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Bidding Round Goes Live for Preston's UK Shared Prosperity Fund Projects

2 June 2023

Preston City Council has launched a competitive commissioning round to identify partners to deliver key elements of Preston's investment plan for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).

Preston City Council received an allocation of £5.2m from the UKSPF to invest in projects that will benefit the city's businesses, residents and communities by building pride of place and increasing life chances.

This first commissioning round covers five priorities identified in Preston's investment plan which share a focus on business innovation and the transition to a low carbon economy. These priorities are:

  • Research and innovation support for local businesses
  • Support for local businesses to decarbonise and invest in low carbon technologies
  • Support to grow the democratic business sector in Preston
  • International trade support for local businesses
  • Support for community measures to reduce the cost of living by improving household energy efficiency

The commissioning round has now gone live and will close at 5pm on Friday 30 June. Projects are expected to commence in July 2023 and run to end March 2025.

Leader of Preston City Council, Cllr Matthew Brown said:

"The projects included in Preston's first UKSPF commissioning round will grow our local economy in ways that future-proof employment and create a more inclusive economy which is resilient to the impacts of climate change. We are looking for delivery partners who share our ambition for inclusive and resilient growth in Preston."

UKSPF priorities in the commissioning round:

  • Business and Community Innovation - Funding is available to increase local investment in research and development and innovation infrastructure, to support the sharing of innovation knowledge and for activities that will translate innovation into commercially viable business opportunities
  • Business Support for International Trade - Funding available for international trade support for local businesses, providing support services and advice for businesses to that they can act with confidence in the international arena, establish secure supply chains and drive export growth
  • Business Support for Net Zero Transition - Funding to support businesses to deliver effective decarbonisation across energy, buildings and transport in line with climate targets. Looking at opportunities to maximise existing or emerging local strengths in low carbon technologies, goods and services
  • Community Energy Efficiency - Funding for community measures to reduce the cost of living by improving energy efficiency, combating fuel poverty and addressing climate change. This could include measures to improve domestic Energy Performance Certificate ratings and provide residents with the information necessary to improve energy efficiency and reduce household bills
  • Support for Social Economy - Funding available to grow the local social economy by supporting the development of community owned businesses, cooperatives and employee-owned businesses. This aligns with the council's commitment to Community Wealth Building and specifically the development of a more democratic local economy.

For more information and to submit online application(s) for each of the five projects visit Preston City Council - UKSPF.

Further information

  • The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government's Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills.
  • For more information visit GOV.UK - UK Shared Prosperity Fund Prospectus.
  • Preston City Council actively applies and prioritises the principles of Community wherever applicable and appropriate. Community Wealth Building is an approach which aims to ensure the economic system builds wealth and prosperity for everyone

Media enquiries:  Nicole Billington, Head of Policy & External Relations 01772 906349, n.billington@preston.gov.uk.