Case Study: UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) West Lindsey
Updated: Mar 1
Client: West Lindsey District Council
Date: August 2022 - January 2023
Challenge faced by client:
The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and a significant component of its support for places across the UK. It provides three years funding for local investment, with all areas of the UK receiving an allocation. West Lindsey District Council has received an allocation of £2.7 million.
West Lindsey District Council has ambitious plans to support the inclusive growth and regeneration of its communities, places and businesses. The success of the Levelling Up Fund (‘LUF’) bid demonstrated the Council’s ability to secure government funding to deliver locally driven strategies, and this success was used to inform the strategic planning and delivery of West Lindsey regional interventions that could be funded via the UKSPF allocation.
As outlined within the government’s pre-launch guidance, the Council was required to develop an investment plan by summer 2022 that demonstrates an inclusive and placed based approach to transformational change.
Specific attention was required to ensure that the plan aligns with the investment priorities identified within the government’s UKSPF guidance (community and place; supporting local business; and people and skills). The guidance is underpinned by a desire to foster local pride in place.
Following the development of the Council’s investment plan, formal approval was required from elected members to release expenditure. The Council required the development of three full business cases (one for each of the UKSPF investment priorities) to inform this process, with the business cases being considered by Council committees in February 2023.
MV led the development of the investment plan required as part of the UKSPF funding application. This involved work and development in several areas beginning with ‘Defining the Challenge’, which involved desktop research and interviews with the council leadership team and key members of staff to determine the most pressing issues facing the Council, communities, businesses, public sector system partners and third sector organisations in West Lindsey. Once the highest areas of need were identified they were grouped into the three investment areas as defined in the UKSFP government guidance.
We then moved on to supporting the Council to define its Vision for West Lindsey and its residents. The identification of market/system failures and their impact completed in the previous phase supported the development of the Vision. Several workshops were held with the Council to determine their ambitions and intended outcomes for the investment plan.
These outcomes informed the Theory of Change phase in which a list of potential UKSFP-funded propositions that would aim to address the previously identified system failures and achieve the overarching Vision was developed. This list was created and refined throughout a number of workshops and also involved wider stakeholder engagement with key groups within the region. Full propositions were then developed for each investment area.
These various phases of work were then combined into a single, comprehensive West Lindsey investment plan.
Following the development of the investment plan, we then ‘held the pen’ on three full business cases, one for each UKPF investment priority. Working in close partnership with members of the Council’s regeneration team, the interventions and projects identified within the investment plan were developed into full, costed propositions through a 5 case model approach. Procurement, governance, monitoring and evaluation and benefit realisation arrangements were all developed, in addition to the identification of a benefit cost ratio.
Outcome: The final investment plan was submitted to the UKSPF in July 2022. Approval from central government was received in December 2022. The full business cases are scheduled to be considered by Council committees in February 2023.
Mutual Ventures supported the Council to deliver a Green Book compliant Business Case for each of the three UK Shared Prosperity Fund investment priorities. This work also included the development of the ‘addendum’ submission to government, required to access the Council’s allocation of the Rural England Prosperity Fund. Mutual Ventures ‘held the pen’ on each business case, facilitating and project managing the process. The work also included the development of outputs, outcomes and an operating model for each intervention, together with the development of a robust economic case which quantified the benefits of the intervention and produced an overall Benefit Cost Ratio.
The Council have developed a strong strategic and working relationship with Mutual Ventures, the work and support was delivered to an exceptionally high standard, ensuring the needs of the Council were met. All members of the Council team involved in the process were able to improve their knowledge and skills of developing Green Book Business Cases. At point of sign off elected members praised the quality of the end product and thanked Mutual Ventures for their ongoing support to the Council.
Sally Grindrod-Smith, Director Planning, Regeneration and Communities