UK Shared Prosperity Fund Pillar 3 - People and Skills Invitation to Bid - Now Closed

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 26th October 2023 is for Pillar 3: People and Skills in West Yorkshire.

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 3 - People and Skills.

The West Yorkshire UK Shared Prosperity Fund Pillar 3 local Invitation to Bid

To ensure that the Combined Authority receives as many good quality bids as possible we are extending the deadline for submissions by a further 24 hours to 1.00pm Friday 19th January 2024. Please note that bidders must ensure that all Gateway requirements have been met. Bids already submitted can be resubmitted prior to the new deadline if amends are required.

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 people and skills across West Yorkshire.

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

Call Area 1 – Work and Health Programme

  • Minimum - £250,000
  • Maximum - £4,000,000

Call Area 2 –Community Grants Programme

  • Minimum £2,000,000
  • Maximum £4,000,000

Call Area 3 – Youth Unemployment Programme

  • Minimum £2,000,000
  • Maximum £2,000,000

Applications to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund must be submitted by 12:00 Noon Friday 12th January 2024. 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.

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 and/or communities

Submission and Time frames

Completed applications are to be submitted to 

To ensure that the Combined Authority receives as many good quality bids as possible we are extending the deadline for submissions by a further 24 hours to 1.00pm Friday 19th January 2024.  Please note that bidders must ensure that all Gateway requirements have been met.  Bids already submitted can be resubmitted prior to the new deadline if amends are required.

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 People and Skills

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 3 - People and Skills.

The UKSPF People and Skills Pillar is designed to boost core skills and support adults to progress in work, by targeting adults with no or low-level qualifications and skills in maths, and upskilling the working population, supporting disadvantaged people to access the skills they need to progress in life and into work, supporting local areas to fund local skills needs and supplement local adult skills provision and reducing levels of economic inactivity and moving those furthest from the labour market closer to employment.

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority, following stakeholder consultation, allocated over £16m of UKSPF of its funding to this priority.

£10m is available to support three Call areas, which aim to deliver against a number of UKSPF government-prescribed interventions.

E33: Employment support for economically inactive people: Intensive and wrap-around one-to-one support to move people closer towards mainstream provision and employment, supplemented by additional and/or specialist life and basic skills (digital, English, and ESOL) support where there are local provision gaps.

E34: Courses including basic, life & career skills; Including digital, English, ESOL, and life skills and career skills provision, where not being met through DWP provision, for people who are unable to access training through the adult education budget or wrap around support detailed above. Supplemented by financial support for learners to enrol onto courses and complete qualifications.

E35: Enrichment & volunteering activities to improve opportunities and promote wellbeing.

E36: Intervention to increase levels of digital inclusion, with a focus on essential digital skills, communicating the benefits of getting (safely) online, and in-community support to provide users with the confidence and trust to stay online.

E37: Tailored support to help people in employment, who are not supported by
mainstream provision to address barriers to accessing education and training courses.

E39: Green skills courses targeted around ensuring we have the skilled workforce to achieve the government’s net zero and wider environmental ambitions.

E41: Funding to support local digital skills.

Call area 1 – Work and Health Programme

Funding Available - Revenue £4m

Interventions to support individuals or households with multiple health related challenges to address inequalities and remove barriers to

Key Objectives under this Call are to:

  • Increase health and well-being of West Yorkshire residents.
  • Reduce numbers of workless households in West Yorkshire.
  • Create pathways for employment opportunities for individuals.
  • Evidence of multi-agency partnership working to develop employment interventions.
  • Reduce health inequalities for individuals and improve access to work.
Call area 2 - Community Grants Programme

Funding Available - £4m Revenue

To appoint lead provider (s) to manage and administer community grant funds to focus on work and health, support for those
furthest away from employment and digital inclusion.

Key Objectives under this Call are to:

  • To make Community Grants available in the form of small grants to appropriate third sector organisations to mobilise disadvantaged or excluded unemployed and inactive people to facilitate their progress towards employment.
  • Work with and attract grass roots organisations to develop innovative projects to reach
    inactive individuals.
Call area 3 - Youth Unemployment programme

Funding Available - £2m Revenue

Pilot activity to develop understanding around enhancements to the existing regional youth employment offer.

