UKSPF Evidence Base

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central programme to support government’s Levelling Up agenda. This Evidence Base provides key data and intelligence about Levelling Up, along with the UKSPF's 3 key investment themes. 


The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) is a central pillar of the UK Government's Levelling Up agenda and a signifiant component of its support for places across the UK. The Levelling Up White Paper identifies 12 cross-cutting missions which provide a focus for the UKSPF and for wider government action.

The primary goal of UKSPF is to build pride in place and increase life chances across the UK, through the delivery of four main objectives: 

  • Boost productivity, pay, jobs and living standards, especially in those places where they are lagging.
  • Spread opportunities and improve public services, especially in those places where they are weakest.
  • Restore a sense of community, local pride and belonging, especially in those places where they have been lost.
  • Empower local leaders and communities, especially in those places lacking local agency.

    Key principles

    In order to support the investment plans being developed by Lead Authorities in the region, we have aligned the evidence against the three key investment themes (communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills), as well as the 12 Levelling Up Missions. 

    Our goal is to provide analysis of key data sets at Local Authority levels, or at a lower scale where possible and appropriate. We have used innovative data sets, with a focus on those that are most up to date or that add significant value. To allow for an evaluation of local performance, we use core regional comparisons (England excluding London) and compare Local Authorities to the rest of the region or the median local authority. 

    Our evidence review is composed of existing evaluations, research and evidence which we have examined to identify 'what works' and best practice. The review also looked at  ESIF evaluations to understand the cost, impact and return on investment of different programmes. Our aim was to provide an understanding of the effectiveness of various interventions and to identify gaps in the region’s knowledge where further commissions could be undertaken. We will continue to build on the evidence base to fill identified gaps and regularly update the information available.


    Population growth

    in the North East LEP area, over the last decade.

    Older workers

    The North East has more older workers than the rest of England.

    Productivity growth

    in the North East LEP area has been slow compared to nationally.

    High % of innovation

    but low levels of R&D spend and patents granted.

    Key investment themes

    Levelling Up

    Information about the population of the North East, key economic indicators, employment rates, inactivity, and productivity.

    Communities & Places

    Information about housing, crime, quality of life, place vibrancy, connectivity and interactions between places.

    Local Business

    Data about the business landscape in the North East, including business birth and death rates, growth, sectoral analysis, and the job market.

    People & Skills

    Information about housing, crime, quality of life, place vibrancy, connectivity and interactions between places.

    More information

    ESIF Review

    An overview and review of the European Structural and Investments Fund (ESIF), including historical context, information about investment programmes, funding streams, and expenditure. 

    Download the Evidence Base

    A full evidence base for the UKSPF has been developed and is available to download as a PowerPoint presentation here. This includes all data presented on this website.

    For more information

    If you have any queries about the development and content of the evidence base, please get in contact with the North East LEP’s Strategy, Policy and Analysis team.