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UK Community Renewal Fund

UK Community Renewal Fund

Applications to the UK Community Renewal Fund are now invited for projects in Pembrokeshire.

On 3 March the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak MP announced the one-year UK Community Renewal Fund (UK CRF). 

The intention is that this will be used to pilot new approaches to move away from the EU Structural Funds, in preparation for the introduction in 2022/23 of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.  

The UK CRF will finance:

  • Investment in skills
  • Investment for local business
  • Investment in communities and place
  • Supporting people into employment

Applications to the UK CRF are to be co-ordinated by local authorities across the UK. Pembrokeshire County Council will co-ordinate the submission of an application for Pembrokeshire. The Council is expected to appraise bids submitted to it, and to shortlist them before submitting the shortlisted bids to the Ministry for Housing Communities and Local Government for assessment and hopefully approval.  All Councils must submit their shortlisted bids to the Ministry by noon on 18 June 2021. 

The Government has expressed a preference for applications that request at least £500,000. The shortlist of prioritised bids from a county may not exceed £3 million in value. The Fund will primarily (90%) fund running costs rather than capital investment.

Bids for funding may be made by any legally constituted organisation delivering an appropriate service. Bids cannot be submitted for projects that benefit a single entity (for example a single business) – there must be evidence of wider impact for multiple individuals, businesses or other organisations.

Instructions for applicants and application forms are on this page. It is essential that all applicants refer to the Prospectus published by the UK Government. It may be found at: UK Community Renewal Fund 

Renew and Regenerate Strategy 2020-2030  

UK Community Renewal Fund Assessment Process

UK Community Renewal Fund Invitation to Submit Project Bids

UK Community Renewal Fund Application Form

Technical note for project applicants and deliverers

UK Community Renewal Fund PowerPoint

PRIVACY NOTICE

 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. If an organisation wishes to apply to run a grant scheme under the UK CRF, how much detail needs to be provided?  For example, would we need to submit all the application paperwork or will a description of the scheme, target audience, outputs, outcomes and so on, suffice?

2. Can activity take place beyond 31st March 2021?

3. Can Town & Community Councils apply for the funding either directly or via grants? 

4. How frequently can claims be made?

5. Will claims have to be accompanied by evidence of defrayment?

6. Will all payments have to be defrayed by 31 March 2022?

7. The application form appears to be locked so no formatting of fonts or addition of diagrams or illustrations is possible. How can we supply these given that the scoring criteria demands items such as logic models?

8. If a portfolio/consortium bid is submitted, will you appraise it as one programme or a collection of programmes?  In other words, if one of the strands of the delivery were deemed to be weak or ineligible for support, would that automatically mean that the whole programme is impacted, or would advice be provided to take out the weak element so that the rest of the programme can be supported?

9. Economically inactive people can be supported under the programme but do they need to be interested in being economically active – in other words, they cannot simply be retired people who are interested in learning new skills?

10. I note UKCR funding cannot be used to establish loan or investment funds. I assume this means that the funding cannot be used to offer loans or create endowments, but does it preclude using the funding to set up a community fund that could offer loans/create investments in future?

11. What is the definition of an innovation plan? Would it include local wellbeing & green economy plans co-produced with local communities/town & community councils?

12. I can see that Local Authorities can charge a 2% (3% for complex projects) administration fee on the project amounts, which has to be taken into account in the £3 million package of funding. Does this also apply to organisations who might be taking a lead role in a consortium/portfolio bid or can a higher % be charged because we do not have access to a capacity building package of support?

13. What is the definition of capital expenditure in the context of the UK Community Renewal Fund?

14. Is there a minimum size of bid?

 

1. If an organisation wishes to apply to run a grant scheme under the UK CRF, how much detail needs to be provided? For example, would we need to submit all the application paperwork or will a description of the scheme, target audience, outputs, outcomes and so on, suffice?

We do not require applicants wishing to run grant schemes to provide us with the paperwork they will use with their application. We will wish to see this before we enter into a funding agreement.

2. Can activity take place beyond 31st March 2021?

No.

3. Can Town & Community Councils apply for the funding either directly or via grants? 

In general, any legally constituted organisation can receive funding from the UK Community Renewal Fund to deliver an approved project. Please refer to paragraphs 2.1 and 2.2 of the Technical Note for Project Applicants and Deliverers for more detail. Whether a Town or Community Council can receive UK CRF funding from a grant scheme operated by an organisation that has been awarded funding depends on the scope of the grant scheme.

4. How frequently can claims be made?

No decision has been made. 

5. Will claims have to be accompanied by evidence of defrayment?

In the case where payments are made in arrears, claims will have to be accompanied by full defrayment evidence including bank statements. If, exceptionally, payment is made in advance then we shall need full defrayment evidence to be provided by a later date.

