Although much remains uncertain regarding the timing and nature of the UK’s exit from the European Union, one thing which is clear is that areas across the country will no longer have access to the EU Structural Funds once we leave. The Government has announced that they will be replaced by the Shared Prosperity Fund, which will tackle inequalities between communities and raise productivity in those parts of the country whose economies are furthest behind.
ekosgen has worked with the Core Cities and Scottish Cities to review how Structural Funds have been used and managed, and identify the lessons for the Shared Prosperity Fund. Our reports have now been published and the recommendations include:
1. SPF should use a transparent, needs-based allocation system, linked to the objectives of the Industrial Strategy and reducing economic inequalities between communities.
2. SPF budget should not be determined by previous levels of Structural Funds and should be significantly increased. As a minimum, UKSPF should be funded at a level of circa £4bn per annum for seven years, reflecting its importance in delivering UK policy objectives.
3. Flexible, Single Pot funding should be provided with as few restrictions as possible. There should be no restrictions on capital/revenue, or prescriptive allocations by theme, and reduced restrictions on eligible activities, for example land remediation.
4. Government’s default position should be to devolve management and delivery to sub-regions and Core City Regions with sufficient capacity, with co-delivery used for other areas as a transition to introducing full local delivery.
Click here to read the Core Cities Report and the Core Cities Scottish Cities Report.
For more information please contact Kirsten Powell on 0845 644 5407 or firstname.lastname@example.org