The UK’s exit from the EU represents an opportunity to provide local areas with new ways to manage their economies. We have made the case for reforming the funding landscape to secure better outcomes and a key chance to deliver this priority is the design of the UKSPF.
- One of local government’s biggest priorities in preparation for the UK’s exit from the EU has been securing the domestic replacement for the European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF). The ESIF provides England with £5.3 billion of funding. It is vital that its replacement is of, at least, the same value.
- Current proposals about the design of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) lack clarity. There has been no information on the allocation or amount of funding and the consultation promised by Government in 2018 has not yet been published.
- Without certainty over funding, councils are unable to plan for the long-term. This has impacted their ability to secure the expertise and capacity needed to deliver outcomes for their communities.
- The Government should publish the UKSPF consultation immediately and funding allocated must be distinguished from any short-term economic packages provided to support the post-Brexit transition. The UKSPF needs to be a separate investment fund that supports growth.
- The introduction of the UKSPF is an opportunity to design a fund that is flexible and responsive to local needs. It should be a place-based fund that enhances existing decision-making structures, is joined up with other funding streams for economic growth, and provides long-term funding certainty similar to the ESIF.
- The LGA has put forward several recommendations for the design of the UKSPF. We want to work with the Government to co-design the new programme and help develop a fund that makes a positive impact to local communities.
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UK Shared Prosperity Fund - House of Commons, 05 September 2019