UK Community Renewal Fund
Applications to the UK Community Renewal Fund are now invited for projects in the Borough of Swindon. This is an exciting opportunity to pilot new ideas and help shape future funding programmes.
On 3 March 2021, 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.
What type of bids are we looking for?
We are interested in bids that build on local insight and knowledge, and project proposals that align with long-term strategic plans for local growth, target people most in need and support community renewal. In addition, projects should show how they complement other national and local provision. A focus for this Fund is to support innovation and new ideas in these areas, investing in pilots that draw on local insights and which will help places to prepare for the introduction of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund in 2022.
Projects must deliver outcomes that are in line with the UK Community Renewal Fund Prospectus and align with at least one of these investment priorities:
- Investment in skills
- Investment for local business
- Investment in communities and place
- Supporting people into employment
In selecting the bids that will be forwarded to the UK Government for consideration, we will prioritise the bids that have the greatest potential to deliver against either or both of the following local priority themes for investment:
- Employment and Skills to improve outcomes for vulnerable young people and adults, or those impacted by recent events
- Projects which bring businesses, education, cultural and other organisations together to consider ways of encouraging and promoting sustainability
Local growth and skills priorities are available to view via the links below:
- Swindon Borough Council Vision, Priorities and Pledges
- Swindon Town Investment Plan
- SWLEP Skills Plan
- Supported Employment Strategy for Swindon
Applications to the UK CRF are to be co-ordinated by local authorities across the UK. We will co-ordinate the submission of an application for the Borough of Swindon. 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 place 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.
How to apply
It is essential that all applicants refer to the documents below, published by the UK Government, before starting on their bid.
- UK Community Renewal Fund Prospectus. This provides detailed information on the objectives of the fund, the types of projects it intends to support and how it operates, including the process and selection criteria that will be used to assess bids.
- Technical Note for Project Applicants and Deliverers. This is the guidance which applicants should refer to when completing their forms.
To apply, use the form on the Government website below:
No other forms, formats or documents will be accepted by Swindon Borough Council.
Submit your applications to: firstname.lastname@example.org by no later than 5.00pm on Friday, 28 May 2021. Late applications will not be accepted.
Submission and delivery timescales
- Project proposals to be submitted to Swindon Borough Council by 5.00pm on 28 May 2021
- Project proposals appraised, prioritised and submitted to Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) by noon on 18 June 2021
- Bids assessed by UK government and announcements anticipated late July or early August 2021
- Estimated project start date anticipated August/September 2021
- Project activity completed and funding spent by 31 March 2022
How bids will be assessed
As the lead authority, Swindon Borough Council will assess all bids submitted.
Bids will be assessed against:
- the gateway criteria set out in the UK Community Renewal Fund Prospectus – bids that fail to meet these criteria are ineligible support and will be rejected
- the extent to which they meet the objectives of UK Community Renewal Fund
- the extent to which bids would support the delivery of local growth and employment support priorities
Following assessment we will submit those eligible bids which most strongly meet the UK Community Renewal Fund and local priorities to the UK Government for consideration, up to a maximum of £3m per place.
The UK Government will assess all bids submitted by lead authorities against the criteria set out in the UK Community Renewal Fund Prospectus.
The UK Government will announce the outcome of the assessment process from late July 2021 onwards.
We will enter into a funding agreement with successful bidders.
The UK Community Renewal Fund is a competitive process and Swindon Borough Council and the UK Government will not enter into discussions with bidders other than to seek clarifications on any technical points and/or to undertake due diligence processes.
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