UK Shared Prosperity Fund

UK Shared Prosperity

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UK Shared Prosperity Fund

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) 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.

The government has allocated £4.2 million for investment in communities across Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole.

BCP Economic Development Supporting Business (EDSB)

The Economic Development team at BCP Council is proud to support business through the UKSPF and help them to succeed with this funding allocation. The Investment Plan sets aside a budget of £2.5 million to support the local business economy in the following areas:

  • start-up and growth
  • exporting
  • research and development and innovation
  • decarbonisation and improving the natural environment
  • town and district centres
  • development and promotion of the visitor economy.

Eligible businesses

Your business’s sole or main place of business must be an address within Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole in order to be eligible to apply for support from the UKSPF.

Register to access support

Get started by registering your business for the UKSPF support. You will then be invited to complete a free online diagnostic tool which will provide valuable insights in to perceived strengths and weaknesses. Depending on the support you require, the Economic Development team may refer you to our UKSPF support partner Evolve to receive additional support and guidance at no cost. The option to apply for a grant will be made available to SMEs on completion of the diagnostic process.

Please make a note of your reference number. You will need this again if you wish to apply for a grant.

Match-funded grants

Following the diagnostic stage, most businesses (primarily micro and SMEs), are eligible to submit an application for a match-funded grant to deliver a project in one of the following areas:

  • start-ups (£500 up to £1,000)
  • business growth (£1,000 up to £2,500)
  • research and development for innovative product and service development (£1,000 up to £5,000)
  • exporting to grow overseas trading (£1,000 up to £5,000).

All applicants need to provide detailed proposals including milestones and expected outcomes. The application process is competitive. Applications are assessed against a scoring matrix, which details the threshold criteria that proposals must meet as a minimum in order to be considered for a grant. A copy of the scoring matrix is available to view in the scheme document. The scheme will close when the fund is exhausted.

Decision making boards will be held to assess the submitted grant applications. Please note the grant application submissions deadlines for each board assessment meeting. These dates may be subject to change.

Application submission deadline Date of board assessment meeting
6 July 2023 26 July 2023
4 October 2023 25 October 2023
4 January 2024 25 January 2024
3 April 2024 24 April 2024
4 July 2024 25 July 2024
4 October 2024 25 October 2024

Applications must be submitted by the dates shown above in order to be assessed by the next board assessment meeting. Businesses will be notified within two weeks of the board assessment.

Before you apply, please be aware:

  • businesses that submit a grant application without having completed the above registration form and diagnostic tool will be automatically rejected
  • the grants are strictly limited to one application per business – any additional application received from the same business will be automatically rejected
  • supporting evidence including a copy of a recent bank statement and proof that the business is active and trading will need to be provided by uploading them to the application form when requested – please do not begin the application process until you have these to hand
  • businesses that have been established for less than 36 months are not eligible to apply for the Growth Grant
  • project proposals must fund a project/activity which completes no later than 31 December 2024 – whilst proposals, which are part of a longer-term programme extending beyond 31 December 2024 are permitted, the specific project/activity funded by the UKSPF grant must be completed by this point
  • awarded projects will be required to provide reporting (supported with evidence) on the project spend (including match-funding) and the outputs and outcomes that their grant has achieved as well as indications of what any related longer-term programme has achieved (and/or anticipated to achieve) – view the UK Government’s definitions of UKSPF output and outcome indicators
  • your grant proposal must be capital or revenue spend (it cannot be a mix of both), we are unable to provide advice regarding what constitutes capital and revenue.
Register your business for UKSPF Support

Business grants from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF)

This fund is now open. Applications open on Monday 29 April and close on Sunday 30 June 2024. 

Businesses can apply for grants of between £2,000 and £20,000, towards:

  • digital technology and innovation
  • research and development
  • business growth and exports

Such as: 

  • grants for the purchase of:
    • new equipment
    • software development and implementation
    • adaptations
    • automation
    • robotics
  • grants to provide support with:
    • Intellectual Property (IP)
    • patents
    • trademarks
    • designs
    • copyrights or other options for protecting IP
    • capital funding for new machinery for new products
    • development of new services or products
  • grants to facilitate growth, promote innovation and increase productivity
  • grants to facilitate and support businesses that either wish to start exporting or are already doing so

Before you apply

Businesses must provide 100% match funding in cash and are required to undertake a business support meeting with our lead business partner, WSX Enterprise prior to making an application. 

Following this discussion each business will be given a unique reference number which must be quoted on the application form. 

How to apply

Applications open on Monday 29 April and close on Sunday 30 June 2024. 

Before you apply, you should read the:

All applicants must create an account to enable access to the application form. Applications do not have to be completed in one visit, there is an option to save and return. However, please note all questions must be answered and all supporting documents submitted as any incomplete applications will not be accepted.

After you apply

This is a competitive grants process. Grant applications will be assessed by a panel made up of Dorset Council Officers and independent reviewers. The grants panel will meet once a month in May, June and July 2024. Applicants will receive a decision no later than 2 weeks after their respective panel meeting. 

These grants must be spent and finalised in this financial year (2024/2025), with projects completed, payments undertaken and return submissions completed by 31 December 2024. 

Start your application for UKSPF Support