The Government has published local allocations for its long-awaited UK Shared Prosperity Fund and new ‘Multiply’ fund.
It is allocating £2.6 billion to local authorities to spend on infrastructure improvements, investment in new local facilities, skills and employment programmes and support for local high streets.
The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) replaces previous EU funding that local areas received, such as the European Social Fund and European Regional Development Fund.
The funding also includes a new £559 million adult numeracy programme for the whole UK, called ‘Multiply’, which will support people with no or low-level maths skills to get back into work. The scheme will offer free personal tutoring, digital training and flexible courses to improve adults’ confidence and numeracy skills.
Cllr Kevin Bentley, Chairman of the LGA’s People and Places Board, said: “Councils are uniquely placed to plan ahead for the post-pandemic challenges we face and to invest in their areas, which these programmes provide certainty for. It is therefore good that councils have been put at the heart of delivering the UKSPF and Multiply, something which we have long been calling for.
“This will build on work already under way to level up opportunities and spread prosperity, including to ensure Multiply helps more people gain skills to enter and progress in work and that UKSPF creates jobs, supports small and medium-sized businesses, develops rural economies, invests in critical infrastructure and boosts inclusive growth.
“Local areas need maximum flexibility to design investment plans that target local priorities. In the longer term, council leaders want to work with government to ensure greater stability and continuing support for this funding stream to ensure it provides the longevity and quantum of the European funding it has replaced.
“By making the most of every pound of investment, we can achieve our shared ambition of giving every part of the country the chance to flourish.”