UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF)
Government launched the UKSPF programme in early 2022, with either Combined Mayoral Authorities, proposed devolution deals, or local authorities at district and borough level having a pre-determined three year budget allocation.
UKSPF is seen as a potential replacement for ESIF funding, which finishes completely in 2022/23. With many of the current countywide business support and skills initiatives being ESIF funded, the LEP is engaging with local stakeholders to offer an aligned business support and skills offer to district/borough colleagues for potential future funding of these services via UKSPF. The LEP also offers programme management services in terms of the procurement and delivery of key countywide business support and skills initiatives.
Community Renewal Fund (CRF)
Government launched the CRF programme in July 2021 as a precursor to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. The CRF was a competitive bidding fund, led by upper tier local authorities, with delivery focused at district and borough level.
At the request of and in partnership with Hertfordshire County Council, the LEP led the CRF application process, the assessment of bids and the interface with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), resulting in a 100% success rate in the allocation of CRF for five projects with a total value of £3,215,981.
Subsequently the LEP was asked to provide overall programme management for the delivery of CRF over the period to December 2022.
Local Growth Fund
LEPs had the opportunity to bid for Government funding from the Local Growth Fund to secure key projects for economic growth in their area. Thanks to our Strategic Economic Plan and strong track record, we secured £204.2m from the Local Growth Fund for Hertfordshire.
This comprises £138.1m secured in the first round of Growth Deals in July 2014; £22.2m in the second round in January 2015; and a further £43.9m in February 2017. Combined funding from these Growth Deals have the capacity to deliver 11,000 new jobs, 16,500 new homes and unlock £460m public and private investment by 2024/25.
Getting Building Fund
In June 2020, Government announced its ‘New Deal’ to deliver jobs, skills and infrastructure for Britain. This included the £900m Getting Building Fund that will invest in ‘shovel-ready’ local projects in England to aid economic recovery in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Hertfordshire LEP was allocated £16.8m from the fund to support five major projects, set to create over 1,500 jobs and unlock over 12,100 sq. m. commercial space within the county. These ‘shovel ready’ projects will support the county’s key growth sectors including film and TV, smart construction, and life sciences.
Growing Places Fund
Hertfordshire LEP was allocated £16m from Government’s Growing Places Fund in 2012 to support key infrastructure projects designed to create new jobs, commercial spaces and homes.
The revolving loan scheme has been used to unlock developments and kick-start stalled projects throughout the county, including the expansion of Elstree Studios in 2014 as well as the regeneration of Watford Business Park and Watford Riverwell (previously known as Health Campus).
European Structural Investment Fund (ESIF)
ESIF is the European Union’s main funding programme for supporting jobs and growth. ESIF funding was matched by national funding. Working with Managing Authorities, LEPs were responsible for determining how the money was spent, finding projects and match funding, and ensuring that funded projects delivered against their objectives.
Hertfordshire LEP was notionally allocated £59.7m of ESIF for investment in Hertfordshire from 2015 onwards. The amount varies according to exchange rate fluctuations.
Hertfordshire LEP was responsible for setting the direction and priorities for ESIF on behalf of Government for our local area. Our ESIF programme supported businesses to compete and grow and improved people’s skills and employment prospects.
The ESIF Programme ran until 2020 and was split across a number of different funds, including:
- European Regional Development Fund (ERDF): focused on strengthening research, technological development and innovation; enhancing the competitiveness of SMEs; and supporting the shift towards a low carbon economy. Our notional allocation was £32.1m including 50% match funding.
- European Social Fund (ESF): focused on promoting employment and supporting labour mobility; promoting social inclusion and combating poverty; and investing in education, skills and lifelong learning. Our notional allocation was £26.24m including 50% match funding.
- European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) - focused on building knowledge and skills in rural areas; funding new and developing non-agricultural, micro, and small and medium-sized rural businesses; funding small scale renewable and broadband investments in rural areas; and supporting tourism activities in rural areas. Our total notional allocation was £1.36m including 50% match funding.