UKSPF online consultation exercise (form at the bottom)
Purpose of this consultation
We are seeking to tap into the experience and expertise of residents, professionals and organisations in North Somerset. We need you to help us shape the Investment Plan for the £2.5m we have been allocated by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF). This fund has three investment priorities, supporting:
- Communities and place
- Local business
- People and skills
North Somerset Council (NSC) will be acting as a lead authority for UKSPF.
In order to secure the allocation from Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), North Somerset Council is required to submit an investment plan outlining local priorities and details on how the lead authority intends to spend and deliver the fund. The Investment Plan is to be prepared in partnership with local stakeholders, in order to engage with local expertise.
The UKSPF programme runs from 2022-2025. The first two years of the funding are focused on activities for Business support and Community and Place, with the largest allocations in year three, adding major provision for People and Skills.
We are required to develop the Investment Plan in partnership with our local communities and organisations to support the DLUHC’s Levelling Up agenda.
The submission window for the Investment Plan will close at the end of July 2022. We expect to receive formal approval to our plans by October 2022.
We intend to make a proportion of funding available via a competitive application process for local organisations.
As well as an allocation for grants, we intend to set aside a part of the funding to existing projects and roles, in particular those that are affected by loss of funding streams beyond 2022.
What is the Shared Prosperity Fund aiming to achieve?
The fund’s prospectus describes these three priorities for investment:
1 – Community and Place
- strengthening our social fabric and fostering a sense of local pride and belonging
- to build resilient and safe neighbourhoods
2 – Supporting Local Business
- creating jobs and boosting community cohesion by supporting local businesses
- promoting networking and collaboration and stimulating innovation and growth
- targeted support to help businesses grow e.g. innovation, productivity, energy efficiency, low carbon and exporting
3 – People and skills
- boosting core skills and support adults to progress in work
- Supporting disadvantaged people to access the skills they need
- Funding local skills needs and supplementing local adult skills provision
- Reducing levels of economic inactivity and supporting those furthest from the labour market
What will be the focus of the activities that UKSPF is planning to support?
The prospectus says it will fund a range of activities to support the Levelling Up agenda that focus on:
- Boosting productivity, pay, jobs and living standards by growing the private sector, especially in those places where they are lagging
- Spreading opportunities and improve public services, especially in those places where they are weakest
- Restoring a sense of community, local pride and belonging, especially in those places where they have been lost
- Empowering local leaders and communities, especially in those places lacking local agency
Where we need your input
We are keen to hear your views on what we should focus on in North Somerset in order to achieve the aims set out above. Your input will help us to develop a regional Investment Plan that we will submit as our application and plan for the Shared Prosperity Fund.