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UK Community Renewal Fund

The UK government is providing an additional £220 million funding through the UK Community Renewal Fund to help local areas prepare for the launch of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund in 2022. This Fund aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches and will invest in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment.

We are seeking bids from organisations wishing to deliver activity as part of the UK Community Renewal Fund. Projects must deliver activity that is 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

There are no financial allocations to these priorities.

The UK Government anticipates supporting a range of projects by theme and size, but applicants are encouraged to maximise impact and deliverability through larger projects (£500,000+) where this is possible.

As 90% of funding available through the UK Community Renewal Fund is revenue funding and only available in 2021/22, projects should be predominantly, or exclusively revenue based. Projects that focus predominantly on the construction or major refurbishment of buildings, the purchase of land or the purchase of large pieces of equipment will not be supported.

Priorities for Neath Port Talbot

In line with the Councils Corporate Plan and post Covid-19 Recovery Strategy, we seek applications that work towards the following:

Ensuring young people leaving full-time education will have the opportunity to enter employment, training or further/higher education

  • We have approximately 1,000 young people aged 16-24 in the County Borough who are now actively seeking work. The pandemic has disproportionately impacted on this population group as is seen elsewhere across the UK – we seek proposals that can contribute to supporting those affected into work or training.
  • We have seen children of school and college age miss almost a year of face to face learning. The early evidence suggests that there will be an impact on wellbeing which in turn will reflect in educational attainment. We welcome proposals that can contribute to this agenda

Ensuring local people can access sustainable, local, quality employment

  • There has been a disproportionate impact on young people, women and people from BAME backgrounds due to these population groups being employed in sectors which have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and welcome proposals that contribute improving this area.
  • The pandemic saw significant numbers of people come forward to volunteer for the first time and in turn a number of new community groups have been established. We would want to encourage more active citizenship/community development activities of this type to strengthen community cohesion and sense of place whilst also improving the wellbeing of people – this will in turn reduce or delay the point at which people need to access statutory services – proposals seeking to work toward this agenda are welcomed.
  • The pandemic also saw over 5,000 people who are extremely clinically vulnerable shield for significant periods of time – this will have impacted their emotional and physical wellbeing in some instances and there is a need to support those people back into community life and proposals supporting this area of work are welcomed.

Ensuring an environment where new businesses can establish themselves and existing businesses can grow; where local people and visitors can access good quality leisure and community facilities, country parks and countryside; identify and develop opportunities for sustainable economic growth in our valley communities; and protect, conserve and enhance our natural environment

  • The pandemic has had a varied impact on the local economy; some businesses have not survived, some have adapted and some have thrived – we need to support businesses in recovery and welcome proposals supporting this.
  • The pandemic has seen people become more aware of the natural environment – there are opportunities to build on this and to make faster progress towards our decarbonisation aims and objectives and projects working toward this agenda are welcomed.
  • Town centres have been particularly impacted by the pandemic – we will need to re-imagine our town centres and ideas of how we could do this would be welcomed

How to apply?

Please read the UK Community Renewal Fund Prospectus and the UK Community Fund Technical Note for Project Applicants and Deliverers before starting work on a bid. They can be found on the UK Government website.

The Prospectus 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.

Successful UK Community Renewal Fund bids will be for 2021/22 only and activity must end in March 2022.

Bids must be submitted using the UK Community Renewal Fund Application Form, and returned to us via e-mail at Bids submitted in any other format will not be accepted.

Bids must be submitted by 5pm on 14th May 2021.

The UK Community Renewal Fund is a competitive process and Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council and the UK Government will not enter into discussions with bidders.

We encourage joint working when developing proposals to avoid duplication and ensure that opportunities for joint working are maximised.

How bids will be assessed?

As the lead authority, we 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.