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Councillor calls for urgent clarity on the future of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund

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cllr gibson
Cllr Julie Gibson

“Organisations fear job losses due to delays in awarding funds”

Cllr Julie Gibson, the Labour Group Shadow Spokesperson for Economic Regeneration has called on the Government to give local community groups some clarity on the future of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. The fund is the replacement for EU funds which was guaranteed by the Government at the end of the current EU programme (March 2023). Yet organisations are still waiting for any indication from the Government that they will receive the vital cash, leading to the prosect that many of them will have to lay off staff or close altogether. 

Cllr Gibson said: “Vital locally-led projects that support local communities are at risk of closure because of the dithering and delay by the Government in allocating the funds. The Fund, is intended to be used by councils and combined authorities to create jobs, support small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and boost local business. These organisations work with some of the most vulnerable in our communities to help them access training and employment opportunities; this work is in danger of being lost and staff are at risk of losing their jobs.”

She continued: “Last year a coalition of charities wrote to the Government expressing their concern that delays to the funding would have a devastating impact on the sector. Just this week I have been contacted by one such organisation in West Lancashire who have had to make staff members redundant as the funding to support them has finished; I fear they will not be the only ones. 

Cllr Gibson said: “Many of our local authorities are still reeling from missing out on funding from the Investment Zone and Levelling Up bidding rounds. The delays in administering the UKSPF will only add to this. What is needed now is a clear decision from government on the UKSPF, so that these vital projects – which are so essential to our economic growth and recovery – can be kickstarted, before we lose them for good.”

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