Councillors to Allocate £700k from Shared Prosperity Fund in Flintshire
COUNCILLORS will look at how to allocate over £700,000 remaining from the core programme of the Shared Prosperity Fund (SPF) in Flintshire.
During a cabinet meeting, councillors will discuss a report into the funding, where (UK) Government have allocated £126m to North Wales to deliver the programme between 2022/2023 and 2024/2025 and saw £11m allocated to Flintshire for the core programme.
The Shared Prosperity Fund will deliver £2.5bn of investment until March 2025 across the UK. The aim of the programme is “to build pride in place and increase life chances”.
The report states that the investment priorities set by UK Government include Community and Place, Supporting Local Business and People and Skills.
The report said: “In addition to this “core” programme, there is funding to deliver the Multiply programme which is targeted solely towards accredited training for adult numeracy. There are ongoing discussions with UK Government, Welsh Government and the Welsh Local Government Association about this latter programme as the criteria are felt to be overly restrictive and adult numeracy is a devolved area with existing Welsh Government programmes already in place.”
The cabinet approved the criteria and process for allocating funding from the programme to projects on 22 November, 2022 and gave “delegated authority to the Chief Officer (Planning, Environment and Economy) and Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Economy to do so” according to the report.
A total of 23 projects have been awarded funding in Flintshire, with £10,366,925 of the core programme funding allocated.
The report said: “There is £723,735 unallocated in the core SPF programme and a further £713,544 unallocated within Multiply. In addition, due to the very short duration of the programme there is a risk that projects will not be able to fully achieve their planned activities and expenditure before the programme closes which would leave the Council with funding to reallocate very late in the programme lifespan.”
The report also stated that priority “where possible” should be given to activities contributing to the Communities and Place theme when allocating any residual SPF funding, as it is “currently under-resourced compared to the original indicative profile.”
The report added: “The council will need to be very responsive to changes in project performance and to decisions by UK Government about the use of funding to ensure that the unallocated funding in the SPF programme is used effectively.
“It is therefore proposed that delegated authority is given to the Chief Officer (Planning, Environment and Economy) and Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Economy to establish processes to proactively manage any unallocated funds in line with the UK Government guidance above and in consultation with the regional administrative body.”
Furthermore, “reports will be brought to Cabinet and to Scrutiny Committee on a six monthly cycle to highlight the allocation and expenditure of the programme, progress towards achieving targets and any significant risks and issues arising”.
The Shared Prosperity Fund will be discussed at Flintshire County Council’s cabinet meeting on Tuesday, November 21, where members are recommended to note the progress made in developing the SPF programme both regionally and locally.
They are also recommended to review and approve the “recommended approach” to allocating any residual SPF money and delegate authority to the Chief Officer (Planning, Environment and Economy) and the Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Economy to operate this approach and to manage changes within the projects approved.
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