UK Shared Prosperity Fund



The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. The UKSPF Cheshire East allocation is circa £12.4M, with a further circa £1.5M allocation specifically for Adult Numeracy programme (Multiply). The funding must be spent by March 2025.

With input from a range of local stakeholders, the Council developed an Investment Plan for the UKSPF allocation, setting out objectives for the funding and anticipated outputs and outcomes. A separate plan has also been developed for the Multiply element.

Linked documents:

Projects already being delivered utilising UKSPF


Communities and Place Projects:

  • Flourish Fund, UKSPF is being used to provide VCFSE (Voluntary, Community, Faith, and Social Enterprise) organisations with grants up to £5,000 to support people to remain healthier and improve their wellbeing in their own home, creating healthier households.
  • Improved, Greener, Community Facilities Fund, UKSPF and RPF is being used to provide VCFSE (Voluntary, Community, Faith, and Social Enterprise) organisations and Town and Parish Councils the opportunity to apply for grants covering up to 75% or £15,000 of the total project costs to improve community facilities and buildings, energy efficiency and save carbon across Cheshire East.
  • Ly2, Crewe UKSPF has been used to support the upgrade of Lyceum Square in Crewe Town Centre to provide a new community and cultural event space.
  • Flag Lane Cycle Way, Crewe UKSPF funds have been used to support the development of the introduction of a new contraflow cycleway improving safety and utility on national cycleway NCN451.
  • Black Lane Cycle Way, Macclesfield UKSPF has been used towards the upgrade of part of the Middlewood Way NCN55 route. Improving the journey into Macclesfield Town Centre for pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Community Cost of Living Response Grant UKSPF is being used to provide grants of up to £10,000 for the voluntary, community, faith, and social enterprise sector to reduce the impacts of the cost of living crisis on the most vulnerable residents of Cheshire East.
  • Feasibility Studies UKSPF is being used to undertake a variety of feasibility studies on potential projects relating to the regeneration of various town centres).

Recently approved projects

The project will support community buildings to reduce energy costs and reduce carbon through energy efficiency measures and low carbon technologies.

It will help community organisations to develop detailed decarbonisation plans for their buildings which will identify measures such as behaviour change, improved monitoring, insulation, window/door replacement, lighting upgrades, electric vehicle charging points, active travel measures, and installation of renewable energy technologies.

The project will then support the implementation by providing a grant contribution towards the installation of these measures through the Cheshire East Crowdfunding platform.

‘Macc on Foot’ will visually enhance the pedestrianised area, significantly improving the pedestrian experience for those walking through Macclesfield town centre’s Historic Heart and Retail core.

It will encourage walking, cycling and events, increase ‘Greening (new trees, planting etc), create parklets/alfresco areas that support hospitality businesses, enliven the street and increase dwell time and footfall.

It will significantly upgrade and declutter street furniture, create a Heritage Trail, add new murals and public art and create a new Shop Front Improvements Scheme,

‘Macc on Foot’ will foster civic pride from beautification and enhanced surroundings in the centre of the town.

The vision for the Macclesfield Indoor Market Refurbishment is that Macclesfield Market will become the home of independent retail, a food and produce hub and an important business incubator for local entrepreneurs.

MIMR aims to re-energise the market with a suite of high impact visual enhancements, a proactive Lettings Strategy, emphasis on sustainability and a focus on events and promotion.

It will combine with the physical improvements to create a welcoming market, and to increase footfall and dwell time that supports vitality and viability of the town centre.

MIMR will make the market a ‘go-to destination’ for visitors to Macclesfield.

This scheme represents the ‘final piece of the jigsaw’ providing a coherent high-quality active mode route between Crewe Rail Station and Crewe Town Centre, which will solidify the benefits of the neighbouring Southern Gateway and Mill Street Corridor active travel interventions and enable transformation of Crewe through enhanced connectivity.

By delivering a new shared path, improved crossing and bus stop facilities, this scheme links Crewe Rail Station to Pedley Street, creating more space for pedestrians and cyclists on Nantwich Road bridge. This scheme will also improve links from the station to Gresty Road for trips south of the station. 

This project is to undertake a renovation of Knutsford Market Hall to create a more modern, desirable and environmentally friendly market to reverse a steady decline in its viability.

Macclesfield ‘Museum on the Street’ will provide information boards across the town centre that can be followed as a trail. The boards will provide interesting information about Macclesfield and its character including historical information and pictures, to art installations (e.g. Ian Curtis mural) to more quirky unique information like inventing the deckchair!

A digital and paper trail will be available, highlighting local businesses.

The trail will aid visitors to get around and explore all there is to offer, e.g the wonderful museum and Paradise Mill. It will also educate residents and provide low-cost trips for schools.

As identified in the Congleton Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan, the highway outside Congleton Railway Station does not include a safe crossing for pedestrians or cyclists.

