In 2022 the government launched the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF). Forming part of the Levelling Up agenda, all areas of the UK received an allocation of funding for local investment with the aim of delivering visible, tangible improvements to the places where people work and live.
Using the money allocated to the region, one council in Derbyshire wanted to focus on a range of initiatives throughout a three-year programme – including increasing assistance available to local business, addressing local skills gaps by supporting the work aspirations of young people, and making a number of environmental improvements.
Kada Research was commissioned as a research partner by the council to create a UKSPF allocation investment plan informed by these ambitions, as well as the funds three priorities: Communities and Place, Supporting Local Business and People and Skills.
The two-phase multi-disciplinary study started with a desk review of the council’s existing strategies, and an analysis of the challenges and opportunities within the district.
The second phase centred on a presentation delivered to key stakeholders to understand the status and impact of current initiatives, and the needs of businesses and individuals living and working in the district.
This cumulated in the production of the final investment plan including proposed objectives, outputs, outcomes, and delivery partners, with a clear narrative detailing the challenges and opportunities under each investment strand.
Kada’s final report comprised of 10 target schemes including a future skills fund, a business productivity and support programme, and a community partnership scheme.
Following the successful submission Kada was further commissioned for follow up work by the council to engage in the production of an addendum to the investment plan, using allocations from the Rural Prosperity Fund which was launched in September 2022.
“Kada’s support was invaluable in preparing the area’s UKSPF investment plan. They were able to bring additional capacity to enable us to meet the Government’s tight deadlines, as well as their team’s expertise and wealth of experience of comparable issues and initiatives from other locations in which they have worked. “