March 30, 2021
Westminster power grab?
A recurring theme in this briefing is to challenge any tendency to centralise decision making and control over resources. Routinely that challenge is directed at Scottish Government. because although it is largely restricted in what it can spend by the size of the allocation it receives from Westminster, the decisions about how to spend the cash seem to reside mainly at Holyrood. Which is why some recent announcements from Westminster seem so oddly out of step. Three significant funds coming to Scotland are going to bypass Scottish Government completely – dealing with local councils or community organisations directly. Is this the power grab?
UK Community Renewal Fund Prospectus Launch: The government has launched the prospectus for the £220 million UK Community Renewal Fund. This will support communities across the UK in 2021-22 to pilot programmes and new approaches as the government moves away from the EU Structural Funds model and towards the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.24 Funding will be allocated competitively. To ensure that funding reaches the places most in need, the government has identified 100 priority places based on an index of economic resilience to receive capacity funding to help them co-ordinate their applications.
UK Government has also announced that it will administer the Levelling Up Fund – open to local authorities – and the Community Ownership Fund – open to communities – with no Scottish Government input.