Briefing to MPs: UK Shared Prosperity Fund
UK Shared Prosperity Fund
By Brexit Civil Society Alliance. We are an alliance of over 80 organisations working together to protect fundamental rights, standards, devolution, and parliamentary scrutiny through the Brexit process.
Key Concerns & Asks
Lack of information from the Government of when, and how the UKSPF will be implemented
Civil Society organisations across England feel just as removed from the Brexit process as in the devolved nations
Presents an opportunity to build on the strengths of EU Structural Funds, particularly in addressing inequality and barriers to the labour market
What we do - For the last twelve months, the Brexit Civil Society Alliance has been visiting different parts of the UK to have conversations with local civil society groups to link them together and to have discussions on Brexit impacts. We have been to Belfast and Edinburgh, Cardiff and Cornwall, to Penrith, Rhyll, Bradford and York and will soon be in Manchester, Sheffield and Birmingham in the next three months. The uncertainty of Brexit is often focused on business but it matters just as much to voluntary and community organisations and at the heart of that uncertainty is the issue if funding post-Brexit.
Funding -. EU funding has provided a lifeline to people and communities experiencing disadvantage, discrimination and abuse and provided security for the voluntary and community organisations that support them. While the government made a written statement in July 2018 here and the occasional PQ answer, little has been announced or explained about the future of the UKSPF. UKSPF allocation and access to it remains unclear- furthering the uncertainty that voluntary and community organisations are experiencing as a result of Brexit.
At a Charity Finance Group seminar on Brexit, a major concern is one of timing - “Lots of charities are already teetering on the edge of solvency. Any delay in moving from one system to another is a problem in the short term, even if things are smoothed out further down the line” said Abbie Rumbold, partner at Law firm Bates Wells Braithwaite.
Future - The UKSPF represents a real opportunity to design a fund that builds on the strengths of EU funding, while overcoming its weaknesses. EU funding has provided a lifeline to some people and communities experiencing disadvantage and discrimination however, its bureaucratic complexity has deterred many voluntary and community organisations from applying.
For this opportunity to be realised, organisations currently in receipt of EU Structural Funds and those they work with should be involved in the design and delivery of the UKSPF, so that it is shaped by those it is intended for.