UK Shared Prosperity Fund
Flintshire received 90 Stage 1 applications requesting in the region of £30 million, which is nearly three times the amount of UKSPF that Flintshire has been allocated. Unfortunately this means that the majority of these projects cannot be supported, which will be disappointing news for many organisations.
Following the Stage 1 appraisal process, a total of 31 county and multi local authority/regional projects have been shortlisted. These projects have now been invited to proceed and submit a Stage 2 application. The successful projects are:
Flintshire Only Projects
• Supporting Tourism Business & Sector Key Fund
• Minding the Gaps of the Young People in Flintshire
• Connecting to Coast and Countryside
• The Flintshire Fund
• Town Centre Investment Programme – Flintshire
• Strength in Numbers – Maths Skills for Life
• Flintshire Community Key Fund
• Y Maes – The Field• Project 11
• Flintshire Sustainable Decarbonised Future (FAST)
• LEAP (Learn Explore, Achieve, Perform)
• Greenfield Valley Heritage Park Improvement Programme
• Well-Fed Kitchen expansion
• Flintshire Green Digital Academy
Multi Local Authority/Regional Projects
• Employer Skills North Wales/Sgiliau Cyflogwyr Gogledd Cymru
• Camau Cefnogol - Supportive Steps
• The Regional Innovation and Skills Network
• Horticulture Wales
• Caru Cymru
• SME Decarbonisation North Wales Partnership
• North Wales Growth Vision Opportunities
• Transforming Young Minds
• Accelerating Decarbonisation and Productivity through Technology and Skills (ADAPTS)
• North Wales Women’s Leadership Programme
• Tyfu Pobl
• Skills and Innovation Voucher Scheme (SIV)
• Justice in a Day Programme
• Igniting Innovation // Tanio Arloesedd
• North Wales – Active, Healthy and Happy
• Working Sense
Although these projects have been shortlisted by Flintshire, multi local authority/regional projects cannot proceed until a decision has been made by all of the relevant local authorities across North Wales.
The latest information, including the draft Stage 2 application documentation can be found at: www.SharedProsperityNorth.wales
In April 2022, the UK Government published details about how the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) will work. The UKSPF is the UK Government replacement for EU Structural Funds and will deliver £2.6 billion of investment across the UK until March 2025.
Flintshire County Council has been allocated a total of £13.1 million to invest over three years. This is broken down into just under £11 million of core funding and £2.2 million for the national 'Multiply' programme.
The UKSPF will support the UK Government’s Levelling Up objectives, namely to:
- Boost productivity, pay, jobs and living standards by growing the private sector, especially in those places where they are lagging;
- Spread opportunities and improve public services, especially in those places where they are weakest;
- Restore a sense of community, local pride and belonging, especially in those places where they have been lost; and
- Empower local leaders and communities, especially in those places lacking local agency
To achieve this the UKSPF funding has three investment priorities:
- Community and Place
- Supporting Local Business
- People and Skills
The additional Multiply element seeks to improve adult numeracy skills.
North Wales Regional Investment Plan
Flintshire County Council, working alongside the other North Wales local authorities, submitted an Investment Plan to the UK Government on 1 August 2022 outlining opportunities, challenges and the key priorities that are relevant across North Wales. This regional approach will provide opportunities to share learning and best practice and identify areas for collaboration where greater benefits may be delivered more effectively across a wider geography.
Throughout 2022 the Council has been working with a range of organisations and key stakeholders which has helped to influence and shape the Investment Plan at a local level. A number of workshops have been held in relation to each of the investment priorities. These workshops and ongoing dialogue have identified local needs and recommended priorities for the funding:
- Support for town centre regeneration and street markets
- Creating and improving green spaces and green infrastructure
- Support for local arts, cultural, heritage and creative activities
- Investment in capacity building and infrastructure support for local civil society and community groups
- Contributing to tackling the cost of living crisis
- Improving digital infrastructure
- Improving tourist facilities
- Support for business innovation, learning and decarbonisation
- Supporting social businesses
- Providing support to those furthest from labour market
- Meeting local business skills needs
- Support for young people post-Covid
- Tackling mental ill-health
The majority of UKSPF funds will be issued through transparent and competitive bidding processes where potential project sponsors will have the opportunity to submit their proposals for consideration via an open call application process.
The application process will be in 2 stages. Potential applicants will be requested to complete a Stage 1 application form in the first instance. Applicants that are successful at Stage 1 will then be invited to submit a more detailed application as part of the Stage 2 process.
Large scale strategic projects are expected, with a minimum value of £250,000 and averaging £1 million. Grant schemes which would enable smaller voluntary groups and businesses to apply for support through the project applicant are encouraged.
The UKSPF is predominantly a revenue based programme. Capital expenditure as a smaller element within a wider revenue-based project could be accommodated as could projects which disburse small capital grants or works across multiple communities or businesses. Due to the small scale of the programme in Flintshire large capital works project applications are unlikely to receive approval.
It is expected that proposed projects will need to demonstrate:
- the ability to meet the UK Government criteria for the programme and deliver outcomes from the programme framework;
- fit with local needs and how they will complement and not duplicate existing local provision;
- the contribution to meeting the strategic needs of the area as set out in the Council Plan, Wellbeing Plan and other relevant strategies;
- significant local engagement with stakeholders and potential beneficiaries;
- deliverability within the short timeframe for the programme;
- the experience and capability of the project sponsor;
- an ability to identify and manage risks effectively;
- value for money and that the project can’t be funded elsewhere;
- that UK Government subsidy control regulations can be complied with; and
- that delivery will take account of equality duties, the Welsh language and environmental good practice.
Further details of the application process and the relevant links to the application documents will be made available on the County Council website in due course.
The final decision on all project allocation will rest with each local authority across North Wales. The Flintshire Economic Recovery Group, comprising representatives from strategic county wide and regional organisations, will appraise the applications and assess how they relate to the UKSPF priorities and how they support the priority interventions.
The Group will also consider how the projects address local needs and challenges and how they fit within a local context.
The Group will recommend projects for UKSPF support to senior representatives of the County Council who will make the final decision on how the funding is allocated and which projects are approved.
Guidance and Further Information
A number of documents and websites are available to assist applicants with guidance and further information.
UK Government Shared Prosperity Fund Prospectus
UK Government SPF Interventions, Objectives, Outcomes, Outputs
North Wales Economic Framework
North Wales Growth Deal
RSP North Wales Skills & Employment Plan 2023-25
North Wales Skills & Employment Plan
Flintshire Council Plan
Wellbeing Plan for Flintshire
Strategic Equality Plan
Any queries can be addressed to: Regeneration@flintshire.gov.uk