UK Shared Prosperity Fund Supporting Local Business - Pillar 2 Invitation to Bid

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) is a central pillar of the UK Government’s Levelling Up agenda and a significant component of its support for places across the UK. It provides £2.6 billion of new funding for local investment by March 2025. The Invitation to Bid, published 17 April 2023 is for Pillar 2: Supporting Local Business in West Yorkshire.

Please note this is NOW CLOSED

UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) is a central pillar of the Governments Levelling Up agenda. West Yorkshire Combined Authority has been allocated ‘Core’ funding for delivery of £65 million. Following earlier sounding groups which explored gaps in current provision and how the UKSPF could be most effectively invested, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority is now pleased to launch this Invitation to Bid for Pillar 2: Supporting Local Business.

West Yorkshire Combined Authority is seeking bids from either a lead provider and/or delivery partners who are looking to work in partnership to deliver support for business across West Yorkshire.

The Invitation to Bid, published in April 2023, includes a call for projects in the following areas:

1. Interventions to encourage West Yorkshire Businesses to export.

  • Minimum - £350,000
  • Estimated maximum - £1,300,000

2. Innovation for Business Resilience and Growth

  • Minimum - £500,000
  • Estimated maximum - £10,000,000

3. Alternative Business Models pilot

  • Minimum - £250,000
  • Estimated maximum - £500,000

Applications to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund must be submitted by 12 Noon Friday 2nd June 2023. Bids received after this time will not be considered. 

If you have any questions about the UK Shared Prosperity Fund Invitation to Bid please contact us and a member of the team will get back to you.

Contact West Yorkshire Combined Authority

How to apply

Project Proposals can be submitted by, but are not limited to, local district councils, voluntary and community sector organisations, private enterprise and local education providers including colleges and universities.

All applications are to be made on the application form provided by West Yorkshire Combined Authority in response to one or more of the locally determined Call areas set out below. No other format will be accepted.

Bids cannot be submitted for projects that benefit a single entity (for example a single business) - there must be evidence of wider impact for multiple individuals, businesses or other organisations.


Submission and Time frames

Completed Applications are to be submitted to no later than 12 noon Friday 2nd June 2023.  Late project proposals will not be accepted.

All delivery is to be completed by 31 March 2025 when the fund closes.

Investment Priorities - Investment for local business

There are three UKSPF Pillars:

  • Pillar 1 - Communities and Place
  • Pillar 2 - Supporting Local Business
  • Pillar 3 - People and Skills 

This Call seeks applications under Pillar 2 Supporting Local Business.

The UKSPF Supporting Local Business Pillar is designed to create jobs and boost community cohesion, by supporting local businesses through networking, collaboration, and stimulating innovation and growth. The West Yorkshire Combined Authority, following stakeholder consultation, allocated over £25m of UKSPF of its funding to this priority.

The £11.82m is available to support three call areas, which aim to deliver against a number of UKSPF government-prescribed interventions

E19: Increasing investment in research and development at the local level

E22: Investing in enterprise infrastructure and employment/innovation site development projects. This can help to unlock site development projects which will support growth in places.

E23: Strengthening local entrepreneurial ecosystems and supporting businesses at all stages of their development to start, sustain, grow and innovate, including through local networks.

E24: Funding for new and improvements to existing training hubs, business support offers, ‘incubators’ and ‘accelerators’ for local enterprise. 

E25: Grants to help places bid for and host international business events and conferences that support wider local growth sectors.

E26: Support for growing the local social economy, including community businesses, cooperatives and social enterprises

E28: Export Grants to support businesses to grow their overseas trading, supporting local employment.

E29: Supporting decarbonisation and improving the natural environment whilst growing the local economy.

Call Area 1 - Interventions to encourage West Yorkshire Businesses to export

Funding Available - Revenue £1.3m

The aim of this call for Export and Internationalisation support, is to support businesses in the region to explore international opportunities and realise the business benefits of those opportunities through improved productivity, resilience and innovation in a way that maximises the value for their business, the wider economy and ultimately the people living in this region. 

