REF 2021 Impact Case Study: Increased government funding support for the Isle of Wight (IoW)


Description of impact

The Isle of Wight does not have a fixed link to the mainland. This raises problems as, in the event of a major fire or chemical explosion, for example, additional resource from neighbouring authorities cannot be called upon in a timely manner (the ‘self-sufficiency’ effect). Equally, there is an additional cost of conducting business on and with the Isle of Wight due to transportation costs and the reduced opportunity to exploit economies of scale (the ‘island premium’ effect).
Adam Cox and his team at the University of Portsmouth were asked to estimate the costs associated with the effect of this geographical separation on the Island’s cost of providing public goods and services by the IOW council in August 2016. They found these costs were of the order of GBP381.69 per capita, and equated to about 26.0% of the island’s actual public expenditure.
The impact of their research was two-fold. First, it was used to directly occasion a change in central government policy. The Portsmouth research data proved instrumental in causing the government to revise its local authority funding model, introducing an ‘area cost’ adjustment in June 2019. Second, this revised funding model grants an extra GBP9 million in local authority funding to the IOW from 2020/21 onwards, thereby allowing the provision of improved public services to the island’s 141,606 inhabitants.
Impact statusClosed
Impact date20162020


  • REF2021