The Government has been warned that as many as 164 university-led skills and training projects could be halted or axed due to European funding running out by the end of next year – reducing skills and training support for SMEs.
The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) will award £2.6 billion of new funding for local investment by March 2025 in place of European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), which the UK is no longer eligible for following Brexit.
According to advocacy organisation Universities UK, following the UK’s departure from the European Union, urgent action is needed from the Government to bridge the funding gap while it sets up its replacement for EU funding for local skills and training partnerships.
Support for small businesses essential
Universities UK is the collective voice of 140 centres of learning across the UK whose mission is to help universities be the best in the world, through their research and teaching, and the positive impact they have locally, nationally and globally.
It says that vital training, skills development, and jobs are at risk as is the retraining, upskilling and support for small businesses essential to the success of levelling up.
Uncertainty on the allocation of the UKSPF will leave a significant gap in funding, putting vital community projects and the jobs of experienced staff at risk, according to Universities UK
The type of projects that could be impacted include:
The FLEXIS App project, led by Cardiff University, is generating green and economic growth across Wales through industrial partnerships. The project has received most of its funding, almost £3 million from the ESIF programme, which runs out in November 2022.
Productivity Through Innovation (PTI) is a project delivered by Nottingham Trent University, University of Nottingham and University of Derby to help around 200 local SMEs increase turnover, competitiveness and profitability. The project is receiving £3.5 million from the ESIF – half its total funding – which runs out in March 2023.
The University of Manchester’s Bridging The Gap programme, delivered by the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC), accelerates the adoption and commercialisation of graphene and 2D materials. The programme has engaged with more than 200 SMEs, generating new products and jobs. The project is receiving £1.9m from ESIF, which will end in December 2022.
Universities UK has written to Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities, Michael Gove, outlining the university sector’s concerns around the initial plans for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
For help and advice with related matters, please get in touch with our expert team today.
“Richard Anthony case study – Terry Lewis – Jaques Samuel Pianos Widely considered to be London’s leading piano retailer, Jaques Samuel Pianos has grown considerably from its humble beginnings in the front room of Mr Samuel’s home in Notting Hill. They are now internationally recognised and have provided pianos for high-profile clients like Queen and […]”
Terry Lewis – Jaques Samuel Pianos
“Richard Anthony: ‘a super-star firm’ MT Finance is a property finance lender, specialising in bridging loans and auction finance. They assist numerous property professionals, business owners, and individuals with their finance requirements and specialise in short-term asset-based lending. Founder and Director, Tomer Aboody, knew that as an asset-based lender, the business would require an expert […]”
Tomer Aboody – MT Finance
“A family fairground success story The Botton family have been running a traditional fairground, arcade and amusement park in the heart of Skegness since taking over the Pleasure Beach in 1965. Jim, the Director of the company, took over from his father and now heads day-to-day activities and administration. He said: “The Pleasure Beach is […]”
Jim Botton – Pleasure Beach (Skegness)