To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how his Department will ensure that the Shared Prosperity Fund will maintain Research and Innovation funding at a level matching funding available through the European Regional Development Fund.
This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.
25 April 2022
Leaving the EU enables the UK to identify UK-specific priorities and create a fund which invests in UK priorities and targets funding where it is needed most. As set out in various Manifesto commitments and at spending review, the UKSPF is not intended as a direct replacement for ESIF funds. The Fund’s policy and delivery structure significantly differs, with a focus to deliver more tangible Pride in Place benefits across the UK.
Places will be empowered to identify and build on their own strengths and needs at a local level. Should they choose to do so, they can fund Research and Development (R&D) related interventions under the ‘supporting local businesses’ pillar of the fund. However, it will be for places to decide how much of their allocation they spend on R&D depending on their locally identified priorities.
Beyond UKSPF, the government has recently set out an ambitious mission as part of its levelling up agenda, including that by 2030, domestic public investment in R&D outside the Greater South East will increase by at least 40%, and over the Spending Review period by at least one third. This additional government funding will seek to leverage at least twice as much private sector investment over the long term to stimulate innovation and productivity growth.