Policy Update: June 2023

UK Shared Prosperity Fund update 

The Tees Valley UKSPF Investment Plan was approved by government in December 2022 and the Implementation Plan sets out delivery approaches, business process, and links to the Forward Plan for allocation of resource. 

Open Calls have been held for Supporting Local Business, People and Skills and Digital Inclusion Feasibility. Further details can be found on our website  

Rural England Prosperity Fund 

In April, Government announced a £10million Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) to support rural businesses and community groups. The funding can be invested in initiatives such as farm diversification, projects to boost rural tourism, and community infrastructure projects including electric vehicle charging stations. The funding will also help people start up local businesses to supercharge growth and create employment opportunities for rural areas. 

The Combined Authority has been awarded £624,909 for the period 2023/24 – 2024/25, with the most rural parts of Redcar and Cleveland eligible. Further details of the REPF funding opportunities will be available on the Combined Authority website soon. 

Investment Zones 

Government has published its Investment Zone policy prospectus which sets out the scope of the refocused policy, including the case for action, programme objectives, policy offer and the process for selecting places who have been invited to be an Investment Zone. 

Tees Valley has been selected as an Investment Zone area and the Combined Authority is in discussions with Government to co-develop proposals.  

Local Skills Improvement Plans 

Local Skills Improvement Plans (LSIPs) are a new employer-led initiative from the Department for Education (DfE) in England. They aim to reshape technical education skills training provision to better meet the local needs of employers and the wider economy. The DfE designated 38 Employer Representative Bodies (ERBs) throughout England as responsible for developing a three-year Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) for their area.  

The North East England Chamber of Commerce is responsible for developing the LSIP for Tees Valley and submitted the draft LSIP to Government in May 2023. It is expected plans will be agreed by the Secretary of State in summer 2023 and will run up to March 2025 with regular reviews to ensure they remain relevant. 

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