Following the recent UK Government announcement on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), the regional investment plan for Mid Wales has received formal approval.
A report, setting out the strategy on the Mid Wales UKSPF was presented to both Ceredigion and Powys County Council's Cabinets where members approved the governance and management arrangements for the Mid Wales allocation of the fund. Confirmation has since been received from UK Government that the investment plan has been approved. This now leaves the authorities to review, finalise and agree the terms and conditions of funding - before looking to implement it with local partners as soon as possible.
Following Ceredigion County Council's Cabinet meeting on 6 December, Councillor Clive Davies, Ceredigion County Council's Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration said: "The Mid Wales application for the funding was submitted on the 1st of August so this is very welcoming news from UK Government. It means that we will be able to start using this funding to progress key initiatives as part of our economic strategy.
"Officers from both Ceredigion and Powys have been working together for the last four months to prepare for a decision. But, until this confirmation was made, it has been impossible to finalise the details. Clearly, because of the delays in approval, the allocation for spending in the first year has changed and this will need to be reflected in our plans."
The UKSPF will support the UK Government's wider commitment to level up all parts of the UK by delivering on each of the levelling up objectives:
• Boost productivity, pay, jobs and living standards by growing the private sector, 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
• Through the Multiply Programme, increase levels of functional numeracy in the adult population (Multiply is an adult numeracy programme announced by the UK Government as part of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.)
Following Powys County Council's Cabinet meeting on 13 December, Councillor David Selby, Powys County Council's Cabinet Member for a More Prosperous Powys said: "This news has been thoroughly welcomed and positively received. With Powys and Ceredigion working together to unlock this funding for Mid Wales, we will be able to see investment in priority areas and make the improvements in the communities and businesses needing it the most."
As set out in the SPF guidance, Ceredigion and Powys will deliver their SPF allocations by investing across the investment priority areas listed below;
(a) Communities and Place
(b) Supporting Local Business
(c) People and Skills
It will take time to finalise the processes around applying for funding and put together agreements. Both councils will look to issue calls for applications when ready. Keep an eye on our social media feed for updates
More information, including the Plan, can be found on the following link, www.ceredigion.gov.uk/business/funding-grants/mid-wales-regional-investment-plan/ .