“Ensuring it’s fit for purpose in the rural context.”
The government provided some guidance with the launch of this Fund last week:
The Fund is a central pillar of the UK Government’s ambitious levelling up agenda and a significant component of its support for places across the UK. It provides £2.6 billion of new funding for local investment by March 2025, with all areas of the UK receiving an allocation from the Fund via a funding formula rather than a competition. This recognises that even the most affluent parts of the UK contain pockets of deprivation and need support.
This was considered in November last year:
Now that the UK has left the EU and the transition period has ended, new funding from the EU has ceased. In order to replace it, the Government has pledged to set up a Shared Prosperity Fund to “reduce inequalities between communities”.
There’s been a lot of response – for example:
This is what the Rural Services Network has to say, as just released:
Our findings at a glance are as follows:
- The RSN will be working hard to influence the funding formula for the fund to ensure it is fit for purpose in the rural context and reflects delivery costs in rural settings, (existing funding formulae do not reflect these aspects and disadvantage rural areas).
- This is a key rural proofing point and a major test for Government.
- Capacity remains an issue of real concern across rural authorities. Realistic and workable timescales for the required Investment Plans are essential.
- Fewer outcomes can be achieved in rural areas for a given amount of funding when compared to urban. That must be acknowledged from the outset.
- Given the large geographical size of rural District and Unitary authorities, they cover very many separate communities separated by distance. This presents many challenges in programme design and delivery.
For more information on the fund, see this Government website link
You can read the full Rural Lens Review into the Shared Prosperity Fund Prelaunch Guidance at this link