UK Shared Prosperity Fund

UKSPF Frequently Asked Questions

General fund information

Are there any organisations excluded from applying?

No, all organisation types can apply for funding from UKSPF, however, applications from individuals are not eligible.

Is there a minimum/maximum project size?

At present (this may be subject to change) the min/max funding is £15,000-£60,000. This should be understood as an indicative range, as the final range will be subject to government approval of our investment plan.

What is the Southend UKSPF funding profile?

A copy of the Southend UKSPF funding profile is available on request. Please email us.

Can I apply for funding under the people and skills heading?

Government have set out that people and skills investment priority is only available for funding in the 2024/25 round of funding.

Will there be a small grants programme?

We are not offering a small grants programme, with our project funding limits being £15,000 and £60,000. Southend does also offer a community grants programme may be more suitable for organisations seeking smaller grants.

Can a bid include capital and revenue funding?

Yes, a bid can include both revenue and capital spend, unless the call specifically requires only revenue or capital. See our UKSPF page for capital and revenue allocations per year.

What is the revenue/capital split?

For 2022/23 the revenue capital split is 90%/10%, while for 2023/24 it is 87%/13%. Given the relatively low level of capital allocation, if projects require significant capital expenditure, it is likely that they will need to secure match funding to cover this element of the project.

Can I bid for an existing project?

Yes, you can bid for an existing project, however, the funding must support activity that bridges a gap in local provision and meets UKSPF outputs and outcomes.

Is match funding required?

Match funding is not required, but UKSPF funding can act as match funding for external funding, or the application form allows space to explain if any external match funding has been secured for the UKSPF funding.

Are we looking for particular projects under the interventions?

No, there are no particular projects that we have in mind for each intervention. Any project that delivers activity under the intervention and fulfils at least one output and outcome will be eligible for funding and will be considered by the assessment panel (subject to passing the technical evaluation).

How is VAT being dealt with?

If you are VAT registered your budget should exclude recoverable VAT. We are not yet aware if the government will allow irrecoverable VAT to be claimed.

What are the outputs and outcomes?

We have a document, available on request, which provides the outputs and outcomes for Southend’s UKSPF.

Can the E9 intervention be used to pay the wages of those moving into work?

It is highly unlikely E9 funding could be used for this purpose. We are awaiting further guidance from UKSPF.

What is classified as a project (regarding the E9 output)?

The government guidance on this is non-prescriptive, therefore the understanding applied by the council is activity outside the regular operation of an organisation, which has a start and finish. The classification will be left to the discretion of the council, so should there be any difference in understanding, these will be addressed when first drafts are being assessed ahead of the final deadline.

The Application Process

Is there scope for partnership?

Absolutely- we would encourage organisations to work together on bids in order to pool ideas and resources. There will need to be one organisation listed as the lead organisation, which will be the main point of contact responsible for returning regular monitoring and financial reports, budget and for all partner claims. It is strongly recommended that the partnership have in place an agreement at the start of the project. The experience, responsibility and budgets per partner should be set out in the application.

How will the assessment process work?

There will be two stages to the assessment process. The first stage will involve an independent technical evaluation. This will ensure that project bids meet required government criteria to receive funding. This will also involve an Experian check on organisations as a counter fraud measure. The second stage of the assessment will involve an independent assessment panel. This panel will assess the bids on a ‘qualitative’ basis, providing knowledge of local needs and advice on which projects would provide the best fit for Southend. We are currently finalising this assessment panel, where the organisation membership will be provided upon confirmation.

How do I classify overhead, management, and publicity spending in the budget document?

Firstly, overheads are not eligible for UKSPF funding.

If a staff member is delivering the management, then this will be a staff cost, with %FTE or how many hours a week the employee is managing the UKSPF funded project. If the management is contracted, then this would be a supplier of services.

Publicity will depend on the expense. If it simply requires staff, it would again be a staff cost. If publicity activity is contracted, this would be a supplier of services. If you are paying for promotion, then this would be either a supplier of goods or of services. For instance, if you paid for Facebook adverts, this would be a supplier of services, while a banner would be a supplier of goods. All goods and services will need to be directly attributed to project activity, however.

Will the response to applications be a simple yes/no?

We will provide feedback both at the first draft and final submission stages. If a bid is unsuccessful, we will provide an explanation of why this is the case.

Can the council match up similar projects?

We would encourage organisations to combine projects before submitting bids, as it will be unlikely that the council will be able to combine bids once they have been submitted.

Can an organisation apply for more than one project?

There is no limit to the number of projects an organisation can apply for.

What will the draft feedback entail?

Written comments will be provided on your draft application form, as well as feedback on budgets and outputs/outcomes tables.

Will you be hosting an applicant workshop?

We held an applicant workshop on 24 November, which covered the background of the fund, the application process, and the assessment process. A recording of the workshop material is available online.

Delivering UKSPF

Will I need to follow procurement rules for funding?

The UK Government expect all grant recipients to work within the UK public sector procurement rules. These are:

  • for purchases up to £2499 you can make a direct award- i.e. you need to only have one quote
  • for purchases of £2500-£24,999 you must have three quotes
  • for purchases of service or goods £25000 and above you must undertake a tender, and this must include publishing the tender on Contracts Finder

In this section you need to demonstrate that you understand this process, that you will ensure you have evidence of undertaking procurement and to describe how you will do this for each item of expenditure over £2499.

What is classified as capital spending?

In line with the council’s rules, capital spending is and spending on refurbishment, land acquisition, and items over £10,000.

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