To help local areas prepare for the launch of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund in 2022, the Government has launched a one-year UK pilot Community Renewal Fund. The £220 million fund will support local communities most in need, by piloting programmes and new approaches that empower them to explore how best to tackle local challenges– whether through building skills, supporting local businesses, supporting communities and places, or providing employment support. All places across the UK are eligible for pilot funding.
Bids for the UK Community Renewal Fund will be managed by the following lead authorities:
- Mayoral Combined Authorities, where they exist in England
- The Greater London Authority
- County Councils
- Unitary authorities elsewhere in England and in Scotland and Wales
To ensure the funding reaches the most in need, 100 priority places have been identified. The lead authority of each of the 100 priority places will also receive capacity funding to help them invite bids locally and appraise these bids. Each lead authority will receive £20,000 per priority place. This funding can be incurred from April 2021 for staff or other resources needed to coordinate and appraise bids. It will be paid to lead authorities in the summer and will be paid regardless of whether bids are successful.
The fund is competitive and each local authority can bid up to a maximum of £3million in funding to help build a safer, greener and more prosperous country. Separate guidance will be made available for each lead authority.
A different approach will be taken for Northern Ireland, where UK government will run a national competition against a fixed national allocation. All areas in Northern Ireland are eligible for funding and applicants will be able to apply directly to UK government. This will equate to £11 million of funding.
The shortlist of projects should be submitted by lead authorities to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government by noon on Friday 18 June 2021 by emailing UKCommunityRenewalFund@communities.gov.uk.