UK Government unlocks £2.6 billion in funding to level up the country by approving local areas’ plans to spend UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF)
UKSPF matches and succeeds old EU funding, slashing bureaucracy and allowing local leaders to invest in things their communities truly want and need
All plans submitted by Scottish local authorities now approved by the UK Government
Communities across Scotland will benefit from £212 million of investment in skills, improved high streets, support for local business and more green spaces as the UK takes back control and approves spending plans for funding previously run by the European Union.
The UK Shared Prosperity Fund succeeds EU structural funding but instead of Brussels deciding how and where the money is spent, the UK Government has been working closely with local leaders in Scotland to direct funding where it is most needed.
Under the investment plans approved today, Scotland is receiving at least as much funding as it did before, with projects now free from bureaucratic EU processes and local people having a greater say in how the money is used.
Councils across Scotland have drawn up plans over the summer which include supporting local arts projects, improved sports facilities, export grants for Scottish companies and helping people with core skills such as maths.
The UK Government’s approval of these plans will kickstart delivery across all parts of the country.
Levelling Up Minister Dehenna Davison said:
I am thrilled that all Scottish plans have been approved and I would like to thank the Scottish Government for their engagement on this vital work.
The UK Shared Prosperity Fund will deliver real benefits for every corner of the country. We look forward to working with Scottish councils to deliver the things that their local communities truly want and need.
UK Government Minister for Scotland Malcolm Offord said:
This is great news for communities across Scotland who will now see £212 million invested to strengthen businesses, create jobs and make lives better. The UK Government is delivering on its commitments that the UK Shared Prosperity Fund will at least match EU structural funding - and giving local people control of how the money is spent.
Such close working with councils, local partners and the Scottish Government is crucial to overcoming the economic headwinds we are being buffeted by. This collaboration builds on the hugely successful approach established in delivering city-region and growth deals across Scotland. Our levelling up agenda is now seeing more than £2 billion directly invested in Scotland by the UK Government.
Across the UK, the money will be spent on levelling up in three key areas:
Communities and place: projects could include improving parks and green spaces, sports facilities and access to arts and culture to foster a greater sense of pride in place.
Supporting local business: this include support for entrepreneurs, as well as research and development grants for local businesses to help develop innovative products and services.
People and skills: projects could include specialist support for people with a health condition facing additional barriers into decent jobs. This may include basic life skills, digital training and education in English and maths. As part of the Fund, a multi-million pound adult numeracy programme, Multiply, has been allocated across the UK to support people with no or low-level maths skills to improve their economic and life prospects.
The UK Government’s flexible approach also means that councils and local partners will have the opportunity to adapt each plan to reflect new economic priorities over the period to 2025.
Funding for the UKSPF 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 EU structural funds for each nation.
Notes to Editors
Local areas across England will see £1.58 billion, Scotland £212 million, Wales £585 million and Northern Ireland £127 million made available under the Fund.
Scottish Councils have worked with a wide set of local partners to deliver the Investment Plans for communities. A list of agreed interventions for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, for each of the three UKSPF investment priorities.