Guarantees for EU-funded projects and Shared Prosperity Fund update
In the last day of the parliamentary term, we may have not had the Social Housing Green Paper released for review, but there was other good news hidden among the announcements.
The Chancellor confirmed on Tuesday 24 July that funding for EU programmes run by UK charities, businesses and universities has been guaranteed up to the end of 2020, even if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
This news will prove good news for many – the government had previously committed to protect projects that secured funding before exit day. The announcement means successful bids for EU funding until the end of 2020 will receive their full financial allocation and will continue to receive funding over the project’s lifetime. This provides much needed certainty for those delivering ESF projects.
The government’s updated guidance can be found here European Structural and Investment Funds programme guidance.
This announcement by government was shortly followed by further update on the progress of the design of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF). The Chancellor confirmed that the Conservative manifesto committed to establishing a UK Shared Prosperity Fund to reduce inequalities between communities across the UK’s four nations, once we have left the European Union and EU Structural Funds. His progress statement provided an update on our proposals to develop a UKSPF, including:
- The objective of the UKSPF. The UKSPF will tackle inequalities between communities by raising productivity, especially in those parts of our country whose economies are furthest behind. The UKSPF will achieve this objective by strengthening the foundations of productivity as set out in our modern Industrial Strategy to support people to benefit from economic prosperity.
- A simplified, integrated fund. EU Structural Funds have been difficult to access, and EU regulations have stopped places co-ordinating investments across the foundations of productivity. Simplified administration for the fund will ensure that investments are targeted effectively to align with the challenges faced by places across the country and supported by strong evidence about what works at the local level.
- UKSPF in the devolved nations. The UKSPF will operate across the UK. The Government will of course respect the devolution settlements in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and will engage the devolved administrations to ensure the fund works for places across the UK.
- A national framework in England that works for local priorities. Local areas in England are being asked to prepare Local Industrial Strategies to prioritise long-term opportunities and impact of the UKSPF once details of its operation and priorities are announced following the Spending Review.
Consulting the public. We intend to consult on the UKSPF this year, as we committed to do in our Industrial Strategy.