UK Shared Prosperity Fund briefing Paper

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The House of Commons Library has published a paper covering the : “Background and issues for consideration concerning the Government’s proposed Shared Prosperity Fund (SPF), which will replace EU structural funding after Brexit”.  The design, scale and nature of the SPF will be critical to the future post Brexit investment prospects for all Nations and regions and for individual destinations within them.

At 18 pages it isn’t impenetrable and for those with a strategic interest in future funding well worth scanning, if not reading in full.  The summary at page 3 highlights in a couple of paragraphs the key issues to be addressed and, therefore to be aware of, during the delayed formal Government consultation due to be published later in the year.

The summary of representations already made to the Westminster Government by the Welsh Government, Welsh National Assembly, LGA, City Mayors, Post Brexit Funding APPG and the Joseph Rowantree Foundation at pages 16 to 18 are informative and indicative of the range of complementary and competing views likely be expressed during any future consultation and associated lobbying either side of it.  These along with the summary at page 3 are worth looking at if you read, nothing else.

Current concerns for me around SPF, even before I saw the briefing paper are:

  • whether the current Coastal Community Fund which we have been instrumental in getting developed, adjusted to better support tourism and then extended beyond its original 3 years will simply be subsumed, for ease of administration, and thus lost within the SPF.
  • whether rural and rural tourism’s position within EU funding will be adequately recognised and replicated within SPF.
  • and whether the interests of larger towns and smaller Cities (i.e. those outside the half dozen plus core Cities) will gain better recognition and appropriate access to funding, especially for public infrastructure and visitor economy focused development.

I will be contacting you separately to confirm that in light of  the potential creation of  the SPF, these 3 higher level lobbying positions remain broadly unchanged. I can envisage a scenario where, for example, the distinct advantages of having a focus fund for coastal interest might become a disadvantage when trying to also access a potentially larger pot (but with a far bigger demand against it) of SPF funding.  Equally non-coastal members might now take a less altruistic view of the existence of the CCF than they have done previously or they may want very different things from SPF than were available from previous UK and EU funding mechanisms, around which we have formed our current stance above.  I doubt you will want radical change but I do need to ask and ask soon so that I am ready to influencing the debate around SPF even before the consultation takes place.

The paper can be found by clicking  on the “National level political strategies & policies +” menu tab of Britishdestinations.net or go direct to the page at:

https://britishdestinations.net/strategies-and-policies/

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