The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment between April 2022 and March 2025. It aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK by investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. The UKSPF replaces the European Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund, with all areas of the UK receiving an allocation. The Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) is a top-up to the UKSPF and succeeds EU funding from LEADER and the Growth Programme which were part of the Rural Development Programme for England. The REPF supports capital projects for small businesses and community infrastructure. This will help to improve productivity and strengthen the rural economy and rural communities. It is complementary to funding used to support rural areas under the UKSPF, with the funding period running from April 2023 to March 2025. Lead local authorities have flexibility over how they deliver the UKSPF and REPF. Westmorland and Furness Council will use a mix of competitions for grant funding, procurement, commissioning or delivery through in-house teams. Investment priorities and funding allocation After the vesting of Westmorland and Furness Council on 1 April 2023, the UKSPF investment plans of South Lakeland District Council, Eden District Council and Barrow Borough Council were brought together into a single investment plan for the new council, with funding of £2,017,798 allocated to Westmorland and Furness for 2023/24 and £5,286,627 for 2024/25. The new investment plan reflects the ambitions, aims and approaches set out in the three original investment plans and the vision and priorities of the Westmorland and Furness Council Plan. The Council also has a REPF allocation of £2,189,651 with £547,413 available in 2023-24 and £1,642,238 in 2024-25. Only projects in the former South Lakeland and Eden district areas are eligible for support from the REPF. Our investment priorities for the UKSPF and REPF are: Improvements to town centres and high streets Arts, cultural and creative activities Active Travel Impactful voluntary and social action projects Improvements to sports facilities Business start-up, growth and innovation Business decarbonisation Support to access employment Support to help people in employment access education and training Small scale investment in micro and small enterprises in rural areas Growing the local social economy and supporting innovation Improvements to cultural, historic and heritage institutions and assets Local Partnership Group A Local Partnership Group made up of local stakeholders from strategic organisations across the Westmorland and Furness area and wider region was established in 2022 to oversee the development of the investment plans and provide advice on the strategic fit and deliverability of UKSPF and REPF projects during the selection process. Westmorland and Furness UKSPF Local Partnership Group - Terms of Reference and membership (PDF, 29KB) Projects in 2023/24 and 2024/25 Westmorland and Furness Council will support selected projects that deliver on the Council’s UKSPF and REPF investment priorities in 2023/24 and 2024/25. A call inviting project applications was open from 26 May to 30 June 2023, with final decisions on projects to be supported made in September 2023 by the Council’s UKSPF Investment Board. A full list of the selected projects can be viewed at UKSPF and REPF Funded Projects (PDF, 396KB). A number of programmes of grants and support are among the projects to be funded by the Council, including: small, medium and start-up business support from Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership rural business support from Cumbria Chamber of Commerce Cumbria Action for Sustainability’s Westmorland and Furness Net Zero Business Hub social enterprise and community business support from Cumbria Social Enterprise Partnership grants for sports clubs and facilities from Active Cumbria small grants for cultural, creative and heritage organisations and events and festivals Local businesses and organisations will be able to apply directly for funding and seek support from these programmes. These opportunities will become available later in 2023/24. Businesses and organisations can register their details to be notified of further developments by emailing email@example.com One further call for projects which provide tailored support to help people in employment to address barriers to accessing education and training will be opened later in 2023/24, with funding becoming available in 2024/25. Further guidance to support projects: UKSPF and REPF Scheme Guidance (PDF, 118KB) Document UKSPF branding and publicity guidance (PDF, 311.15KB) UKSPF Outputs and Outcomes Definitions REPF Outputs and Outcomes Definitions UKSPF and REPF – challenges and opportunities for Westmorland and Furness (PDF, 447KB) For more information on the UKSPF and REPF please refer to the following guidance: UK Shared Prosperity Fund Prospectus UK Shared Prosperity Fund Interventions List (England) Rural England Prosperity Fund: prospectus Rural England Prosperity Fund: interventions, objectives, outputs and outcomes summary If you have any questions you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.