The government today (24th July) has published a Written Ministerial Statement on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSFP) alongside a review and paper on Strengthening Local Enterprise Partnerships, further development of Local Industrial Strategies (NE & Tees Valley in the next wave of LIS to be developed) and the guarantee of EU funding projects until 31st December 2020.
The full Ministerial statement can be read on www.parliament.uk. The key principles are:
- The objective of the UKSPF. The UKSPF will tackle inequalities between communities by raising productivity, especially in those parts of our country whose economies are furthest behind. The UKSPF will achieve this objective by strengthening the foundations of productivity as set out in our modern Industrial Strategy to support people to benefit from economic prosperity.
- A simplified, integrated fund. EU Structural Funds have been difficult to access, and EU regulations have stopped places co-ordinating investments across the foundations of productivity. Simplified administration for the fund will ensure that investments are targeted effectively to align with the challenges faced by places across the country and supported by strong evidence about what works at the local level.
- UKSPF in the devolved nations. The UKSPF will operate across the UK. The Government will of course respect the devolution settlements in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and will engage the devolved administrations to ensure the fund works for places across the UK.
- A national framework in England that works for local priorities. Local areas in England are being asked to prepare Local Industrial Strategies to prioritise long-term opportunities and challenges to increasing local productivity. This prioritisation will help local areas decide on their approach to maximising the long-term impact of the UKSPF once details of its operation and priorities are announced following the Spending Review.
- Consulting the public. We intend to consult on the UKSPF this year, as we committed to do in our Industrial Strategy.
VONNE is representing the NE VCSE sector at an informal engagement event on the UKSPF on Wednesday 25th July 2018 in Gateshead and will feed back any further details.