The UK Government is bringing in a new Shared Prosperity Fund in April 2022.
To help local areas prepare for the introduction of the Shared Prosperity Fund, the Government is providing funding in 2021/22 through the Community Renewal Fund. Bids for the Community Renewal Fund go through local authorities, in our case Dorset Council.
The focus for the Community Renewal Fund is targeted at the following investment priorities:
- Investment in skills
- Investment for local business
- Investment in communities and place
- Supporting people into employment
The Fund is for projects that can be delivered and completed up to 31st March 2022, and the funding is predominately revenue funding. Applicants are encouraged to maximise impact and deliverability through larger projects (£500,000 + where this is possible), although there is no minimum bid size. Timescales are tight, and bids need to be with Dorset Council by noon on Friday 21st May 2021. Dorset Council will then appraise and prioritise a shortlist of projects to submit to government by 18 June 2021. The UK government will assess all bids submitted, and successful projects will be announced by the government from late July 2021 onwards.
In terms of scale, the Community Renewal Fund has a total of £220m to invest across the UK. Each Local Authority area across the UK can submit bids totalling up to £3m to the national fund, so the Dorset Council area can bid up to this amount, and would be shortlisting submitted bids to put forward. The Government has also identified 100 areas which are ‘Priority Places’, which will be a factor in the overall allocation of funding when bids are considered at a national level. The Dorset area is not classified as a Priority Place, so if there is a strong response across the county, this could work to our disadvantage.
A summary of the Community Renewal Fund is at Submit a bid for the Community Renewal Fund – Dorset Council , and for more detail, please read the UK Community Renewal Fund: prospectus 2021-22 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) , which also has some outline information on the proposed Shared Prosperity Fund.