This new report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) presents research on how the Government's proposed UK Shared Prosperity Fund can invest in places that have been left behind by economic change, putting into practice the idea of 'inclusive growth'.
The report states that currently, the worst-off places in the UK receive a total of £2.4 billion a year from EU Structural Funds. They must not be left behind as the UK exits the EU. The UK Shared Prosperity Fund must be part of a new deal for these places that delivers good jobs and higher earnings.
Designing a Shared Prosperity Fund recommends:
- The UK Shared Prosperity Fund should at least match the £2.4 billion a year that currently flows to communities across the UK as a result of EU Structural Funds. It must be additional to existing local growth funding and provide certainty for investment by using long-term funding cycles.
- The fund should be allocated on the basis of need and targeted according to the economic measures that matter for people’s living standards – the employment rate and earnings – and devolved to Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and parts of England with strong governance arrangements.
- To promote inclusive growth and enable places to respond flexibly to local priorities, the fund should operate as a ‘single pot’, enabling capital and revenue streams to be co-ordinated, so that investments in enterprise, economic growth and good jobs can be combined with programmes to ensure that people on a low income are connected to new opportunities.
The summary and full report can be downloaded from the JRF website.