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UK community renewal fund workshop strategies

Staffordshire County Council has commissioned a consultancy Mott MacDonald, to support with the UK CRF process. Colleagues from Mott Macdonald delivered a number of online workshop surgeries week commencing 3.5.21 following the invitation published on the Council’s CRF webpage. The purpose of the workshop was to respond to technical queries, on the application form, supporting documents or process.

An overview of the matters raised, and responses are detailed below:

Match funding

Can 'in-kind' contributions be treated as match funding?

This question was forwarded to MHCLG. Response from MHCLG – “As there are no set intervention rates in kind contributions are not necessary as match funding in terms of the project budget as projects can be funded at 100% of actual costs. However, they could be included. But obviously we’ll only pay out against actual costs.” 

Priority places

Does my project need to deliver 51% of its benefits in the priority area?

Applications should respond to the questions in the application form. This includes responding to how a project addresses need and responds to local policy priorities. Applications therefore need to reflect the local context in which the project will be delivered. 

Submitting multiple bids

Do applications need to vary for each Lead Authority I submit to?

Applications should respond to the questions in the application form. This includes responding to how a project addresses need and responds to local policy priorities. Applications therefore need to reflect the local context in which the project will be delivered. 

My project will also deliver across Stoke-on-Trent; do I need submit an application form to both Stoke and Staffordshire?

Applications are encouraged to submit separate applications to Lead Authorities where delivery will cross over Lead Authority boundaries.

We have 3-4 projects to submit for Community Renewal Fund; does each project need a separate application form or can they be submitted as a ‘programme’?

Applicants are encouraged to consider if the projects fit together to form a coherent programme. This needs to be balanced against the challenge of ensuring sufficient detail is provided in the application form for each of the projects if they are rolled together in one programme level application.

Could the same company be the lead for different projects in different geographies?

Yes, the role of each delivery organisation should be clearly stated in the project application form.

Eligibility

Do project deliverers need to be based in Staffordshire?

No, the project beneficiaries need to be based in Staffordshire, the deliverers can be based anywhere in the UK. 

There is an international best practice element to my project, but all the businesses supported will be in Staffordshire, is the appropriate? 

Yes, the project beneficiaries need to be based in Staffordshire.

Do we need to break down the percentages of activity and expenditure in our application form?

Yes, please see section 1h of the application form.

Net zero

Can you confirm that we don't need to consider net zero impacts on employment projects?

The guidance states that employment projects do not need to demonstrate their deliver of net zero impacts.

How can we demonstrate that project delivery supports the Government’s Net Zero objectives?

Please see the guidance – applicants are encouraged to demonstrate alignment to the UK Government’s ENCA. 

Should we draw out the net zero benefits on online delivery in our application?

Please see the guidance – applicants are encouraged to demonstrate alignment to the UK Government’s ENCA.

Outputs and outcomes

The application form only provides space for three outcome indicators to be listed, can we expand the application form?

This question was forwarded to MHCLG as the application form is locked for editing. Response from MHCLG – “Yes we are amending the application form to accommodate this, but in the interim the additional outcomes and a target for them can be added into the third row, the field will expand to allow for more text; or they can use the ODT version of the form on the website that allows rows to be added."

Monitoring and evaluation

How do we demonstrate longer term impacts that may not be measurable until, for instance September 2022 – does the evaluation need to be completed by end of March 2022?

This question was forwarded to MHCLG. Response from MHCLG – “The 31 of March is the cut of date for activity. Evaluation activity should be complete by the end of March, however the costs need not be defrayed by the end of March. It will be possible to capture outputs for a short period after the end of March whilst projects are gathering evidence to submit to lead authorities; we will not require any longer term monitoring of outputs by projects or lead authorities after final claims are submitted. We will publish guidance on monitoring and evaluation shortly.”

Payments and contracts

How does the funding flow down from Government, via SCC and contractors? Can the terms and conditions associated with CRF be provided to applicants?

Applicants were informed of SCC’s intention to provide payments on a quarterly basis although the exact details of the payment process are yet to be confirmed. Applicants were informed that additional guidance was due to be released by Government imminently. This question was forwarded to MHCLG.

Is there any reference to claw-back if the outputs are not delivered?

MCLG reserve the right to request project claw-back if monitoring and evaluation targets are not met.

State aid

Should we provide a solicitor’s note to confirm the State Aid position of our project?

Information presented in Annexes will not be assessed. The State Aid position should be confirmed in the main body of the application form. 

Submitting a CRF application

What is maximum funding allowance?

Projects in excess of £3m per place will not be considered.

What is the deadline for submissions?

The deadline for submission is 12pm 14th May.

Does the 500-word limit apply per question or per section?

The word limit applies to each question.

Can you confirm that we don’t need to include weblinks?

Information provided at weblinks will not be assessed.

Does anything else need submitting aside from the application form?

There are supplementary annexes labelled A to C which should also be completed alongside the main application form.  Annexe D includes instructions on how to fill these in. Applicants from the private sector or charitable and voluntary organisations applicants must also complete the UKSPF Due Diligence Form.

Can SCC provide an email receipt for each application?

The applicant was informed that this request would be forwarded to SCC.

Receiving feedback on clarification questions

How will any queries and feedback from SCC and MCLG be fed back to applicants?

The applicant was informed that SCC is considering using their CRF webpage to communicate with applicants. This request would be forwarded to SCC.

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