UK Shared Prosperity Fund: guidance for applicants
⚠ The closing date for year 2 funding applications was midday on Monday 15 May 2023.
1.1 The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF or the Fund) is a central pillar of the UK government's ambitious Levelling Up agenda and a significant component of its support for places across the UK. It provides £2.6 billion of new funding for local investment by March 2025, with all areas of the UK receiving an allocation from the Fund via a funding formula rather than a competition. It will help places right across the country deliver enhanced outcomes and recognises that even the most affluent parts of the UK contain pockets of deprivation and need support.
1.2 The primary goal of the UKSPF is to build pride in place and increase life chances across the UK. This aligns with Levelling Up White Paper missions, particularly: 'By 2030, pride in place, such as people's satisfaction with their town centre and engagement in local culture and community, will have risen in every area of the UK, with the gap between the top performing and other areas closing.'
1.3 For further context the UK Shared Prosperity Fund: prospectus can be found on GOV.UK
1.4 Following acceptance of the council's investment plan submitted in August 2022, the council wishes to invite applicants to submit their project via the application process for the 2022-2023 funding round.
1.5 Submitted projects will be assessed by a Local Partnership Group comprising key stakeholders from the public and voluntary sector. The scoring methodology outlined in this guidance will be used to determine which projects are approved for funding.
2.1 This document has been developed to provide clarity on the strategic drivers, objectives and the rules and regulations set by the UKSPF prospectus the context of which should inform the responses provided by the applicant.
2.2 The document sets out the considerations which will need to be observed and provide clarity on how the applications will be assessed.
2.3 A self-declaration section has been included for applicants to complete which sets out the minimum standards required for a project to be considered compliant with the process.
3.1 These key objectives of the process are:
3.1.1 Compliance with legislation and government standards, including the Public Contract Regulations 2015 (as amended);
3.1.2 Value for money;
3.1.3 Timely delivery; and
3.1.4 Optimisation of outputs and outcomes set by the UKSPF prospectus.
4.1 Projects for year 2 are only eligible under interventions:
E6 - Support for local arts, cultural, heritage and creative activities.
E11 - Investment in capacity building and infrastructure support for local civil society and community groups.
E16 - Open markets & town centre retail & service sector
4.2 Year 3 of the process will enable applicants to apply under People and Skills priority and interventions. A call for projects for year 3 will be issued in due course.
5.1 The interventions which were identified by the local stakeholder group can be found in the table below along with their associated objective and the available fund:
Indicative Funding Available
Communities & Place
E6: Support for local arts, cultural, heritage and creative activities
Strengthening our social fabric and fostering a sense of local pride and belonging, through investment in activities that enhance physical, cultural and social ties and amenities, such as community infrastructure and local green space and community-led projects.
E11 - Investment in capacity building and infrastructure support for local civil society and community groups
Supporting Local Business
E16: Investment in open markets and improvements to town centre retail and service sector infrastructure, with wraparound support for small businesses
Creating jobs and boosting community cohesion, through investments that build on existing industries and institutions, and range from support for starting businesses to visible improvements to local retail, hospitality and leisure sector facilities.
Increasing private sector investment in growth-enhancing activities, through targeted support for small and medium-sized businesses to undertake new-to-firm innovation, adopt productivity-enhancing, energy efficient and low carbon technologies and techniques, and start or grow their exports.
People and Skills
E33: Employment support for economically inactive people
Supporting people furthest from the labour market to overcome barriers to work by providing cohesive, locally tailored support, including access to basic skills.
E37: Tailored support to help people in employment, who are not supported by mainstream provision to address barriers to accessing education and training courses.
Supporting local areas to fund gaps in local skills provision to support people to progress in work, and supplement local adult skills provision e.g. by providing additional volumes; delivering provision through wider range of routes or enabling more intensive/innovative provision, both qualification based and non-qualification based. This should be supplementary to provision available through national employment and skills programmes.
6.1 Once the relevant interventions(s) have been selected the applicant should review the outputs and outcomes to ensure they can achieve the requirements set by the Fund's performance requirements as given in the UK Shared Prosperity Fund Interventions, Objectives, Outcomes and Outputs - England on GOV.UK.
6.2 The application process will assess projects on their ability to achieve tangible outputs and outcomes. Applicants will be required to provided quantified outputs (where necessary) and outcomes i.e. "24 jobs created" rather than "we will create jobs" or "yes".
