Cost of Living Business Support
Concerned about rising costs for your business? The Growth Hub team have compiled a list of the latest cost of living and energy related schemes and guidance available. They can also offer your business support with business planning and resilience.
Find out more at https://www.heartofswgrowthhub.co.uk/cost-of-living/
UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF)
Somerset has been notionally allocated a total of £7,263,760 of UK Shared Prosperity Funding (UKSPF) over the 3 year period 2022 to 2025.
The UKSPF sets out a bold new approach to improve livelihoods and opportunities in all parts of the UK. The fund is a central pillar for the levelling up agenda and will provide £2.6 billion of new funding for local investment by March 2025. Of the £2.6 billion, an initial £559 million will be allocated, nationally, to the Multiply adult numeracy skills programme.
The UKSPF will support the UK government’s wider commitment to level up all parts of the UK by delivering on each of the levelling up objectives:
- Boost productivity, pay, jobs and living standards by growing the private sector, 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 primary goal of the UKSPF is to build pride in place and increase life chances. The fund will improve the place people live in, and support individuals and business. There are three investment priorities, each with detailed objectives:
- Communities and place – strengthening social fabric and fostering a sense of local pride and belonging through investments in infrastructure, local green space and community led projects.
- Local business – creating jobs and boosting community cohesion through investment in existing industries and institutions, support for those starting businesses, sharing knowledge and expertise, improvement in retail, hospitality and leisure facilities, networking and collaboration and stimulating innovation and growth.
- People and skills – boosting core skills and supporting adults to progress in work, supporting disadvantaged people to access the skills they need, supporting local areas to fund local skills needs, reduction in levels of economic inactivity by supporting those furthest from the labour market.
The interventions, to help meet the objectives of the investment priorities, will be planned and delivered by Local Authorities through the development of a Local Investment Plan. The funding is allocated via formula and is subject to submission and approval of the plan.
Somerset County Council, as the continuing authority for Somerset in the Local Government Review process, has been identified as the Lead Authority and is co-ordinating the development of the Plan.
The prospectus for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund was launched on 13 April 2022 and sets out more detail.
The initial UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) briefing session was held on Friday 20 May 2022. For those unable to attend the briefing can be viewed at this YouTube link:
Consultation events were held on 8 June and 9 June 2022 – to view the events on YouTube, please click on the following links:
Community – round table discussion
Please check this page regularly.
UKSPF Rural Fund
Somerset has been awarded £3.4m of UKSPF Rural Funding to be spent over the next two financial years. A Rural Addendum now needs to be submitted by the end of November 2022 to provide an insight into the issues within the county and an overview of how the money could potentially be invested to help the rural economy.
The urban centres of Bridgwater, Taunton and Yeovil are excluded from this fund.
Investments may include farm diversification, such as accommodation and wedding venues. However, diversification into food production is excluded under the terms of the fund.
Defra has posed a set of questions and the response must cover Somerset’s rural economy, with identified opportunities and threats. Defra has set a series of interventions that can be used – all interventions have been selected to deliver the widest opportunities for the county.
You can complete an online questionnaire as part of this consultation.
There will also be an online consultation event held on Teams on 17 November 2022 – you can register here