Key Objectives under this Call:

The aim of this Call is to appoint an organisation with a proven track record of involvement with youth provision and partnership working to convene and deliver a regionally co-ordinated, locally delivered partnership that brings together existing targeted youth unemployment activity and identifies best practice in order to inform future youth unemployment activity.

  • Proposals should include:
  • Working in partnership with existing national, local and regional provision and within
    existing strategic frameworks, to deliver pilot activity related to the reduction of youth
    unemployment across the region. Partnership organisations should include the West
    Yorkshire Combined Authority, Local Authorities, Jobcentre Plus and DWP, and local and regional youth organisations.
  • Identifying local variations to delivery and partnership working, whilst also recognising the wider trends of the regional labour market, in order to promote and establish best practice through innovative activity that removes barriers to employment.
  • Identifying appropriate support for young people who are inactive and unemployed, in
    order to help these individuals access employment-related/pre-employment opportunities.
  • Introducing and testing new methods of engagement with inactive and disengaged young people, to better ensure positive employment outcomes in the short and long-term and identify opportunities for co-design of services that meet the needs of this target group.
  • Building employer capacity to onboard and retain talent that has engaged with youth
    unemployment services, to better ensure long-term labour market engagement for

Bids will be prioritised where they;

  • can commence delivery from the 1st April 2024 without the need to recruit or procure partners to help deliver the project.
  • are developed in partnership with others and can demonstrate clear established links with partners across the region to enable delivery at pace. Applications are encouraged from consortia or other similar types of partnership arrangements. In each such case the appli-cation must be completed and submitted by the lead organisation on behalf of the part-nership/consortia. The lead applicant must have the financial capacity to meet the
    required Due Diligence criteria and, if funding is awarded, this organisation will then be-come the lead Grant Recipient, accountable for delivery of the overall Project.
  • lever in additional match funding – maximum intervention rates are as set out in the
    Call Specifications above. Applicants are encouraged to maximise the leverage of other funding. However, we recognise not all projects or applicants will be able to secure match funding. Applicants should note value for money will be a selection consideration as it has a number of benefits, including enhanced alignment with other provision and efficient
    delivery which increases value for money. Therefore, the overall funding package for each project, including any match funding, will be taken into account.
  • support individuals from across West Yorkshire. In the application you will need to set out the delivery breakdown across the five local authority district areas and demonstrate
    geographical spread.
  • demonstrate how they complement, and, fundamentally, that they do not duplicate,
    conflict or displace existing activity (national policy or local strategies), highlighting the wrap-around support being proposed, and how communities and beneficiaries to be sup-ported will be identified and engaged based on evidence of need.
  • demonstrate an innovative approach of delivering interventions across the region aligning to current provision, and clearly identifying how evidence of impact will be presented to in-form future provision.
  • clearly outline how they will address equality, diversity and inclusion in their delivery model including any relevant targets to ensure this is achieved.
  • • 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, with the support of officers within the Local Authority’s. 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 below – bids that fail to meet these
    criteria are ineligible for support and will be rejected.
  • the extent to which bids support the delivery of the local priorities as set out in Section 9 of this 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.

The West Yorkshire UKSPF Local Investment plan.

Following the applicant workshop held 08/11/2023 please find a recording of the session and the slides from the session below

Applicant Workshop recording

Applicant Workshop Slides

The Application pack for the Pillar 3 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 - Now Updated 01/11/2023

West Yorkshire UKSPF Local Partnership Group Membership List

West Yorkshire UKSPF Draft Grant Funding Agreement

UKSPF in West Yorkshire Pillar 3 FAQ FINAL 21.12.23 - Now Updated

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

You may also be interested in

  1. Growing the economy

    We have worked closely with our partners across the region to develop a strategic vision that promotes good growth, so that everyone can enjoy better opportunities and quality of life.

    Read more about Growing the economy
  2. UK Shared Prosperity Fund

    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.

    Read more about UK Shared Prosperity Fund