Wales' most innovative and influential think tank

Connect: Twitter Facebook LinkedInTel: 01685 350938

Joint call for devolution of Shared Prosperity Fund to Wales

October 2nd 2017

The Welsh Local Government Association and independent think tank the Bevan Foundation will today [2nd October] publish a report outlining the necessary arrangements to ensure that regional economic development in Wales is not disadvantaged by Brexit.

The report details the ‘red lines’ for negotiating future regional economic policy in Wales after Brexit, to ensure that Wales is no worse off as a result of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. It proposes that a future funding arrangement must not simply be ‘Barnettised’, as Wales would lose out on access to tens of millions of pounds every year.

Due to the UK’s EU membership and low regional GVA rates, Wales has received hundreds of millions of pounds in Structural Funds, intended to encourage economic growth and improve people’s lives. To replace this mechanism, the UK Government has proposed a ‘Shared Prosperity Fund’, indicating that this would be designed and administered at the UK-level.

The report makes a number of recommendations for post-Brexit regional policy, based on a forum attended by academics, policy makers and service delivery organisations held in June 2017. It calls for:

  • A funding arrangement which leaves Wales no worse-off after Brexit in relation to the Structural Fund allowance.
  • Preferably, devolution of Wales’ share of the Shared Prosperity Fund, or the involvement of devolved administrations and the Local Government Associations in designi
    ng the new fund.
  • The Welsh Government to lead on designing a regional policy for Wales, in collaboration with local government and other key partners. It should build on the work of the four Regional Partnerships which are already developing place-based plans for their areas.
  • Relative need should be based on more than regional GVA levels; it must consider levels of poverty, income, skills and economic inactivity.
  • Post-Brexit regional policy must aim to achieve inclusive growth, and address intra- and inter-region economic and social inequality.

Bevan Foundation director Dr Victoria Winckler said:

“It’s been six months since the triggering of Article 50, so the need to prepare for the best possible outcome from the Brexit process is ever more urgent. To date, there has been relatively little discussion about how public policy should respond in relation to the local and regional impact of Brexit in Wales.

“The recommendations in this paper set out what would be acceptable from a post-Brexit regional policy, including what would follow from the significant amounts of Structural Funds that Wales has received. First and foremost, Wales should not be any worse-off as a result of Brexit, which is why the replacement to this – currently proposed to be the Shared Prosperity Fund – cannot simply be ‘Barnettised’. We’re calling for a funding settlement which reflects Wales’ higher levels of need, and that is devolved to Wales.”

WLGA spokesperson for Economic Development, Europe and Energy, Councillor Rob Stewart, said:  

“This report is an important contribution to the Brexit debate. The outcome of these seismic constitutional discussions will have repercussions for the nations of the UK for

generations to come, and it is essential for local government that Wales has the flexibility to develop a distinctive approach that meets the needs of the people of Wales and its communities. WLGA will look forward to continue to work with both the Welsh and UK governments to make sure that the needs of Welsh local government are clearly heard in these important discussions.”

To download the report, please click here.


Leave a Reply

In Print

Supporter Magazine

Exchange Issue 10, Spring 2018

“Refreshing, timely and balanced – Exchange has its finger on the pulse” The latest edition of our exclusive supporters’ magazine brings together a range of contributors to explore some of the most current and important issues in Welsh public life. Read more »

Exchange – Issue 9

Well-being in Wales The latest edition of our exclusive supporters’ magazine looks at well-being in Wales from a range of different perspectives. Our excellent range of contributors looks at health and social care in Wales while considering different aspects of Read more »

More from the Supporter Magazine »

Other Publications

Poverty in Wales 2018

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s latest report provides an up-to-date analysis on the current status of poverty in Wales The report looks back over the last twenty years, examining the poverty trends in Wales, comparing Wales with the rest of the Read more »

More from Other Publications »


Stay informed

Keep up to date and gain new insights and inspiration with our FREE e-news

Sign Up For Insights »

Support Us

Support lasting solutions today!

We need YOUR help to create equality, justice and prosperity for everyone in Wales

Support Us »


April 19th 2018

Prevention & inclusion: lessons for tackling poverty

This event is now fully booked sorry. Keynote address by Lord John Bird   with Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner Kindly sponsored by Mark Isherwood AM The Bevan Foundation and The Big Issue Cymru invite you to a presentation by Lord Read more »