The UK government is committed to levelling up across the whole of the United Kingdom to ensure that no community is left behind, particularly as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
That is why we are now making the biggest changes to the way we support local economic growth in a decade, in order to regenerate our town centres and high streets, support individuals into employment, improve local transport links and invest in local culture, while giving communities a stronger voice to take over cherished local assets that might otherwise be lost.
This will involve the UK government decentralising power and working more directly with local partners and communities across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, who are best placed to understand the needs of their local areas and more closely aligned to the local economic geographies to deliver quickly on the ground.
To support these objectives, the UK government has launched four new investment programmes to support communities right across the country. All share common challenges and opportunities, which the UK government is determined to address in collaboration with local partners. These investment programmes are:
The UK Community Renewal Fund
The Levelling Up Fund
The Community Ownership Fund
The UK Shared Prosperity Fund
The UK Community Renewal Fund
The UK government is providing an additional £220 million funding through the UK Community Renewal Fund to help local areas prepare for the launch of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund in 2022.
This Fund aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches and will invest in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment.
The £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund will invest in infrastructure that improves everyday life across the UK, including regenerating town centres and high streets, upgrading local transport, and investing in cultural and heritage assets.
The UK government has launched a new £150 million Community Ownership Fund to help ensure that communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can support and continue benefiting from the local facilities, community assets and amenities most important to them.
The Community Ownership Fund launched an updated prospectus on 27 May 2022. Having learned lessons from the review of the first bidding round, for future rounds there have been some changes to the eligibility requirements and application process for the fund. These changes are explained in the updated Community Ownership Fund prospectus.
The second bidding window of Round 2 will be open from 31 October and close 14 December at 11:59am. If you apply in this window, we aim to inform you of the outcome of your application in spring 2023.
The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government’s ambitious Levelling Up agenda and a significant component of its support for places across the UK. It provides £2.6 billion of new funding for local investment by March 2025, with all areas of the UK receiving an allocation from the Fund via a funding formula rather than a competition.
It will help places right across the country deliver enhanced outcomes and recognises that even the most affluent parts of the UK contain pockets of deprivation and need support.