6. Will all payments have to be defrayed by 31 March 2022?

Yes.

7. The application form appears to be locked so no formatting of fonts or addition of diagrams or illustrations is possible. How can we supply these given that the scoring criteria demands items such as logic models?

The application form is in use across the UK and we have no ability to amend it in any way. We recommend that any supporting material that cannot be included within the body of the form is provided on separate appendices and referenced on the form. We have reported the difficulty caused by the locking of the form to the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government and recommended that this practice is discontinued.

8. If a portfolio/consortium bid is submitted, will you appraise it as one programme or a collection of programmes? In other words, if one of the strands of the delivery were deemed to be weak or ineligible for support, would that automatically mean that the whole programme is impacted, or would advice be provided to take out the weak element so that the rest of the programme can be supported?

We assume that by a portfolio or consortium bid you mean a bid that comprises several different complementary elements, possibly with each element delivered by a different delivery organisation.

Please refer to the selection criteria that we have published.  For all bids, when we consider the Gateway criteria, we shall ask five questions:

  • Does the project address a need identified in the Prospectus?
  • Does the project address a need identified in the local invitation to submit bids? 
  • Is the proposed activity permissible within subsidy rules where relevant?
  • Does the project avoid duplicating other national or local provision?
  • Does the project avoid any conflict with national policy?

To pass the Gateway criteria bids should be able to answer 'Yes' to each.  If the answer to any of these is 'Partial' we shall consider whether the bid remains viable if the problematic aspects of the bid were to be removed.  If so, then we shall continue to appraise the bid without those elements.  If not, the application will be rejected.

However, for a bid that passes the gateway criteria we shall appraise the bid against the published selection criteria. We will not consider whether a bid might achieve a higher score if the bid was to be changed in some way.  It is the responsibility of applicants to familiarise themselves with the selection criteria and to ensure that the bids they submit are the best they can be. We cannot enter into a dialogue with applicants about improving their bids after submission.

9. Economically inactive people can be supported under the programme but do they need to be interested in being economically active – in other words, they cannot simply be retired people who are interested in learning new skills?

The Technical Note for Project Applicants and Deliverers states 'The financial assistance power in the UK Internal Market Act 2020 allows the UK Government to invest across the whole of the UK for the purpose of economic development…'.  Teaching people new skills when they have no intention of becoming economically active contributes only weakly to economic development, if at all. 

10. I note UKCR funding cannot be used to establish loan or investment funds. I assume this means that the funding cannot be used to offer loans or create endowments, but does it preclude using the funding to set up a community fund that could offer loans/create investments in future?

As you have rightly pointed out the Technical Note states that the UKCRF cannot be used to establish loan or investment funds. We therefore consider that establishing such a fund is highly unlikely to be eligible activity recognising that the UKCRF is looking for pilot activity that would result in tangible outcomes and spend by March 2022.

11. What is the definition of an innovation plan? Would it include local wellbeing & green economy plans co-produced with local communities/town & community councils?

No definition has been provided. It is for an applicant to argue that their project will lead to the production or enhancement of an innovation plan if they wish to claim that output, in line with the Core Outcome Indicators set down in Annex A of the Technical Note. Assessors will need to be persuaded by the arguments made.

12. I can see that Local Authorities can charge a 2% (3% for complex projects) administration fee on the project amounts, which has to be taken into account in the £3 million package of funding. Does this also apply to organisations who might be taking a lead role in a consortium/portfolio bid or can a higher % be charged because we do not have access to a capacity building package of support?

There is no provision for organisations taking a lead role in a consortium / portfolio bid to include a flat rate administration charge in their bids. If administrative support is required then that should be properly costed and included in the bid. Note that it will be necessary to justify the administrative charge, given that it is the local authority’s role to monitor projects and carry out assurance work, and not that of the lead partner in a consortium or portfolio bid.

13. What is the definition of capital expenditure in the context of the UK Community Renewal Fund?

Funding available through the UKCRF is predominantly revenue funding with funding limited to the 2021-2022 financial year. Therefore, large scale capital projects will be impractical to deliver using UK CRF investment.

As set down in the Technical Note for Project Applicants and Deliverers, capital costs include:

  • acquisition of land and or buildings
  • building and construction
  • professional fees associated with building and construction
  • plant and machinery
  • any larger value item of equipment, assessed in accordance with the project deliverer’s capitalisation policy.

In addition, for projects that operate grant schemes, any grant paid should be treated as revenue expenditure, regardless what the grant recipient buys with it.

14. Is there a minimum size of bid?

No, but bear in mind that UK Government has expressed a clear preference for larger scale bids (over £500,000) to maximise impact.

 

 

ID: 7617, revised 29/04/2021