Published on 15 January 2024
Archived on 15 February 2024
On Monday 15 January, Stratford-on-Avon District Council's Cabinet agreed a new approach to the Year 3 funding applications for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) and Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF).
The District Council's Economic Development team has now completed the allocation of funding for projects for Year 1 and Year 2, following annual calls for projects. Year 3 runs from April 2024 until March 2025 and this funding helps support delivery of the South Warwickshire economic development strategy and actions.
The proposed approach for Year 3 will comprise:
Cllr George Cowcher, Planning and Economic Development Portfolio said: "By adopting these changes for Year 3 funding, it will reduce duplication and the need to hold unnecessary additional competitive calls for projects, as well as allowing the continuity of existing programmes that are working well.
"In addition, it also lets us use the collective experience and knowledge of partners who have run similar programmes, such as working with Warwickshire County Council on employment support and skills development with their Warwickshire Skills Hub.
"The People and Skills landscape is challenging, and the programme aims to provide opportunities and support to build confidence within individuals to participate in new activity."
The year 3 funding budget is as follows:
Shared Prosperity Fund (SPF)
Community and Place
Supporting Local Business
Employment support and skills development - People and Skills development
Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF)
Total SPF and REPF
Community and Place/Rural England
The District Council will continue to hold an open call for both Community and Place projects and Rural England Prosperity Fund as these are more specific place based requiring local community knowledge.
Supporting Local Business
The District Council has approached some of the existing business support projects to offer an extension to the current Year 2 contracts into Year 3, finishing in March 2025. This also supports the county-wide business support programme with other Borough and District Councils in Warwickshire and provides more continuity and momentum, as well as providing better value for money and simplifies the offer for businesses.
Employment support and skills development (People and Skills)
The District Council will work jointly with Warwickshire County Council and other Boroughs and District Councils in the county to shape the commissioning of a specific tender for People and Skills activities, utilising the expertise of the Warwickshire Skills Hub in a complex delivery landscape.
The aim of the UKSPF skills funding will be to support individuals within a network of ongoing existing activity, without actively cutting across or duplicating existing partner work programmes.
The benefits of a joint commissioning approach include:
The scope of the programme will be focused on inclusive growth (unemployed and the economically inactive), young people, in-work training and progression, and supporting future green careers within the District.
These four areas provide the greatest opportunity to target specific areas of need, scale programmes with the funding available and to co-ordinate more effectively with suppliers as part of the wider skills ecosystem.
Cllr Cowcher continued: "Above all, these funding streams enables the District Council to work with our partner organisations to achieve positive outcomes and benefits for the District, supporting a programme of business support through different delivery partners."
Further information regarding the UKSPF can be found here:
Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Tel: 01789 267575