Decision details

United Kingdom Shared Prosperity Fund

Decision status: For Determination

Is Allweddol decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


This report was presented by The Head of Operations, Community Services, the purpose of which was to update the Town and Community Council Forum on the United Kingdom Shared Prosperity Fund and a series of grant funds available as part of the delivery programme for Bridgend’s Local Investment Plan through the United Kingdom Shared Prosperity Fund.


He stated that it was a brief background to the delivery programme for Bridgend's element at the UK Shared Prosperity Fund programme, specifically outlining a number of grant funds that will be made available. He brought the  Forum’s attention to a number of implications, the UK’s withdrawal from the EU on the 31st of January 2020, loss of access to funding programmes, including the European Structural Investment Funds following Brexit.


He also brought to Forum’s attention the UK Government's commitment to replacement of lost European funding opportunities to level up opportunity.

The creation of the Shared Prosperity Fund (SPF) was one of the main results of that promise with 2.6 billion having been allocated for local investment by March 25 across the UK.


He stated that the report outlined the development steps of the Bridgend Borough Local investment plan for SPF (Appendix 1 to the report referred)

The Head of Operations, Community Services stated that section 2 highlighted how it was being created in alignment with investment priorities and with the themes of the Shared Prosperity fund, along with the Authority’s economic strategy and investment plans.


He stated that the authority free main themes of community and place, supporting local businesses and people, in skills being the main crux of the investment plan.


The plans submitted to UK government were made on a regional basis for SE Wales authorities where Rhondda Cynon Taff acted as the lead authority.


Section 3 of the report highlighted how investment areas within the plan can be delivered in several ways and included in-house delivery, commissioning, procurement and focuses on the allocation of grant funds.

He stated that the report highlighted individual grant fund streams and the values set up or being set up to deliver Bridgend's element of the Shared prosperity fund. The grant schemes were brought before and approved by Cabinet in June of this year. Set out in the main body of the report from pages 58 through to 61 the Grant Schemes are Bridgend Valley's Placemaking Property Improvement Grant , The Empty Property Survey Grant the Community Feasibility Fund, The Business Development Grant, The Business Feasibility Grant and finally The Tourism Events Support Grant.


The Placemaking Property Improvement Grant and the Empty Property Survey grant could be found on the Council’s website, with guidance on application forms. The business development grant and business feasibility grant were also on the website along with the guidance documents.


A member queried when other grants will be available and what the deadlines would be, she also inquired about promotions that have been done to educate the public of the schemes.


The Head of Operations, Community Services responded that the report was taken to Cabinet in June 2023 and this coincided with a number of media pieces highlighting the contents of the Cabinet report. Publicity was also developed in conjunction with the Business Forum. He said he was concerned that the members were not aware of the schemes and gave them the assurance that the team will do more promotional work to increase such awareness. He also stated that he would provide the members of the forum with a framework of opening, closing and spend by dates for the schemes offered.


A member asked if there was anything within the programme that looked at the amount of money that was available through The Authority to the Town and Community Councils to facilitate open areas, and prepare them, in readiness for walking and active travel.


The Head of Operations, Community Services stated that the report they were referring to dealt grants that going to be made available. However, in the broader shared prosperity fund, there were a number of activities in relation to green spaces, some of them were set to improve and make accessible, relating to the Great Glamorgan route as well.


He referred to a presentation conducted by the Climate Change Response Manager, to the Town and Community Council Clerks, which would have been made available to all Community Councillors, where it alerted all of the town community councils to the work being conducted in particular areas. He stated that while it did not specifically provide Grant Funding to the town and community councils themselves, it alerted them to the work that the Authority was carrying out.


A member asked if the Authority could write specifically to Town and Community councils with what grants they can apply for.


The Chairperson agreed with the Head of Operations, Community Services that this can be done.


A member stated that Porthcawl Town Council had received an e-mail on the 25th of August asking for ideas of where the demand is strong as seen by the Town and Community Council Capital Grant Scheme from the Authority. The details of potential projects were to be returned by the 8th of September and Porthcawl Town Council has had to arrange a special meeting to discuss this. The Member inquired the possibility of the Authority providing more notice for potential projects for town and community councils, especially during recess.


The Head of Operations, Community Services stated the town Community council grants scheme was normally sent out much earlier in the year and decisions had already been made on the funding for 2023 with appropriate notice given. He stated he felt that the email referred to by the member related specifically to a review of the criteria against which approvals are made for the town and Community council grant schemes. He stated he believed that the email was sent out to get an idea of schemes town and community councils may have, in order to inform the review process for the scheme.


There was a discussion between members as to the receipt of emails from Town and Community councils and there was advice given on checking if email addresses were valid and also if emails were filtering through appropriately.


RESOLVED:                                It was recommended that the Town and

                                                    Community Council Forum noted the




Publication date: 13/09/2023

Date of decision: 29/08/2023

Decided at meeting: 29/08/2023 - Town & Community Council Forum

Accompanying Documents: