UK Shared Prosperity Fund

UKSPF Frequently Asked Questions

Logo: UK Government Levelling up.

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 grant size?

Yes, min/max identified below is grant available, excluding any match-funding:

Intervention Min (£) Max (£)
E9: Impactful Volunteering and/or social action projects £15,000 £70,000
E23: Strengthening local entrepreneurial ecosystems £15,000 £70,000
E33: Employment support for economically inactive people £15,000 £90,000
E37: Tailored support for the employed to access courses £15,000 £90,000

Can a bid include capital and revenue funding?

Yes, a bid can include both revenue and capital spend.

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?

A match funding contribution of 15% is required for interventions E33 and E37 delivering the Skills priority. Match funding can include 15% flat rate direct staffing costs, plus a maximum of 15% of indirect staff costs that are attributable to project delivery support.

If unclear on what constitutes as eligible match, this topic will be covered at both workshops. In the event that you cannot attend a workshop, a dedicated UK SPF team at the council is available to provide support and advice throughout the application process.

Are we looking for particular projects under the interventions?

No, the council do not have specific projects in mind for each of the interventions. Any project that delivers activity under the three priorities 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. If you are not VAT registered, irrecoverable VAT should be included in project costs.

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?

No, funding is only available to cover the cost of activities related to the delivery of the project.

What is classified as a project?

Projects are unique, sit outside of business as usual (provide additionality), have a beginning and an end and require coordinated efforts to reach their objectives.
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.

In terms of the maximum grant request would you add the maximums of each intervention together for projects that deliver to more than one intervention?

Projects that cut across multiple interventions. In terms of the maximum, we would look at which intervention had the highest proportion of outcomes and outputs, this would set the limit for that application/project. If applicants were to apply for more than the maximum limit stated, they would need to submit two separate applications. For example, if an application covered E9 & E33 and more outputs/outcomes were to be delivered in E33 then the maximum would be set at £90k.

Is a newly registered organisation with less than a year’s accounts still eligible to apply?

Yes, however a Red Flag credit check will be conducted and any funding issued would be proportionate to the organisations size and history.

Do all outcomes and outputs need to be within Southend City boundaries?

No, however a minimum 50% of beneficiaries must reside in Southend. This is a condition set by Southend City Council and will be measured throughout delivery. The other 50% must reside within the South Essex Area.

Are there age restrictions regarding outputs and outcomes?

We are not specifying a beneficiary age range; however, the beneficiary age does have to be appropriate and align with the context of the project. You cannot count a child attending a business workshop with their parent as an output for example.

Is there a minimum skills requirement when delivering to the qualification, licences and skills output/outcome?

Skills are contextual to the specific theme and intervention and need to demonstrate a clear benefit and be measurable in hours. They can be non-accredited but do not include soft skills and general non-vocational support (for example C.V writing and job searching are not considered eligible).

The Application Process

Is there scope for partnership?

Yes, 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 a Red Flag Alert 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.

Can I claim for overheads?

Yes, for Round 2 UK SPF, there is the opportunity to claim over heads calculated at 15% of direct staff costs. All other direct costs should be included by selecting the relevant drop down boxes in the budget spreadsheet.

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, where appropriate, 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?

There will be two applicant workshops:

The first workshop on November 14th, 09:30am to 12:00pm is an ‘in person’ event and will take place at the Tickfield Centre, Southend. Please email to register your interest in attending.

The second workshop will be held online on November 15th, 1:30pm to 4pm. Please email to register your interest in attending and a teams link will be emailed to you closer to the date.

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?

Capital costs include:

  • acquisition of land and or buildings
  • building and construction
  • professional fees associated with building and construction
  • plant and machinery
  • any larger value item of equipment, assessed in accordance with the Lead Local Authorities capitalisation policy.

For UK Shared Prosperity Fund purposes, capital is defined as any equipment above £1,000. Capital equipment over £5,000 should be recorded on an asset register. Where there are multiple smaller value assets on one order that cumulatively total over £1,000 i.e. 5 laptops at £500 this should be counted as capital expenditure if all on the same invoice.

NB. All small items of equipment and capital spend must contribute to the delivery of individual outputs and outcomes as specified in Grant funding agreements.

How can we provide evidence of the "Improved engagement numbers" required for E9 Volunteers? 

This outcome aims to demonstrate an increase in your overall engagement with the public, particularly related to your UKSPF-funded project activities.
For newly funded projects:
If your project is receiving funding for the first time, your starting point is zero engagement. To record your engagement number, you are required to gather data such as event or training attendance, sign-ups, and requests for information. It's essential to ensure the accuracy of these numbers, so as a minimum please record names and postcodes. When engaging new participants, consider using checkboxes to identify them as newcomers to your project to mitigate any double counting. This approach allows you to report the number of individuals you've engaged with as your project progresses. It's worth noting that, for this outcome, those who eventually become volunteers are also counted as engaged.
For projects enhancing existing work:
If your project builds upon existing work, the same principles apply. However, your baseline is set at the number of people you are currently engaging. From there, you should track and report on the "new" individuals who become engaged specifically with the UKSPF-funded component.
By following these steps, you can effectively demonstrate the increase in engagement numbers as required for E9 Volunteers

Contact UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF)

Go to top