UK Community Renewal Fund
The UK Community Renewal Fund is a £220m Government programme for 2021/22 and represents an exciting new opportunity to help support local areas to pilot imaginative new approaches and programmes that unleash their potential, instil pride, and prepare them to take full advantage of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund when it launches in 2022. West Yorkshire Combined Authority, defined as the Lead Authority, by the UK Government, for the fund in West Yorkshire and has developed a local prospectus and invitation to bid tailored to our region’s needs. This local approach aims to support the people and communities most in need across West Yorkshire, aligned with our strategic investment priorities, to pilot programmes and new approaches to invest in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment. Please see below for further details.
The UK Community Renewal Fund (UKCRF) is a time limited UK Fund, to help the UK prepare for the introduction of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, providing funding in 2021-22 to support our communities to pilot programmes and new approaches, aligning national and local provision.
The Fund is providing £220 million across the UK, 90% of which is revenue funding and 10% capital with a focus on investment in skills, for local business, in communities and place and supporting people into employment.
As the Lead Authority for West Yorkshire, as identified by Government, West Yorkshire Combined Authority will run the first stage competitive bidding process, required to access the Fund, by inviting you to bid against our locally designed Invitation to Bid. The Combined Authority will then appraise and prioritise a shortlist of projects up to a maximum of £3m per place. The shortlists will then be submitted to the UK Government who will then assess the proposals and select projects based on the criteria set out in the UK Community Fund Prospectus.
Applications to the UKCRF must be submitted to West Yorkshire Combined Authority by 12 noon, Friday 7th May 2021.
- How to apply
Project Proposals can be submitted by, but are not limited to, local district councils, voluntary and community sector organisations, private enterprise and local education providers including colleges and universities.
All applications are to be made on the application form issued by the Secretary of State in response to one or more of the locally determined investment priorities set out below. No other format will be accepted.
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.
Completed Project Proposal Forms are to be submitted to WestyorkshireCRFapplications@westyorks-ca.gov.uk no later than noon on 7th May 2021. Late project proposals will not be accepted.
- Submission and Time frames
- Investment Priorities - Investment in skills
In order to support the work of the new Green and Digital Skills Partnerships, projects to be supported will consider new and innovative approaches to equip people with the skills they need to capitalise on the opportunities and needs of their local area and meet the needs of an increasingly green and digital economy.
Digital Skills interventions should aim to address;
- the prevention of Digital Exclusion - developing basic and essential digital skills and supporting the resolution of data poverty with the ongoing challenge of accessibility and connectivity.
- SME and Charity Digital Growth - developing essential digital skills to increase resilience and sustainability of organisations and the individuals that work within them.
- Supporting in-work progression and productivity growth.
- supporting Educators and young people to gain and grow the digital skills required in the workplace and support future career ambitions.
Green/Construction Skills interventions should aim to address;
- support for specific skills needs required to transition to net zero emissions and ensure a just transition for jobs at risk from decarbonisation.
- support the future workforce and employment opportunities presented by the scale of projects such as retrofitting building, including the need to provide quality careers information and inspiration that highlights the importance of take-up of STEM subjects.
- Investment Priorities - Investment for local business
In re-imagining the economy post pandemic, to support the opportunities to support new and growing strengths, and to boost entrepreneurialism in our communities, projects to be supported will:
- seek creative and pilot actions, in particular at a very local/community level which help businesses to innovate, grow and create and sustain jobs. Schemes must add value to existing national and local offers.
- support research to support how local barriers to enterprise may be addressed as part of the recovery.
- seek to support a focus on innovative support for SMEs
- Investment Priorities - Investment in communities and place
Covid-19 has diverted attention from the levelling up agenda for the North but this has now become even more acute in terms of deprived communities that already needed targeted investment to deliver resilience for the future. To address the needs of people and places of West Yorkshire projects to be supported will:
- explore opportunities for promoting culture-led regeneration and community development – for example investing in culture focused feasibility studies and community facilities to attract people to places, including research for projects that could generate footfall to support other private-sector businesses, opportunities to improve efficiency and collaboration by joining up local public services that can contribute positively to post COVID ready places.
