Suffolk 2020 Fund

The Suffolk 2020 Fund is a £3 million one-off fund which is used to meet a number of current policy priorities.

The Suffolk 2020 Fund is a one-year fund of £3m earmarked for investment in emerging policy priorities. When this guidance was first published, following the budget in March 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic had not hit the UK. Since then, the UK and Suffolk has seen a rapid and significant shift in activity. This is not just in direct response to the Covid-19 pandemic, but also a renewed focus on keeping essential public services running during this time and an increase in the amount of innovation in services and processes, especially through the use of technology.

It is clear some of the original policy themes identified for funding remain important, or have even grown in importance, because of Covid-19. Safer places and safer spaces are important as we transition from response to recovery. The importance of remaining active and taking exercise outdoors has been stressed as part of the response. Innovation and the use of technology has grown significantly during the time of the pandemic. As we transition from a period of lockdown, from response into a cautious recovery, the Suffolk 2020 fund can support schemes covering the following themes:

  • Built environment – addressing the improvement of buildings and assets across Suffolk, often in conjunction with reducing carbon emissions or improving energy efficiency.
  • Natural environment – protecting or enhancing Suffolk’s natural environment and building on Suffolk County Council’s leading role in the green economy.
  • Road safety – addressing issues of safety on Suffolk’s road and enhancing safe forms of travel.
  • Carbon reduction & carbon offset – supporting initiatives to reduce carbon emissions and to create carbon ‘sinks’ or offset emissions.
  • Innovation – stimulating innovation in public service policy in Suffolk and the delivery of the priorities of the County Council.
  • Use of technology – making better use of technology to support the delivery of public services and address the Council’s priorities.

Each scheme/project will be sponsored by a SCC Cabinet member. The intention is to adopt good ideas covering more than one geographic area of Suffolk, rather than having a number of small-scale projects.

The Fund is open to proposals for projects of between £50,000 and £500,000.

Further details on the Fund, including how project proposals will be developed, are set out below.

Project proposals must be submitted by a County Council Cabinet Member.

Ideas can be suggested by organisations with an interest in Suffolk. You can contact your local County Councillor, who can submit the idea to the relevant Cabinet member.

The window for proposals to be submitted was the end of September 2020.

Proposals will be considered at regular intervals. Reporting and monitoring will take place through the Council’s quarterly budget reporting process.

The Suffolk 2020 Fund has six themes as outlined above. To be successful, proposals will need to address at least one of the themes and will also need to:

  • Have a sponsor from the County Council’s Cabinet.
  • Be for funding of between £50,000 and £500,000.
  • Only require one-off funding (either capital or non-recurring revenue) from the Fund. Proposals must state clearly how the funding will be spent and address how the capacity to deliver the project is being addressed (either as part of mainstream funding or part of the bid).
  • Be capable of being completed, or have made significant progress, within 12 months of the Council allocating the funds.
  • Be clear about how the proposal will demonstrate a specific benefit to the people of Suffolk.
  • Show a clear economic, social, and/or environmental return on investment via a business case.
  • Directly benefit more than one area of Suffolk.
  • Whilst not essential, where proposals include match funding from a source outside the Council, this will be welcomed.
  • Demonstrate how risks to delivery have been addressed. These include the risk of overspends and overruns on the project.

Governance and decision making

The £3m Suffolk 2020 Fund was agreed as part of the 2020/2021 budget setting process. Decisions will be made in line with the Council’s Constitution with each decision recorded, reported, and monitored in the quarterly budget report.

Project proposals will come through members of Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet. The ‘sponsoring’ Cabinet Member, working with a Lead Officer, will submit an initial proposal referred to as a ‘Scheme on a Page’ to the:

  • Council’s Chief Finance Officer (Section 151 Officer)
  • Assistant Director for Governance
  • Legal and Assurance (Monitoring Officer)
  • Deputy Chief Executive
  • Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources

Where the ‘Scheme on a Page’ is supported, it will then be developed into a detailed project proposal business case and signed-off by the Council’s Section 151 Officer and Monitoring Officer.

The detailed business case will then be submitted to the relevant County Council Director and the Deputy Chief Executive, who will arrange for the allocation of funding for the project, in conjunction with the sponsoring Cabinet Member and the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources.