Call for expressions of interest in Shared Prosperity Fund
European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) have been a crucial source of support for the UK’s creative industries through funding both vital business support and key infrastructure projects. However, if Brexit takes place, the UK will lose access to both the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund which together make up ESIF.
These funds have supported notable projects in the creative industries including: physical infrastructure such as Stornoway’s Creative Industries and Media Centre, providing office and production space for creative businesses and freelancers in a renovated Harris Tweed Mill, digital infrastructure such as Cornwall Next Generation Broadband, providing businesses with fibre connectivity up to 100Mb/s, and business support such as the London Creative Network. Funding has also supported the direct production of creative content such as through the £14.2m of ERDF funding used to deliver the Yorkshire Content Fund, leveraging a further £143m from other public and private sources to produce 37 film and high-end TV productions in the region.
The former government committed to guarantee funding for all those who make successful applications to either fund prior to the UK leaving the EU. Going forward however, the government proposed the introduction of a domestic fund called the UK Shared Prosperity Fund with the aim to reduce inequality between regions of the UK. The Conservative manifesto additionally promises to invest £500m of this Fund to provide skills training for disadvantaged people.
To ensure that this new fund meets the needs of the UK’s creative industries we want to make clear the benefits that have been delivered for the sector through existing EU funding as well as how existing structures and processes can be improved or indeed transformed to better serve our sector in all parts of the UK.
In the first instance, we'd like to hear from you if you are either a recipient - past or present - of the ERDF or ESF, and/or are currently undertaking or plan to undertake any research on this topic. Following the General Election, we'll outline our plan of action for consulting with members, engaging government, and producing a report, and would welcome any views on these areas in the interim.
Please do get in touch with us by emailing Hari Prabu, Policy and Public Affairs Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org