Published on 3 August 2022
Stratford-on-Avon District Council has submitted an Investment Plan for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which if approved by the Government, would see £3.5 million national funding brought into the District as part of the UK Government's Levelling Up programme.
The District Council has conditionally been allocated just over £3.5 million to be drawn down in annual stages and invested over a three-year funding period until March 2025.
In order to 'unlock' and receive its conditional allocation, the District Council was tasked with developing and submitting an Investment Plan. This sets out how the District Council, as a lead authority, proposes to use and or allocate the fund over the designated funding period against the three investment priorities set by the Government of:
The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) Prospectus shows 41 interventions across these priority themes that lead authorities could select to be invested in their areas.
The proposed approach for Stratford District has been to invest the budget evenly across the priority areas with specific reference made to 19 interventions over the 3-year funding period.
The District Council's Investment Plan has been developed based on evidence, feedback and learning from existing corporate policy and strategy documents to identify local context, challenges and potential opportunities available to the District through this funding.
Engagement with stakeholders representing public, private and civil society organisations has also been undertaken to gather data and local intelligence required to credibly inform the development of the Investment Plan.
Over 70 intervention ideas were received ranging in scope, readiness and have an estimated overall value of over £7 million, in excess of the conditional amount available to the District.
Potential outcomes that could be achieved include:
Further actions including an annual call for projects and the formal establishment of a Partnership Advisory Group, which will consider proposed projects and make recommendations to the District Council's Cabinet on the delivery of the fund, after it has been allocated.
Cllr Tony Jefferson, Leader of Stratford-on-Avon District Council said: "As a lead authority, District Council officers and partners have collaborated at pace to develop the Investment Plan for the District within a challenging timeframe.
"It is fantastic to have received a good response from our partners during this process. We recognise that all the interventions could be seen as priorities but have to acknowledge the reality that not everything will be able to be addressed by the UKSPF. Therefore, we have decided to take a balanced approach across the three investment themes for now and will look forward to achieving positive outcomes for the District."
The District Council expects to receive an update on its Investment Plan submission and subsequent allocation later this year during the Autumn, after it has been assessed by Central Government officials.
The UK Shared Prosperity fund (UKSPF) is a £2.6 billion funding pot, announced as part of the Government's Levelling Up programme, to be invested in communities by March 2025.
The UKSPF will be a mix of revenue and capital funding that can be used to support a wide range of interventions to build pride in place and improve life chances.
Further information regarding the UKSPF can be found here:
Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Tel: 01789 267575