This gap in provision of the signed walking and cycling route from the station to the town centre can be addressed with the following proposals:

• a rationalised entrance/exit from the station car park

• a pedestrian refuge on Ayrshire Way

• introducing a pedestrian crossing on Park Lane

• relocating the bus stop and removing the layby

• introducing a signed cycle route using the quiet route near the Queen’s Head Pub 

This scheme is the construction of a parallel crossing for pedestrians and cyclists at the A538 Waters Roundabout in Wilmslow.

This crossing will create a key link in the existing high-quality cycling and walking infrastructure provision on the route linking Wilmslow to Manchester Airport and beyond.

Completing this route with the crossing will ensure a strong, high-quality, coherent Local Transport Note 1/20 (LTN 1/20)1 compliant route helping to link people to major employment opportunities.

The proposal is to establish new community cultural volunteering groups to support local creative activity in two towns in Cheshire East. The development of these groups will:

  • upskill local volunteers
  • increase capacity for event delivery and placemaking creative activity
  • help develop events and community engagement activity
  • support existing events and activity in the towns
  • engage local community in cultural decision making
  • potentially offer pathways to employment though skills and experience development

The Cultural Place Partnership in Crewe will bring together key partners to deliver a programme of activities and events in Crewe.

The programme will deliver long lasting positive change through delivering opportunities for young people and families to experience high quality culture and access creative skills development. Particularly targeting those experiencing challenging circumstances.

The project will also see the formalisation of a Cultural Partnership for Crewe ensuring that Culture is at the heart of the regeneration of the Town.

This project has three core aims and deliverables.

Firstly, it will develop a clear “Visit Knutsford” brand identity which can be used to promote Knutsford on a variety of marketing materials. This brand will be used to develop a Visit Knutsford website and social media.

The project will also develop a tourism strategy for Knutsford, identifying how the town can develop its role as a tourism location to increase local revenue; this will include working with local tourist attractions to provide advice/guidance on enhancing their position as a destination.

Totally Congleton is a campaign aimed at revitalising Congleton town centre with an exciting range of events and activities to encourage new and existing residents to gain a stronger sense of pride in their town centre and bring together the independent businesses to support each other. 

The project will focus on enhancing people’s physical, cultural and social ties to their town centre through art, cultural and heritage events and activities. It will also seek to improve the physical look by dressing empty properties.

To build community capacity, participation and leadership in the cultural delivery in Crewe and to create a locally relevant and engaging arts trail around the town centre including interpretation and guidance.



Local Business Support Projects:

    • Flexible Work Space Project UKSPF will be used to make substantial grants of up to £100,000 to convert underutilised town centre property into flexible work spaces.
    • Online SME Support Hub UKSPF has been used to establish an online support hub for businesses
    • Business Accelerator Programme UKSPF is to be used to provide support to help businesses start up and size up, including business advice, workshops, training, coaching and mentorship.
    • Sustainable Inclusive Growth Project UKSPF will be used to provide a mix of financial (grants) and non-financial (business support) to help businesses develop sustainable and inclusive growth plans.
    • Temporary Employer Engagement Officer UKSPF is being used to create a temporary officer to engage with employers struggling to recruit and match recruitment needs with cohorts of people struggling to find employment.

Recently approved projects

CERDPIP will, through inspiring yet practical workshops, action learning and 1-2-1 support, introduce concepts of how R&D and technological advancement can improve productivity and enable greater sustainable growth, using technologies such as AI, Robotics, Additive Manufacturing and Digital capabilities.

CERDPIP will support the manufacturing, production and engineering sector across the Cheshire East authority area with the principle aims of:

  • improving and driving productivity to increase business performance
  • understand and implement potential technological advancements
  • progress new research & development strategies
  • building resilience and sustainability through technical innovation
  • facilitating direct improvements to productivity
  • improve capabilities to grow and develop future focused businesses

This project will help businesses of all sizes within the Cheshire East Area to Start, Sustain and Succeed. The prime aim is to assist businesses to grow and innovate in a difficult economic climate.

All three Chambers within the Cheshire East Area are working together to deliver workshops/ masterclasses, share knowledge, expertise, resources and support.

This project will support businesses to grow by promoting collaboration and sharing expertise, resources and best practice.

It will put employers at the heart of informing and inspiring their future workforce about careers and progression and help them to connect with schools/colleges and young people.

This will involve more targeted work in areas of higher unemployment.

The project will promote local opportunities, employers and sectors available, and the qualifications and skills required to meet those local needs so individuals make informed decisions about their careers. 

The project will support and foster a thriving business ecosystem within Cheshire East, by providing comprehensive support for businesses at all stages of development, building resilience and ensuring the health, vibrancy, and success of businesses within the Cheshire East region.

It will support businesses with the tools, resources, and connections they need to grow, by fostering innovation and forward-thinking approaches and sharing best practice.

Business Vitality will enable business owners and leaders to build a quality, trusted network of likeminded contacts, while receiving tailored advice and support which will improve their business performance.

Page last reviewed: 23 January 2024