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UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) in Sunderland

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Update: 29 July 2022

We are pleased to let you know that Sunderland's plan has now been submitted and is subject to the Government's assessment process.

We will be working in the coming weeks on establishing programme governance and assurance arrangements to ensure that the programme can become operational with early targeted delivery as soon as possible once the Government's assessment is complete.

Introduction to UKSPF and Multiply

The Government's UKSPF Prospectus was issued on 13 April 2022 providing more detail about how the Fund will work.

Sunderland, as a lead authority area, has been allocated a total of £16,577,891 to invest over three years. This is broken down into £14,936,161 of UKSPF core funding and £1,641,730 for the national 'Multiply' programme.

Sunderland is in a strong position to use UKSPF alongside other funding to identify priority interventions for support and to maximise outcomes for its residents, communities, and businesses.

Building on the existing priorities set out in the City Plan 2019-2030, we will develop a local UKSPF investment plan to be submitted to Government between 30 June and 1 August 2022.

The Multiply programme - which focuses on improving adult numeracy - is being administered by the Department for Education and requires a separate investment plan to be developed, for submission by 30 June 2022.

UKSPF and the Sunderland City Plan

Sunderland already has an ambitious City Plan that sets out the longer term vision for Sunderland to be 'a connected, international city with opportunities for all.'

To achieve this, the City Plan has three key themes: 

  • by 2030 Sunderland will be a dynamic smart city with more and better jobs, a low-carbon economy and a great choice of housing. It will be a leading digital city, deploying smart and sustainable technologies for the benefit of residents, businesses and visitors;
  • it will be a healthy smart city where people will live healthier, independent lives for longer. It will be a clean and attractive city with great transport and travel links;
  • and it will be a vibrant smart city with more resilient people feeling safe in their homes and neighbourhoods. There will be a range of opportunities for people to participate in their communities and in cultural events and activities

The UKSPF investment plan will support the overarching City Plan vision and the three themes, by identifying priority interventions and activities that can be delivered between now and March 2025.

The UKSPF Investment priorities

The investment plan must consider the challenges and opportunities for Sunderland in the context of three investment priorities set out by Government:

  • Communities and Place
  • Supporting Local Business
  • People and Skills

Guidance from Government on core UKSPF funding is that the first two years of the investment plan should focus on Communities and Place, and Supporting Local Business. In the third year, the fund can be used for People and Skills. However, places can make the case for delivering People and Skills interventions if they view these as needing to come forward earlier in the investment plan period. The Multiply programme will be delivered across all years.

Investment plans will need to align with the overall fund objectives which are to:

  • 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

How we will engage local stakeholders to develop the investment plans

To develop the local plans, we will work in partnership with the public, private and voluntary and community sectors across the city to ensure cross-sector engagement and to encourage new ideas. We will also engage with local Members and MPs, who have an important role to play in helping identify priorities for their constituents.

Local consultation on UKSPF in Sunderland is taking place through the following engagement mechanisms covering each investment priority:

- Communities and Place - engagement with the VCS through the Sunderland VCS Alliance, City Board and its sub-groups (Health and Wellbeing Board, Vibrancy Board, Community Wealth Building Partnership and Independent Advisory Groups)

- Supporting Local Business - engagement through targeted consultation with representatives of the business community and business support organisations

- People and Skills - engagement through targeted workshops with education and training providers, employment support organisations, DWP and local employers

Discussions are also taking place across the North East region, and with neighbouring local authorities, to explore areas where we have common challenges and opportunities, and where it makes sense to think regionally to potentially create a bigger impact.

Please contact us at ukspf@sunderland.gov.uk for any general enquiries on UKSPF or if you have any questions or require further information.

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