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UK Community Renewal Fund

Suffolk County Council has established a process for proposals to the Government’s UK Community Renewal Fund.
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The Government’s UK Community Renewal Fund provides £220 million of mostly revenue funding to help places across the UK prepare for the introduction of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund in 2022 (replacing EU structural funding). Government describes the UK Community Renewal Fund as an opportunity to “trial new approaches and innovative ideas” in advance of the ‘flagship’ UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The Government has identified 100 priority places (for more information see: List of 100 priority places) as part of the UK Renewal Fund process. Although none of these are in Suffolk, bids can still be made if they meet the criteria outlined below. How the places were chosen by Government is detailed in the UK Community Renewal Fund: Prioritisation of places methodology note - GOV.UK

As the designated lead authority for the Renewal Fund, Suffolk County Council has established, in partnership with the district and borough councils, a process for gathering proposals. Innovative projects that build on local insight and proposals that align with plans for local growth, target people most in need, and support community renewal are encouraged. The Government expects the UK Community Renewal Fund to support a range of projects by size and theme but has encouraged bids of around £500,000 to maximise impact where possible.

Please note, Government is expected to announce the successful projects in July 2021 and projects must complete all spend by 31 March 2022.

The UK Community Renewal Fund is a UK Government programme for 2021/22. This aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches to prepare for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. It invests in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment. For more information, visit UK Community Renewal Fund: prospectus

Investment priorities

Government has outlined four investment priorities for bids to align against. Proposals can deliver against more than one of the priorities:

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

Also, proposals should be based on low or zero carbon best practice, adopt and support innovative clean tech where possible, and support the growing skills and supply chains in support of Net Zero where possible.

More information on the investment priorities is provided in the Government’s prospectus: UK Community Renewal Fund: prospectus 2021-22.

Locally, we expect bids to deliver against the strategic recovery themes agreed by Suffolk Public Sector Leaders in September 2020 (Suffolk Public Sector Leaders group), which are: health, care and education; inclusive growth; climate change and the environment; supporting the most vulnerable; community safety; and strong communities.

Who can apply?

A range of local partners can apply, including:

  • District and borough councils
  • Universities
  • Voluntary and community sector organisations
  • Umbrella business groups.

Note: 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.

Selection criteria

Applications will be assessed for strategic fit, and deliverability, efficiency and effectiveness:

Strategic fit

  • Level of contribution to local needs articulated in relevant local plans and with evidence of local support.
  • Level of contribution to an articulated investment priority set out at sections 3.2 to 3.5 in the Government prospectus.
  • The extent of contribution to net zero objectives, as set out at section 3.1.1 in the Government prospectus, or wider environmental considerations (not applicable to employment support interventions).
  • The extent to which the project can inform the UK Shared Prosperity Fund through transferable learning or opportunity to scale up for local partners and UK government.
  • The extent to which the project demonstrates innovation in service delivery, through introducing new delivery approaches (for example, trialling new modes of delivery), integrated approaches across policy themes, or collaboration across more than one place.

Deliverability, efficiency, effectiveness

All proposed projects will be assessed against the following deliverability, effectiveness and efficiency considerations:

  • The project can be delivered as proposed by March 2022, with realistic milestones identified.
  • Project risks have been identified and are adequately mitigated, including project-level management controls
  • The applicant sets out an efficient mode of delivery, taking account of the level of innovation proposed and will operate at an appropriate scale. This includes an assessment of value for money taking account of the level of contribution to programme outputs for funding sought, and the amount of match funding or leverage proposed to maximise impact (not applicable to employment interventions)
  • The project would not proceed without funding or could only be delivered on a smaller scale
  • An effective monitoring and evaluation strategy has been identified for the project.

Download further details of the Government's assessment criteria (PDF, 316KB).

Government advises that projects should set realistic start and end dates, as well as realistic milestones, taking account of the fact that all expenditure must be incurred by 31 March 2022. Such deliverability considerations will be factored into UK Government’s bid assessment.

More information is available on the Government’s Frequently Asked Questions page.

How to apply

Suffolk County Council has been designated the lead authority for the UK Community Renewal Fund and is expected to prioritise applications prior to submission to Government on 18 June 2021. Interested partners are strongly advised to read the advice on the Government’s UK Community Renewal web pages UK Community Renewal Fund. Government is expected to announce successful applications in late July 2021.

Applications should be submitted to by 5pm on 25 May 2021. Applications must be made on the Government’s application form - available for download on the UK Community Renewal Fund web page. Applications will be assessed against the criteria described above and prioritised prior to submission to Government. It is possible that we may contact partners that submit proposals for additional information and clarification.

We encourage interested partners to read the UK Community Renewal Fund: Technical note for project applicants and deliverers (PDF, 234KB), and other information on the Government UK Community Renewal fund web pages: UK Community Renewal Fund: prospectus - GOV.UK. Please use the email to direct queries and seek advice on ideas for proposals.

The assessment of bids will be based on the information provided in the Application Form only. Please ensure the application form and appendix documents are fully completed (as incomplete applications will not be considered).

Privacy notice

Please note your personal information will be used to process your bid for the Community Renewal Fund. More information on how Suffolk County Council uses this data is available on the Privacy and data protection web pages. You can also read the Ministry for Housing, Community and Local Government Privacy Notice explaining how your data will be used by them.