UK Shared Prosperity Fund
UK Shared Prosperity Fund
The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) is a new three-year fund running from 2022/23 that will replace European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIFs) such as the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF).
The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), as Lead Authority, have been awarded just over £88 million of the UKSPF, this means that the WMCA will administer UKSPF for the West Midlands 7 metropolitan councils.
The purpose of the UKSPF is to build pride in place and increase life chances across the UK, this will be achieved through three UKSPF priorities:
Communities and Place
- strengthening our social fabric
- fostering a sense of local pride and belonging
- building resilient and safe neighborhoods
Local Business Support
- Creating jobs and boosting community cohesion by supporting local businesses
- promoting networking and collaboration and stimulating innovation and growth
- targeted support to help businesses growth – for example: innovation, productivity, energy efficiency, low carbon and exporting
People and Skills
- boosting core skills and supporting adults to progress in work
- supporting disadvantaged people to access the skills they need
- funding local skills needs and supplementing local adult skills provision
- reducing level of economic inactivity and supporting those furthest from the labour market
The WMCA is required to produce a local UKSPF Investment Plan. The plan will set out how UKSPF priorities will be delivered by setting out local priorities, preferred delivery routes and the local measurable outcomes to be delivered by UKSPF over the next three years. The Investment Plan will need to be sent to and agreed by Government before activity can begin.
In the first two financial years (2022/23 and 2023/24) the UKSPF will focus on communities and place and local business interventions. Alongside this will be support for people and skills through the Multiply adult numeracy programme (see below). Further investment to support people and skills will follow from 2024/25 when UKSPF funding reaches its full extent.
For further information see UK Shared Prosperity Fund: prospectus - GOV.UK
Recognising numeracy challenges across the UK, Government have committed a total of £559 million to be ringfenced from UKSPF for the Multiply programme as its first priority, intended to deliver the Government’s priority of improving adult numeracy.
This part of the UKSPF will be managed by the Department for Education (DfE) and will have a national and local element, including a national online platform and regional programmes to transform the lives of adults across the UK, by improving their functional numeracy skills through free personal tutoring, digital training, and flexible courses.
The overall objective of Multiply is to increase the levels of functional numeracy in the adult population across the UK. Government have identified the following success measures for the whole programme at a national level:
- More adults achieving maths qualifications courses (up to, and including, Level 2 – with GCSEs and FSQs as the qualifications of choice in England – or equivalent) and an increase in participation in numeracy courses.
- Improved labour market outcomes e.g. fewer numeracy skills gaps reported by employers, and an increase in the proportion of adults that progress into sustained employment and/or education.
- Increased adult numeracy across the population – tracking the perceive and actual different taking part in the programme makes on learner’s daily lives at home and work.
To support local areas to identify the right provision, government have designed a menu of interventions which we can draw down from – choosing a mix of interventions that best suits our area. Further details can be found in the Multiply Prospectus.
A total of £16.7million has been conditionally allocated to the WMCA for regional Multiply provision over this 3 year period commencing 2022/23. The WMCA is required to develop an Investment Plan for Multiply, which sets out our regional priorities and proposals, the plan must be submitted to DfE by 30th June 2022.
UK SPF for at Risk Voluntary and Community Sector Organisations
As set out in the UKSPF prospectus, the initial focus of the UKSPF programme in 2022-23 and 2023-24 will be on communities and place and local business interventions, alongside support for people through the Multiply adult numeracy programme. This is designed to complement residual employment and skills funding from the European Social Fund. UKSPF investment to support people and skills will follow from 2024-25, when the funding pot reaches its full extent.
Lead local authorities (WMCA for the 7 Met area) have the flexibility to fund targeted people and skills provision in 2022-23 and 2023-24 where this is a continuing priority for 2024-25 and may be at significant risk of ending due to the tail off of EU funds. However, this flexibility may only be used where provision is currently delivered by voluntary and community organisations, having regard for the focus of the Fund and available funding.
To support this process a SPF VCS Provision at Risk Business Case Form has been developed for completion and submission to your respective local authority. Our local authorities will be leading on this process and will be responsible for reviewing and considering these business cases for potential inclusion in local proposal.
Given the timelines we are working to, we ask that you look to complete this form and return to your local authority contact/WMCA as a matter or priority. Consideration is currently being given to local authority priorities, which will form part of the wider UKSPF Investment Plan.
If you do not have the contact details for your local authority leads, completed forms can be submitted to UKSPF@wmca.org.uk.
The national UKSPF prospectus (Link - UK Shared Prosperity Fund: prospectus - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)) sets out further detail on the fund.
The national UKSPF guidance also sets out a list of example interventions for each of the three priorities. (Link - Interventions list for England - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk))