Core Cities UK and Scottish Cities have published a major new reports into the proposed Shared Prosperity Fund, which will replace EU Structural Funds once we leave the European Union.
One key recommendation is that levels of funding under the new system should be significantly increased and the money should be devolved to city regions where it will make the biggest difference.
Although governance and financial arrangements are different in the devolved administrations (and a separate report has been prepared for the Scottish Cities and is also available to download), the principles and recommendations set out here could be adopted in the UK's Devolved Nations.
1.SPF should use a transparent, needs-based allocation system, linked to the objectives of the Industrial Strategy and reducing economic inequalities between
2. SPF budget should not be determined by previous levels of Structural Funds and should be significantly increased. As a minimum, UKSPF should be funded at a level of circa £4bn per annum for seven years, reflecting its importance in delivering UK policy objectives.
3.Flexible, Single Pot funding should be provided with as few restrictions as possible. There should be no restrictions on capital/revenue, or prescriptive allocations by theme, and reduced restrictions on eligible activities, for example land remediation.
4. Government’s default position should be to devolve management and delivery to sub-regions and Core City Regions with sufficient capacity, with co-delivery used for other areas as a transition to introducing full local delivery.