UK Shared Prosperity Fund
Last Updated: 18 November 2022
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 via 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
We submitted an investment plan to Government on 1 August 2022, to secure a funding allocation of £3.8m 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 autumn 2022.
We have worked closely with the other two district authorities (Eden District Council and Barrow Borough Council) that, alongside with South Lakeland, will make up Westmorland and Furness Council from April 2023. We have ensured that the priorities of our three investment plans are closely aligned to enable cohesive delivery by the new unitary authority.
During preparation of our investment plans 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 plans were 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.
Interventions and project calls for 2022/23
As part of our investment plan we selected a number of interventions and the outputs and outcomes we aim to achieve through this investment. The interventions we have selected for support in 2022/23 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
- 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
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
A call for project applications for the above Community and Place interventions in South Lakeland was open until 7 October. For more information on these project calls please see the documents below:
Appraisal of applications is currently underway. All applicants will be notified of the outcome by mid-November 2022.
For information on the 2022/23 application process for Barrow Borough Council and Eden District Council please see their respective websites:
Interventions and project calls for 2023/24 and 2024/25
In 2023/24 and 2024/25 Westmorland and Furness Council will support further selected interventions from the Community and Place, Supporting Local Business and People and Skills investment priorities.
The Council will deliver these interventions together with external organisations. A delivery plan across the Westmorland & Furness geography is currently in development and will establish a programme and process for accepting project applications for 2023/24 and 2024/25 from potential delivery partners and their appraisal and selection. Further information on this process will be made available soon.
For more information on the UKSPF please refer to the following guidance:
- UK Shared Prosperity Fund Prospectus
- UK Shared Prosperity Fund framework of Objectives, Outcomes and Outputs (England)
- UK Shared Prosperity Fund Interventions List (England)
If you have any questions you can contact us using the details below.
Rural England Prosperity Fund
In September 2022 the government announced the Rural England Prosperity Fund as a top-up to the UKSPF. It succeeds EU funding from LEADER and the Growth Programme which were part of the Rural Development Programme for England. It is complementary to funding used to support rural areas under the UKSPF.
The Rural Fund supports capital projects for small businesses and community infrastructure. This will help to improve productivity and strengthen the rural economy and rural communities. It can provide capital funding to:
- support new and existing rural businesses to develop new products and facilities that will be of wider benefit to the local economy. This includes farm businesses looking to diversify income streams
- support new and improved community infrastructure, providing essential community services and assets for local people and businesses to benefit the local economy
South Lakeland has been allocated £1.1m from the Rural Fund. The funding period begins in April 2023 and ends in March 2025. Businesses and community organisations will have an opportunity to access funding through a competitive application process that will take place during that period. As with the UKSPF, we will be working closely with Eden District Council, Barrow Borough Council and local partners and stakeholders on development of plans for the Rural Fund ahead of the vesting day of Westmorland and Furness Council in April 2023.
For more information on the Rural Fund please refer to the following guidance: