UK Shared Prosperity Fund

Last Updated: 17 March 2023

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK by investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills.

Investment Plan

South Lakeland District Council submitted our UKSPF investment plan to Government on 1 August 2022. We worked closely with Eden District Council and Barrow Borough Council as together we form Westmorland and Furness Council from April 2023. We ensured that the priorities of our three investment plans are closely aligned to enable cohesive delivery by the new unitary authority.

South Lakeland was allocated £3.8m of UKSPF funding and from April 2023 this will be merged with the allocations of Eden and Barrow. This will create a Westmorland and Furness allocation that totals £8.3m of investment in the area between April 2022 and March 2025. This funding is allocated annually in each financial year and the majority of it will be available in the final year of the programme.

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 Westmorland and Furness area and wider region. 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 Plans.

2022/23 projects

In 2022/23 South Lakeland District Council distributed £448,000 of UKSPF funding to support a number of projects including:

  • Cumbria Tourism’s Culture in South Lakes marketing and promotional campaign for the district’s arts, cultural and heritage organisations
  • the household energy efficiency schemes Cold to Cosy Homes, Solar Made Easy and Retrofit Advice Service run by Cumbria Action for Sustainability
  • the Key by Inspira, a longstanding programme of employment and careers support for economically inactive people
  • feasibility studies for Kendal Futures, Lake District National Park Authority and Save Grange Lido

Project calls for 2023/24 and 2024/25

In 2023/24 and 2024/25 Westmorland and Furness Council will support further selected projects that deliver on the UKSPF investment priorities of Community & Place, Supporting Local Business and People & Skills.

The Council will deliver these projects together with external organisations. A delivery plan for Westmorland and Furness 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:

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 grant 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 was 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. Further information on this process will be made available soon.

As with the UKSPF, we worked 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:

If you have any questions you can contact us using the details below.