Preparing for Shared Prosperity Fund? Five things to include in your Local Investment Plan

Preparing for Shared Prosperity Fund? Five things to include in your Local Investment Plan

The next phase in “Levelling Up” is a second round of LUF and the launch of the eagerly awaited Shared Prosperity Fund (SPF) – the UK’s post-Brexit answer to the end of EU Cohesion funds:

  • £400 million allocated for 2022/23
  • £700 million allocated for 2023/24
  • £1.5 billion allocated for 2024/25.

SPF is designed to support Levelling Up objectives:

  • Boost productivity, pay, jobs and living standards, especially in those places where they are lagging.
  • Spread opportunities and improve public services, especially in those places where they are weakest.
  • Restore a sense of community, local pride and belonging, especially in those places where they have been lost.
  • Empower local leaders and communities, especially in those places lacking local agency.

The Department’s pre-launch guidance indicates that all places across the UK will receive a conditional allocation from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, and accessing funds will involve a funding formula, rather than a competition. Each eligible place needs to develop a Local Investment Plan, identifying a package of priority interventions, alongside the measurable outcomes that will be delivered (an outcomes and interventions toolkit is expected to be launched this Spring), with final Local Investment Plans to be submitted to the Department over the summer.

Steer ED is looking forward to supporting local government partners and recommend embedding the following five key principles into the Local Investment Planning process…

  1. An evidence-based approach – update and augment your evidence base to understand the latest local socioeconomic and environmental analytics across the Levelling Up Six Capitals. Drill down to localised geographies, demographics and sectors to get beneath averages, and benchmark against comparator areas and national averages to understand the strengths and opportunities, as well as gaps and weaknesses, for your local economy.
  2. Setting meaningful objectives – building on this knowledge, set key priorities through engagement with relevant stakeholders and communities, and mapping local, regional, national and sectoral strategies to position and align your LIP priorities within the wider landscape. Turn your priorities into SMART objectives with attached KPIs that align with the Levelling Up missions, SPF objectives, and crucially, with the Government’s imminent Outcomes and Interventions Toolkit. Concentrate on shifting the dial in your local economy’s key areas of focus.
  3. An inclusive approach to mapping interventions – bring together partners across the public, private, voluntary and community sectors locally to longlist emerging interventions. Recognise differences in stages of development and short-term vs longer-term projects in the pipeline.
  4. Prioritising the ‘right’ balance of projects – analyse the pipeline against the strategic framework to create a transparent and systematic approach to shortlisting projects for SPF. Assess potential contribution to objectives (strategic alignment and evidence of need) and key drivers e.g. long term resilience post-COVID-19, prosperity for all and decarbonisation, as well as critical decision-making criteria e.g. deliverability & risk.
  5. Articulating the Theory of Change – for each shortlisted project, outline the ‘golden thread’ from context and rationale, to proposed activities and intended outputs, outcomes and impacts – explicitly linked to the SPF outcomes framework. These logic models aim to detail how chosen projects will deliver change locally, as well as provide a framework for monitoring and evaluation.
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