To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on ensuring that the UK Shared Prosperity Fund for former coalfields and other less prosperous parts of the country has at least the same value as the EU funds it is planned to replace.
5 November 2019
The government no longer has a funding relationship with the Coalfields Regeneration Trust (CRT), as our final investment into the organisation from 2010 to 2015 was designed to assist it to become self-sustaining. This will support the CRT to respond to needs and opportunities in coalfield communities at a local level.
At the heart of the government’s commitment to places is recognising the crucial role of local leadership – such as the CRT - in directing investment to the priorities of their communities. In England, we have empowered communities to take decisions over investment by devolving over £9 billion of funding to Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP) between 2015 and 2021. We have also agreed nine devolution deals with core cities across England and introduced eight metro mayors. Furthermore, we have worked with devolved administrations and local partners throughout Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to negotiate ambitious City and Growth deals, creating strong partnerships to deliver investment throughout the UK.
We support organisations such as the CRT to discuss funding proposals with the relevant LEPs and Mayoral Combined Authorities, including for the forthcoming UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF). Wider responsibility for regeneration in coalfield communities in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland is a responsibility largely devolved to the governments of those nations.
Final decisions on the overall quantum for the UKSPF will be made at a multi-annual Spending Review.