Whilst the changes to our international trading landscape arising from the UK’s exit from the EU have created challenges for many, West Yorkshire has a lot to offer to inter-regional partners across the globe.

Key Objectives under this Call are to:

  • Build international regional economic relationships for trade.
  • Help businesses across the region to understand free trade agreements and grasp opportunities.
  • Inspire businesses in the region to think internationally as part of business planning.
  • Deliver trade support to businesses.
  • Promote the region and businesses based here on the international stage.
Call Area 2 - Interventions to create Alternative Business Models

Funding Available - £500,000 Revenue

The Aim of this Call is to support businesses in one or multiple districts in West Yorkshire to increase their resilience and long-term sustainability through activity relating to Alternative Business Models.

Key Objectives

  • To explore methods of supporting business resilience and sustainability through alternative business models.
  • Support existing alternative businesses to increase their resilience and long-term sustainability.
  • Explore how traditional businesses can adopt alternative business model principles, and which alternative legal structures may support their resilience and long-term sustainability
Call Area 3 - Innovation for Business Resilience and Growth

Funding Available - £10m (£3.6m Capital/ £6.4m Revenue)

This Call for projects is to support businesses across West Yorkshire to increase their resilience and/or growth potential. 

Key Objectives

This Call seeks proposals to drive innovation in its broadest sense:

  • To drive pay, employment and productivity increases for the region; reduce the gap between the region and top performing areas nationally; and reduce gaps between top performing and other areas within West Yorkshire.
  • To increase resilience through crisis and economic shocks.
  • To support businesses to adopt, utilise and exploit new technologies.
  • To support businesses to adapt and diversify, creating new value from new products, services and processes.



Bids will be prioritised where they;

  • are developed in partnership with others 
  • lever in additional match funding 
  • demonstrate how they complement, and, fundamentally, that they do not duplicate or displace existing activity.
  • demonstrate an innovative approach.
  • clearly outline how they will address equality, diversity and inclusion within their given sector including any relevant targets.
  • clearly outline how they will support the Combined Authority’s priority to tackle the climate emergency and include any relevant targets.
  • clearly demonstrate how the activity proposed will become integrated, and/or be adopted longer term, and/or be sustainable after this funding ceases.
  • projects will be expected to coordinate evaluation activity within the Combined Authority’s evaluation frameworks and to share data as required.
Selection Process

As the Lead Authority, West Yorkshire Combined Authority officers will assess all bids submitted. Clear ethical walls are in place to prevent any undue influence being exerted that distorts the bidding process in favour of any applicant or in a way that prejudices any applicant taking account of any conflicts of interests. Bids will be assessed against:

  • the gateway and core assessment criteria set out in the Invitation to Bid.
  • the extent to which bids support the delivery of the local priorities as set out in the Invitation to Bid.
  • the extent to which they meet the objectives of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The appraisal and any prioritisation will be undertaken using only the information supplied as part of the application process. West Yorkshire Combined Authority, as the Lead Authority, cannot accept further detail outside of this process.  

Guidance and Downloads

Full guidance on the UKSPF can be found on the website - available here 

The West Yorkshire UKSP Local Investment plan is available here 

The Application pack for the Pillar 2 Invitation to Bid is available below.

Application Form 

Application Form with Guidance 

Annex A - Budget and Deliverables Excel Spreadsheet (Gateway criteria)

Annex B - Logic Model (Gateway criteria)

Annex C - Equality Impact Assessment (Gateway criteria)

Annex C - Equality Impact Assessment Guidance

Annex D - Partner Supporting the Project Form (Gateway criteria)

Annex E - Match Funding Form (Gateway Criteria)

Output and Outcome Evidence Requirements 

West Yorkshire UKSPF Example Claim Form

West Yorkshire Combined Authority UKSPF Publicity Guidance

West Yorkshire UKSPF Local Partnership Group Membership List

West Yorkshire UKSPF Draft Grant Funding Agreement

Applicant Workshop 19.04.2023 Slides


The following Documentation may also be helpful when writing your application. 




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