North East Devolution and Levelling Up

North East to get £170m from UK Shared Prosperity Fund

The North East is to get a £170m share of the £2.6bn UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) over the next three years to strengthen its levelling up effort, the government announced this afternoon.

The money is to be used to strengthen communities and place, support local business, boost skills and help people furthest from the labour market, said the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC).

It is being allocated to mayoral combined authorities where they exist and elsewhere to individual councils.

In the North East the money goes to North of Tyne Combined Authority (£51m), Tees Valley Combined Authority (£46m), County Durham (£34m), Sunderland (£17m), Gateshead (£13m) and South Tyneside (£10m). Figures are rounded. A total of £559m of the UKSPF, including £14m in the North East, has been earmarked to launch Multiply, a new adult numeracy programme. 

For communities and place, the objectives are to strengthen social fabric and foster a sense of local pride and belonging; and to build resilient, safe and healthy neighbourhoods.

For supporting business, the objectives are to create jobs and boost community cohesion through investments that build on existing industries and institutions; to promote networking and collaboration; and to increase private sector investment in growth-enhancing activities.

For people and skills, the objectives are to boost core skills and support adults to progress in work; to reduce levels of economic inactivity; to support people furthest from the labour market to overcome barriers to work; and to support local areas to fund gaps in local skills provision.

The DLUHC said its allocation methodology would ensure that the UKSPF would match the size of the European Social Fund (ESF) and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and in all areas of England. In England, the share of total funding allocated to Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) matched what they were notionally allocated under ERDF and ESF in real terms, said the DLUHC.