Skip to main content

Guidance on running a service of public economic interest (SPEI) scheme under the UK subsidy control regime.

First published:
17 January 2023
Last updated:

What is a service of public economic interest?

Services of public economic interest (SPEI) are essential services provided to the public. They are services which, without subsidy support, would not be supplied in an appropriate way or may not be supplied at all by the market. Examples of SPEI include postal services and social housing.

How to provide a SPEI subsidy

A public authority must abide by certain rules when giving an SPEI subsidy. These include applying the subsidy control principles. They must also ensure that the subsidy is:

  • limited to what is necessary to deliver the service
  • transparent
  • regularly reviewed
  • recorded in the subsidy control database

SPEI Assistance

SPEI Assistance (SPEIA) functions in a similar way to Minimal Financial Assistance. Public authorities can award low-value subsidies up to £725,000. This can be done without the need to follow the majority of the subsidy control requirements.

More information on SPEI and SPEIA subsidies can be found in chapters 6 and 7 of the UK subsidy control statutory guidance on GOV.UK.