Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities
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Communities in Scotland handed control of £212 million levelling up funding

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund will help spread opportunity, and could be used to regenerate high streets, fight crime, or help more people into good jobs.

  • UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) to spread opportunity and reverse the country’s geographical disparities with £212 million in funding
  • Funding will match what was previously spent in Scotland
  • New approach will slash bureaucracy and give control to locally elected leaders

Communities in Scotland will benefit from £212 million of funding that was allocated recently (13 April 2022) to help spread opportunity and level up the country.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund will see places that need it most draw up plans this year to deliver on their local priorities, based on a conditional allocation of funding over the next three years. This could include regenerating rundown high streets, fighting anti-social behaviour and crime, or helping more people into decent jobs – helping to revive communities, tackle economic decline and reverse geographical disparities in Scotland and across the UK.

Spreading opportunity and prosperity to all parts of the UK through community-led investment, local areas in Scotland will see £212 million made available under the fund.

The funding delivers on the UK Government’s commitment to match the previous EU funding from the European Social Fund and European Regional Development Fund. However, the fund will be much more flexible and locally led, freeing communities in Scotland from the bureaucratic, rigid and complex processes of the EU Structural Funds.

Bureaucracy will be slashed, and there will be far more discretion over what money is spent on. EU requirements for match funding, which impacted on poorer places, will be abolished. Instead of regional agencies, funding decisions will be made by elected leaders in local government, with input from local members of parliament and local businesses and voluntary groups.

The new fund also includes over £36 million for Scotland for an adult numeracy programme, Multiply, which will support people with no or low-level maths skills get back into work. The scheme will offer free personal tutoring, digital training, and flexible courses to improve adults’ confidence and numeracy skills.

Driving forward the missions in the government’s Levelling Up White Paper, the UK Shared Prosperity Fund is in addition to other levelling up funding for Scotland, including the Community Ownership Fund and the Levelling Up Fund, which has already invested £171 million into Scotland, and £1.5 billion for city and growth deals.

This is in addition to the record £41 billion per year block grant settlement announced by the UK Government for people in Scotland – the largest since devolution over 20 years ago and an increase of £4.6 billion.

Secretary of State for Levelling Up Rt Hon Michael Gove MP recently said:

We have taken back control of our money from the EU and we are empowering those who know their communities in Scotland best to deliver on their priorities.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund will help to unleash the creativity and talent of Scottish communities that have for too long been overlooked and undervalued.

By targeting this funding at areas of the country that need it the most, we will help spread opportunity and level up in every part of the United Kingdom, including Scotland.

Secretary of State for Scotland Alister Jack recently said:

This £212 million investment is part of a comprehensive package of UK Government support to level up Scottish communities, and comes on top of a record block grant for Scotland.

We will continue to work closely with local partners to ensure this money will go where it is most needed so people can be proud of where they live and work through delivery of new infrastructure, support for local business and by developing skills.

The allocation formula for UK Shared Prosperity Fund takes into account both the local population data, and a broadly based measure of need, including factors like unemployment and income levels. This is to ensure the most amount of money is going to areas which will truly benefit from the fund.

Funding for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund across the UK will be £2.6 billion between 2022 and 2025, with this figure reaching £1.5 billion per year by March 2025, delivering on the UK Government’s commitment to match the average spending of EU structural funds over the previous programme.

Previous EU programmes ramped up and down, and areas will continue to receive EU funding until the end of 2024. Similarly, UK Shared Prosperity Fund will be increased from £400 million in 2022/23 to £1.5 billion in 2024/25, at which point it will match the EU funds it has replaced.

 

Channel website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-levelling-up-housing-and-communities

Original article link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/communities-in-scotland-handed-control-of-212-million-levelling-up-funding

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