UK Shared Prosperity Fund could help level up rural Britain

First published: 20 April 2022

A landscape shot of fields and a barn in Wensleydale

Rural communities are to benefit from the government’s new UK Shared Prosperity Fund after campaigning from the NFU.

After a significant campaign from the NFU calling for government action to level up rural areas, those living and working in the countryside stand to benefit from the government’s new UKSPF (UK Shared Prosperity Fund).

Rural representation

The UKSPF will aim to provide additional funds to Defra specifically for rural communities and will also encourage local partnership groups to have rural representation.

These groups will include people and businesses with local expertise and will advise on where and how funding should be invested.

Increasing jobs and opportunities

NFU President Minette Batters said: “It is fantastic to see this focus on rural communities and the funding being made available via the new UK Shared Prosperity Fund which will help to level up rural Britain.

“Investment is critical to enable rural communities to increase job and business opportunities across the board. For farming, this means ensuring we continue to have thriving food producing businesses now and into the future which will provide us all with sustainable, affordable food for both home and overseas markets.”

Local solutions for local issues

Mrs Batters continued: “Farming businesses are often the bedrock of rural communities, so having rural representatives advising on local investment will be hugely beneficial to everyone living in rural areas. It means local solutions can be found for local issues, including rural development.

“The ambition shown by the UKSPF is promising. We now need to see more detail on the suggestion of funding being made available to Defra and ensure this investment can support rural Britain to deliver its full potential.”

Find out more about the UK Shared Prosperity Fund which provides £2.6 billion of new funding for local investment by March 2025.

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