Scottish Replacement For EU Structural Funds

The results of the public consultation, which was held between November 2019 and February 2020, have informed thinking and the Scottish Government has developed this plan in partnership with our expert steering group.

Section 3 Governance and Delivery

This section sets out the principles underpinning the governance and delivery mechanisms for the Scottish REPlacement fund before setting out the preferred model.


The Scottish programme will be based on the principle of subsidiarity with much of the authority and responsibility devolved to regional and local partnerships.

Delivery arrangements will make use of existing bodies and partnership structures operating at a regional and local level where possible, with enhanced levels of regional/local accountability and management of funding and a focus on local priority setting within a broad national framework.

Core principles, aims and objectives will be broadly similar to previous EU Structural Funds programmes expanded to include wider social objectives; additionality should remain a key principle of the successor fund.

Scottish policy priorities should be the primary driver at all governance levels and measures of success should align to the National Performance Framework.

UK Government

  • Allocates Scottish SPF share to SG using needs based model
  • Transfers money  to SG on multi annual basis
  • Provides overall monitoring and evaluation of UK programme

Scottish Government

  • Agrees REP areas
  • Allocates regional SPF share to REPs using needs based model (not necessarily the same as the UK)
  • Develops and agrees regional programme with REPs
  • Oversees overall performance & REP Activity
  • Monitors and evaluates impacts and REPorts to UK
  • Assures value for money at REP and Scottish level


  • Develops regional plan with citizens and communities and agrees with SG
  • Appoints an accountable body as REP “banker”
  • Allocates money to projects and activity in line with regional needs
  • Oversees  programme performance
  • Audits programme and project spend
  • (Builds capacity in communities)

Sub regional communities and localities

  • Member of REP governance structures
  • Supports the design of REP programme
  • Deliver projects
  • (Leads on funding where appropriate)
  • Engages Citizens
  • Monitor and assess project performance and spend on a  project by project basis

Key Principles

Subsidiarity – the programme should seek to address national outcomes, as directed by the National Performance Framework, but be delivered in line with regional and sub-regional objectives which align to these national level priorities. For national priorities programme stakeholders will work with national agencies and providers to ensure that there are no asymmetries of access across the country.

Utilisation of existing structures – Wherever possible the programme will use existing partnership structures, which will minimise costs, maximise efficiency and avoid potential duplication of effort and activity. Robust audit and financial management procedures are crucial to programme delivery therefore each region would need to be led by a public body with this capacity already in place.

Straightforward –The governance model should focuses on simplicity with a stronger emphasis on the needs and expectations of places, giving people devolved responsibility for developing and delivering funding programmes in their area.

Duration - To allow programmes to "launch, develop, and embed", the UKSPF should be multiannual, lasting at least 5 years or 7 years if it is intended to match the European Multi Annual Financial Framework.

Additionality - The programme should retain this aspect from the European Structural Fund with a focus on additionality across scale, time and quality.

Appraisal – Appraisal is needed in order to assess the risk of support to the public purse and to ensure any proposal aligns to the national/regional framework and associated priorities. A separate Appraisal Group will be convened to consider this in greater detail.

Alignment with Covid recovery – Whilst these funds should remain focused on the key priorities set out for them, governance and delivery arrangements must reflect and dovetail with activity designed to support covid recovery.

Next Steps

The next stage in this process is to build upon the principles agreed here and to finalise work on how best to deliver national services and to allocate and engage at a sub-regional level to involve communities in a meaningful and empowering manner.

There are wide ranging expectations of the REPlacement vehicle and we must recognise that not all of these will be met. The current EU Structural Fund Programmes have contributed £780 million, or just over £100 million per annum, for the 2014-20 period. Even with an uplift for inflation we are aware of the limitations this sum affords and the need for care when identifying priorities to focus on; spending on infrastructure, for example, is unlikely to be extensive. Equally, there are no guarantees that recipients will receive the same funding as they have for previous projects.

As one of the design principles of the programme is to avoid complexity and the creation of new burdensome bureaucracy the governance arrangements for this programme will be streamlined and complementary to those of other similar programmes. The approach to allocations across regions will be part of its design.



Back to top