UK Shared Prosperity Fund
The Department of Levelling Up Housing and Communities (DLUHC) launched the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) on 13 April 2022.
The UKSPF is a central pillar of the Government's Levelling Up Agenda and provides £2.6bn of new funding for local investment by March 2025.
The total Lancashire allocation is £54m funding plus £7.5m for Multiply (adult numeracy and employability). Preston has received a conditional allocation of £5,243,004 to invest in the city from 2022/23 to 2024/25.
What is the aim of the fund?
The aim of the fund is to build pride of place and increase life chances and this will be delivered via three investment priorities, as defined by the Government:
- Communities and Place
- Supporting local business
- People and skills
Preston City Council was required to submit an investment plan to the UK Government by 1 August 2022 approved on 5 December 2022.
Preston's UKSPF programme will be delivered through 26 programmes and projects which will begin in 2023/24 and must be completed by end 2024/25.
Call for Proposals - July 2023 Update
UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) has now closed.
Our goal is to deliver a wide-reaching and impactful programme of activities that will build pride of place in Preston and increase life chances in the city, in line with the overall goals of the UKSPF.
We're looking for a wide variety of ideas and proposals to contribute to each of the priorities and interventions. Decisions will be made based on applications which present the best positive impact on our communities and that demonstrate a long-lasting physical, economic and social legacy for the city and its residents.
Please find information below on each of the five programmes we are seeking delivery partners to work with. Please ensure you read the relevant documentation thoroughly before completing and submitting your application.
Please visit our scoring framework page which the gateway criteria, scoring matrix, and applications scoring weightings that will be used to assess applications received for Preston City Council's UKSPF Commissioning Round.
If you have any questions regarding this framework, please email UKSPF@Preston.gov.uk.
The Council was required to submit an investment plan to the UK Government by 1 August 2022.
The plan was developed through extensive consultation with local and regional stakeholders, civil society organisations, employer bodies, businesses and their representative groups and local MPs.
The investment plan required local authorities to identify and provide evidence of local opportunities and challenges with respect to each of the three priorities, and select interventions and outcomes to address them.
The investment plan sets out how funds have been allocated across each of the three priorities and interventions for the duration of the programme. These allocations are indicative and subject to change during the lifecycle of the programme, to ensure a range of impactful projects can be delivered in a flexible and successful way.
The investment plan was approved on 5 December 2022. Preston's UKSPF programme will be delivered through 26 programmes and projects which will begin in 2023/24 and must be completed by end 2024/25.
Business and Community Innovation Project (UKSPF intervention E19 and E21)
E19 - Increasing investment in research and development at the local level. Investment to support the diffusion of innovation knowledge and activities. Support the commercialisation of ideas, encouraging collaboration and accelerating the path to market so that more ideas translate into industrial and commercial practices.
E21 - Funding for the development and support of appropriate innovation infrastructure at the local level.
This project will build on Preston's strengths as a hub for innovation across a range of sectors including aerospace, automotive, energy, nuclear, digital, life sciences, advanced manufacturing and healthcare, ensuring that collaboration between businesses facilitates the development of strong supply chains, enhanced product development and increased market share.
The programme will also effectively link these sectors to Higher Education Institutions in the area in order to promote the commercialisation of research and development. It is anticipated that this investment will align local operational models to support the diffusion of innovation and knowledge, helping to accelerate the path to market as innovation is translated into improved industrial and commercial practices.
Supporting decarbonisation and improving the natural environment (UKSPF intervention E29)
E29 - Supporting decarbonisation and improving the natural environment whilst growing the local economy. Taking a whole systems approach to invest in infrastructure to deliver effective decarbonisation across energy, buildings, and transport and beyond, in line with our legally binding climate target. Maximising existing or emerging local strengths in low carbon technologies, goods and services to take advantage of the growing global opportunity.
In April 2019 Preston City Council declared a climate emergency and committed to delivering net zero carbon emissions by 2030.
The UKSPF has provided the council with an opportunity to demonstrate commitment to the April 2019 declaration by funding initiatives to support the decarbonisation of the local economy in Preston.
It is anticipated that this will be achieved by committing funding to projects which
(i) assist businesses in Preston in decarbonising their own operations, with an emphasis on those firms which account for the highest carbon emissions and
(ii) supporting Preston businesses to bring new low carbon technologies from development through to commercialisation.
The UKSPF provides the opportunity for Preston City Council to draw on this local expertise to commission targeted and bespoke programmes of decarbonisation and innovation support for companies wishing to reduce their carbon emissions and/or diversify into low carbon technologies.
Business Support for International Trade Project (UKSPF intervention E24)
E24 - Funding for new and improvements to existing training hubs, business support offers, 'incubators' and 'accelerators' for local enterprise (including social enterprise) which can support entrepreneurs and start-ups through the early stages of development and growth by offering a combination of services including account management, advice, resources, training, coaching, mentorship, and access to workspace.
Whilst the long-term effects of Brexit on local businesses are still emerging, initial trade frictions have clearly impacted local firms.
Preston has a high number of businesses which export goods or services to both EU and non-EU countries and there have been reports of confusion around exporting to Northern in particular.
The allocation of UKSPF funding for international trade support for local businesses is in response to addressing these challenges. The aim is to provide support services and advice for businesses so that they can act with confidence in the international arena, helping them to establish secure supply chains and increased value in exports.
Community Energy Efficiency (UKSPF intervention E13)
E13 - Community measures to reduce the cost of living, through measures to improve energy efficiency, and combat fuel poverty and climate change.
Through this intervention we will fund projects which can help households in Preston to deal with the cost-of-living crisis by increasing the take up of energy efficiency measures which will also have the effect of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It is anticipated that projects will provide residents with the information and resources necessary to improve energy efficiency and reduce household bills, especially targeting those residents who are in fuel poverty.
Support for Growing the Social Economy (UKSPF intervention E26)
E26 - Support for growing the local social economy, including community businesses, cooperatives, and social enterprises.
As part of its commitment to Community Wealth Building, Preston City Council is supporting the development of a more democratic local economy through the promotion of cooperative development, education and training, the conversion of businesses to worker and/or employee-owned ventures and the promotion of investment in community owned enterprises via the mechanism of community share offers.
We are looking for organisations that can provide relevant support and advice to businesses, individuals and organisations who are interested in developing co-operative solutions for the business challenges they face.
For more information or for an informal chat about the programmes in this application round, please email UKSPF@preston.gov.uk