Community Renewal Fund

Community Renewal Fund FAQs

We are now closed for bid applications

The shortlisted projects will be sent to UK government for consideration on 18 June 2021 as outlined in the UK Community Renewal Fun online event presentation. Applicants will be informed of whether their application is in the shortlist.

 

1, Can project applications be for 100% revenue?     

Yes.

2, Are there sectoral restrictions?    

No all sectors can be considered.

3, Can a single project cover several districts, or would that need to be separate bids for each district?    

Yes, you can submit one bid for multiple places and this can cover a number of lead authority areas.

4, Is the evaluation at project or programme level?      

The national guidance for applicants states Applications must include a built-in evaluation of between 1 to 2% as a minimum £10k.

5, How will the project be evaluated?    

There is a mid-point monitoring review by the lead authority of all funding projects. In addition, all projects will also have to undertake their own evaluation at the end of the project (by March 2022).  See Section 9 – Monitoring and Evaluation of the Technical note for project applicants and deliverers (opens in a new window).

6, How will the findings of the evaluation be disseminated?    

Further guidance is due to be published by the Government later in the Spring 2021 which will include information on the national evaluation approach and the funding agreement template. In the meantime see Section 9 – Monitoring and Evaluation of the Technical note for project applicants and deliverers (opens in a new window).

7, How do we measure the carbon reduction and is there measurable guidance?     

There are outcome indicators in the guidance for applicants which you should refer to. See page 16 – Monitoring and Evaluation of the Technical note for project applicants and deliverers (opens in a new window).

8, Is there a suggested level of acceptable overheads?     

Yes, it is 15% - See page 7 – Monitoring and Evaluation of the Technical note for project applicants and deliverers (opens in a new window).

9, Can we undertake revenue feasibility studies that will then lead to capital projects?     

5.4 The UK Community Renewal Fund is predominantly revenue funding. However, in limited circumstances, it will support both revenue and capital costs. 

The Technical note for project applicants and deliverers (opens in a new window) on page 6 indicates some example revenue costs which include;

  • undertake feasibility studies and/or market research to inform potential future projects

10, Can you submit projects multiple bids that may cover different geographies?    

Yes, you can submit multiple bids, for example you can also be a lead and a partner - See section 1.6 in the Government Community Renewal Fund Frequently Asked Questions (opens in a new window).

11, If you make financial spend by end of March 2022 could your project continue beyond the end of March 2020?    

No all spend and activity must be completed by end of March 2022.

The Government FAQs state:

1.9 The prospectus says that funding must be spent by 31 March 22. How do you define spent? What happens if spend goes beyond 31 March?

The UK Community Renewal Fund is an additional £220 million of funding to help local areas prepare for the introduction of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund from 2022. Successful UK Community Renewal Fund bids will be for 2021 to 2022 only and should be scaled accordingly.

Spend by 31 March 2022 means all expenditure incurred by this date. Any expenditure that is incurred after this date (that is relates to activity happening after 31 March 2022) is not eligible.

12, What national and local strategies should the applicants consider?      

Please refer to pages 4 to 7 of the Invitation to Bid Document on the Worcestershire Community Renewal Fund and also read section 3 - Investment priorities in the UK Government Renewal Fund Prospectus (opens in a new window).

13, Can WCC extend the application submission deadline?    

Unfortunately, no, the confirmed deadline of submission for bid applications is 5.00pm 10 May 2021.

14, Are there any details on the financial and eligibility requirements for the project?

Given that CRF and UKPF is supposed to be less bureaucratic than ESF projects some indication of the requirements expected would be useful in putting together our bid. The current guidance with regard to what types of projects can be funded, eligible and ineligible expenditure and reporting and performance requirements are contained in the’ Technical note for project applicants and deliverers’ and ‘Technical Note for Lead Authorities in Great Britain’ which can be found in the links below. 

UK Community Renewal Fund: prospectus - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) (opens in a new window)
Worcestershire Community Renewal Fund

It may also be worth referring to the national GOV.UK Community Renewal Fund FAQs (opens in a new window) in the link below the links re the overall guidance for updates. 

The question and answer below are taken from the national FAQs. As stated below further guidance is expected shortly. 

1.15 What clawback arrangements around performance and expenditure will be imposed if projects fail or if other unavoidable issue arise?

Each grant must be used for the purpose intended. This will be subject to monitoring and final review.

Precise monitoring and assurance arrangements will be published later in the spring.

15, Should we be encouraging County wide bids     

Those who are eligible to bid is stated in the Technical note for project applicants and deliverers (opens in a new window). Lead Authorities can also bid to the fund. 

Applicants should determine the area their bid covers with reference to the guidance and the assessment criteria set out nationally and stated in the Government’s Community Renewal Fund pages and associated guidance and set out in the Worcestershire Community Renewal Fund presentation from 23 April 2021. 

UK Community Renewal Fund: prospectus - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) (opens in a new window)

Worcestershire Community Renewal Fund

16, Government guidance states = Lead Authorities may establish their own arrangements for making payments to local projects. What are WCC and how quickly will you be able to release funding to support local delivery?    

Each lead authority will submit a shortlist of bids to central government for consideration. The lead authority will enter into a funding agreement with UK Government to deliver any successful bids and issue agreements to successful bidders once funding has been agreed by the UK Government, and then undertake monitoring and assurance activity. 

As per Section 3.7 of the Technical Note for Lead Authorities (opens in a new window), It is for Lead Authorities to decide how they wish to make payments to project deliverers  e.g. in advance, in arrears or to an agreed profile.

This will be set out in the agreement between the County Council and the successful bidders on a case by case basis and informed by the size and complexity of the project, the due diligence process and the risks identified in the applicants bid and the assessment process. 

17, Please can you confirm if the evaluation of the project also needs to be completed by 31 March 2022, or whether the evaluation phased begins once delivery has finished?  If it is the latter can you please confirm by which point the evaluation will need to be completed?

As the evaluation must be part of the project and funded by the grant it must be concluded by 31 March 2022. You should read the notes in the application form with regards to evaluation and those in the Technical note for project applicants and deliverers issued by central government. Website: UK Community Renewal Fund: prospectus from GOV.UK (opens in a new window).

Please note the following is stated in the technical note from central government:

9.3 Applicants, if successful, must also develop an evaluation plan with between 1 to 2% of their award to be dedicated to that evaluation with a minimum threshold of £10,000.

9.4 Further detailed guidance will be provided on the UK Community Renewal Fund monitoring and evaluation requirements later in Spring.