Please note that all future UKSPF communications for Greater Manchester will be made via this webpage so please ensure you keep checking back for the latest updates.

Overview

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) is a new three-year domestic fund running from 2022/23 that will replace European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIFs) such as the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF). These funds have supported a range of job creation, innovation and skills programmes across Greater Manchester.

Purpose

In February 2022, alongside the publication of the Government’s Levelling Up White Paper, “pre-launch” guidance on the UKSPF was issued. The purpose of the UKSPF is to build pride in place and increase life chances across the UK. This will be achieved through three UKSPF priorities of:

  • Communities and place – strengthening our social fabric and fostering a sense of local pride and belonging and building resilient and safe neighbourhoods;
  • Local business – creating jobs and boosting community cohesion, promoting networking and collaboration and increasing private sector investment in growth-enhancing activities; and,
  • People and skills – boosting core skills and supporting adults to progress in work, by targeting adults with no or low-level qualifications and skills in maths, and upskilling the working population, supporting disadvantaged people to access the skills they need to progress in life and into work; supporting local areas to fund local skills needs and supplement local adult skills provision; and reducing levels of economic inactivity and moving those furthest from the labour market closer to employment.

Funding

  • Nationally and within Greater Manchester, European funding is still in place for many skills, employment and business support projects until mid-2023.
  • The Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 set out UKSPF funding of £2.6bn over three years starting 2022/23, with £400m (all revenue) available in 2022/23, £700m (of which £100m is capital) in 2023/24 and £1.5bn (of which £200m is capital) in 2024/25. This funding is UK-wide.
  • In the first two financial years (2022/23 and 2023/24) the UKSPF will focus on communities and place and local business interventions to boost pride in place. Alongside this will be support for people and skills through the Multiply adult numeracy programme (see below). In addition, we understand there will be some flexibility to provide some funding to voluntary sector organisations delivering locally important people and skills provision, confirmation and details of which will be set out in Government guidance that is expected in Spring 2022. Further investment to support people and skills will follow from 2024/25 when UKSPF funding reaches its full extent.
  • Greater Manchester will be given a conditional allocation of UKSPF funding so will not have to compete with other parts of the country for that funding.
  • At this stage we do not yet know what the UKSPF allocation formula for places or Greater Manchester’s UKSPF allocation will be, or if match funding will be needed, but GMCA has been advised that the UKSPF will primarily be revenue funding.
  • UKSPF can complement larger-scale levelling up-type projects such as Future High Streets Fund, Levelling Up Fund or Community Ownership Fund capital projects.

Multiply

One element of the UKSPF has already been confirmed. This is the Multiply adult numeracy programme, to which up to £559m of the £2.6bn total UKSPF has been allocated by Government over three years from 2022/23. Although some of this funding will be used nationally, the majority will be allocated to places to administer the delivery of provision suitable for local circumstances. We do not yet know what Greater Manchester’s allocation of the £559m Multiply funding will be.

GMCA’s role in the UKSPF process

Greater Manchester has been identified as one of the delivery geographies for UKSPF and Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) will be the Lead Authority for Greater Manchester. This means that GMCA will administer UKSPF for Greater Manchester.

To access the UKSPF, GMCA will need to produce a local UKSPF Investment Plan that includes Multiply. The plan will set out how UKSPF priorities will be delivered by setting out local priorities, preferred delivery routes and the local measurable outcomes to be delivered by UKSPF in the next three years. In Greater Manchester this will be closely tied to the new Greater Manchester Strategy. The Investment Plan will need to be sent to and agreed by Government before activity can begin. The submission date is to be confirmed.

Next steps

Further Government guidance on the UKSPF is expected in Spring 2022, along with details of Greater Manchester’s funding allocation and the flexibilities available to GMCA over how we deliver the Fund.

Once this guidance is received, we will be hosting a webinar as part of our stakeholder engagement strategy to help inform and develop an Investment Plan that will maximise the impact of the UKSPF in Greater Manchester over the next three years. The date for this will be confirmed shortly. The webinar will be recorded for anyone who cannot make the session.

If you have any queries, please email ukspf@greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk

Please note that all the above information may be subject to change upon receipt of further Government guidance.