding, and within each Local Enterprise Partnership area an index of need will be used to allocated funding to each local authority. Scotland and Wales will receive the same in real terms as they used to receive under EU funding, and an index of need will be used to allocate funds to authorities and regions within Scotland and Wales. Based on consultation with local government and the Scottish and Welsh governments these indexes will be bespoke to their local situations. Northern Ireland will receive a single allocation and will draw up a single investment plan for all of the country.