The Government is intending to replace EU funding after Brexit with a new UK Shared Prosperity Fund. This is a real opportunity to strengthen the UK’s ability to deliver equality, human rights and prosperity for all. Your organisation can help make this happen: sign up to our shared principles for the Shared Prosperity Fund to make sure the final fund delivers equality and prosperity for all.
Equally Ours’ research report, Shared Prosperity, Shared Rights, demonstrates how EU funding has targeted the inequality and injustices that harm people’s life chances, our communities and the economy. As a consequence it has made a real difference to people experiencing disadvantage and discrimination – people like Jenny, Martin and others who took part in our film, which you can watch here:
It is essential that any replacement for EU funding after Brexit does the same. To achieve this, the UK Shared Prosperity Fund must:
- have equality, social inclusion and sustainable development as core goals, with the same priority as economic objectives,
- provide support for people as well as places, with at least the same level of investment in education, training and support to people experiencing disadvantage and discrimination as the European Social Fund.
Since May last year we have worked with civil society organisations across the UK to agree shared principles that should underpin the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. These will ensure that it really does make a difference to local people, communities and economies.
The shared principles for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund
The continuing wait for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund consultation has created significant uncertainty for civil society organisations that rely on EU funding after Brexit. This includes many that provide employment and other support to people who are marginalised or discriminated against. There is an urgent need for clarity about future funding to ensure this work can continue.
The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) is an opportunity to build a better fund. A fund that is more accessible to a wider range of organisations and underpinned by the following key principles:
The UK Shared Prosperity Fund helps to build an economy that works for everyone
The UKSPF should have explicit, strategic objectives to protect and promote equality, social inclusion and sustainable development, on a par with economic objectives. It should focus on people as well as places, providing at least the same level of investment in education, training and support to disadvantaged and discriminated against individuals and groups as current European Structural and Investment Funds.
The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is transparent and accountable
Governance of the UKSPF must be transparent and accountable, with maximum accountability to local people and communities as well as local businesses.
Local communities and civil society organisations must be involved in the design and delivery of UKSPF-funded programmes, and have the resources and support they need to participate on equal terms to other partners, including appropriate infrastructure support.
The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is accessible to local and specialist organisations
The UKSPF should be designed with minimum bureaucracy to meet local needs and enable a wider range of organisations to access funding, particularly smaller and local CSOs and specialist organisations working with the most disadvantaged communities.
The UK Shared Prosperity Fund respects devolution
The UK Shared Prosperity Fund must respect the devolution settlements for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Each government should be responsible for determining priorities and managing the Fund, in partnership with civil society, local people, communities and businesses.
The formula for allocating resources must be agreed with the Scottish and Welsh Governments on the basis that no region receives less money than it does at present from the European Structural Investment Funds. Resources in England should be allocated on the same basis, giving priority to the most disadvantaged regions and ensuring equity between urban and rural areas.
Signed by: Equally Ours, the Human Rights Consortium Scotland, Just Fair, the National Association of Women’s Organisations, the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action, the Royal National Institute for the Blind, Unison, the Wales Council for Voluntary Action