7.1 Please see a short list of pre-qualification criteria which is considered the minimum standard to proceed for completing an application:
- your project aligns with a UDC UKSPF priority intervention
- your project is ready to be delivered in line with the fund terms and conditions and can be completed by 31 March 2024
- you can quantify the level of impact your project will have on the outputs & outcomes sought from the fund
- you will comply with the procurement conditions set by UKSPF when spending funds for the following amounts:
- 0 to £2,499 - direct award
- £2,500 to £24,999 - 3 written quotes or prices sought from relevant suppliers of goods, works and/or services
- Over £25,000 - formal tender process
- you have a project manager / senior responsible officer (SRO)
- you are able to provide a risk analysis of the project proportionate to its size and nature
- you have a firm understanding of the cost of the project and are confident that any fluctuation upwards in cost post award can be accommodated outside of the funding agreement
8.1 Details of how to apply can be found on:
8.2 The form has been developed in compliance with the criteria set by the UKSPF prospectus, the Grants Standards and the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.
8.3 Each question must be completed for the application to be considered.
8.4 Questions should be responded to proportionately based on the value and complexity of the project. Applications will not be advantaged through wordsmithing or word volume and will be assessed based on the responses' alignment to the criteria set in the question's guidance.
8.5 All questions must be answered openly, honestly and as comprehensively as possible. Failure to do so may result in funding not being awarded, being withheld or being reclaimed after payment has been made.
9.1 Applications will be reviewed objectively in line with the scoring criteria set out below. Responses will be assessed against the following criteria and the 5 key areas which will be scored and their allocated weightings are:
188.8.131.52 Outputs and outcomes - (35%)
184.108.40.206 Cost - (35%)
220.127.116.11 Risk analysis - (10%)
18.104.22.168 Added value - (12%)
22.214.171.124 Match funding - (8%)
9.1.2 Outputs and outcomes
The response does not relate to the question
The response does not contain any quantifiable benefits in line with the defined outputs and outcomes set by the prospectus
The response does indicate quantifiable benefits however the level of impact is considered proportionately low
The response does indicate a quantifiable benefit with an objectively high level of impact
The response indicates multiple quantifiable outcomes and outputs each of which offer a medium level of impact
The response indicates multiple quantifiable outcomes and outputs each of which offer a high level of impact
>£1 - £20k
The response does not relate to the question's requirements or has not been responded to
The response does not provide assurance that the risk has been assessed appropriately or proportionately
The response has not provided a proportionate risk assessment based on the size and complexity of the project which raises major concerns
The response has provided a proportionate risk assessment based on the size and complexity of the project which raises major concerns
The response has provided a proportionate risk assessment based on the size and complexity of the project which raises minor concerns
The response has provided a proportionate risk assessment based on the size and complexity of the project with no concerns raised
9.1.5 Added value
No response given
The response is not perceived to add any additional value in line with UDC's Corporate Plan
The response does indicate added value in line with UDC's Corporate Plan however the value has not been quantified
The response is considered to add minor value in a single area in line with UDC's Corporate Plan with a quantified outcome
The response is considered to add major value in a single area or minor in multiple areas in line with UDC's Corporate Plan with a quantified outcome
The response provides added value in multiple areas in line with UDC's Corporate Plan all of which have been quantified
9.1.6 Match funding
>0% - 20%
>20% - 40%
>40% - 60%
>60% - 80%
>80% - 100%
9.2 If any of the scored questions do not meet the baseline requirement (i.e. 0 or 1) it is likely that the application will be rejected.
10.1 Once applications are assessed they will be ranked based on the score achieved to provide clarity on the quality of the submissions.
10.2 These will then be aggregated to see where best value can be achieved when considering multiple projects. The cumulative impact of outcomes and outputs for different projects will be considered and projects may be batched accordingly.
10.3 The council has responsibility for making decisions on the allocation of funding raised through UKSPF. The aim of this Protocol is to ensure that the decision-making process is transparent. Through it the Council and the Local Partnership Group will identify projects and allocate funds on an annual basis.
11.1 Formal Tender Process - To spend fund monies in excess of £25k with a single supplier you will need to undergo a formal tender process for compliance with the fund's terms and conditions.
This will involve the following key activities:
11.1.1 Advertise the opportunity to as wide-reaching supplier base (within the district at minimum) as possible.
11.1.2 You will create criteria which assess cost and quality of suppliers against their peers.
11.1.3 You will operate an open/transparent process providing a fair opportunity for all suppliers to deliver the project's requirements.
11.1.4 You will score responses back from the suppliers to rank the submissions and find the preferred supplier/contractor.
11.1.5 You will report back the results of the process to support the fund's reporting procedures.