- improve green spaces and preserving important local assets– for example enhancing natural assets, including green spaces in neighbourhoods and housing estates, to enhance quality of life to attract and retain talent, and attract tourism.
- develop a home retrofit pilot- links to skills, training, improving health, increasing household income etc - focus on supporting the community, training neighbourhood assessors, able to champion and act as ambassadors for green technology.
- Investment Priorities - Supporting people into employment
In order to support young people most hit from the pandemic, especially those who are disengaged and vulnerable and have particular learning needs or barriers to learning, projects are sought which will;
- develop and deliver creative and pilot actions especially those at a very local/ community level, to add value to existing national and local offer.
- support wider health and wellbeing, mental health support – building back ambition and aspiration in the young people of West Yorkshire – acting as a feeder for the more structured courses/offers already available (incl. routes into enterprise).
- focus on individuals who find it difficult to engage with mainstream provision or for whom mainstream provision is not an option – testing what they need to fully engage.
Projects will play an important role in inclusive growth by ensuring that opportunities are open to all and that disadvantaged groups are targeted and are flexible and responsive in the areas where young people have been impacted the most.
- Prioritisation - Additional Considerations
Bids should be no smaller than £200,000 and no larger than £3m per priority/non-priority area. However, applicants are asked to be mindful that the UK Government anticipates supporting a range of projects by theme and size, and in order to maximise impact and deliverability applicants are encouraged to consider larger projects (£500,000+) where this is possible.
In addition to meeting one or more of the local investment priorities bids will be prioritised where they ;
- are developed in partnership with others - applications are encouraged from consortia or other similar types of partnership arrangements. In each such case the application must be completed and submitted by the lead organisation on behalf of the partnership/consortia. The lead applicant must have the financial capacity to meet the required Due Diligence criteria and, if funding is awarded, this organisation will then become the lead Grant Recipient, accountable for delivery of the overall Project.
- undertake ‘active research’ to develop activities by using existing research/ findings which can be tried and tested in a different way e.g. with a different target group, in a different area, by adding to the identified approach/findings. Projects will need to outline processes for identifying social innovation and action learning opportunities and how these are best developed. The use of ‘experts by experience’ may be key in the solution definition.
- have the support of the Local Authority(s) in which the project will be delivered to ensure proposals add value to local economic recovery and growth plans. Applicants are requested, to provide a letter of support to demonstrate they have consulted with the Local Authority. lever in additional match funding. Applicants are encouraged to maximise the leverage of other funding. This has a number of benefits including enhanced alignment with other provision and efficient delivery which increases value for money.
- test an integrated approach across the themes. The investment priorities are multi-dimensional and may be applied in There is an expectation any projects seeking funding will need to support carbon reduction in line with the Combined Authority’ target of achieving a net zero carbon economy by 2038.
- Applicants are asked to note, that in line with the Government guidance, applicants will be charged a 2-3% management fee to support the Combined Authority to carry out its role. This will be taken off the final grant awarded to any successful bid. This should be taken into account when calculating the resources needed to run the project.
- Assessment Criteria
The UK Government has set out the assessment criteria. The headline principles are;
All proposed projects will be assessed against the following two areas, of equal weighting strategic fit considerations:
- Level of contribution to local needs articulated in the West Yorkshire Invitation to Bid and with evidence of local support.
- Level of contribution to an investment priority
- The extent of contribution to net zero objectives, or wider environmental considerations (not applicable to employment support interventions)
- The extent to which the project can inform 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, effectiveness, and efficiency
All proposed projects will be assessed against the following deliverability, effectiveness and efficiency considerations:
- That it 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 shall include an assessment of value for money taking account of:
- the level of contribution to programme outputs for funding sought
- the amount of match funding or leverage proposed to maximise impact (not applicable to employment interventions)
- That 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
- Guidance and Downloads
Full guidance on the UKCRF can be found on the gov.uk website.
The following UKCRF guidance is also available here
- UK Community Renewal Fund: prospectus 2021-22
- UK Community Renewal Fund in West Yorkshire Invitation to Bid
- UK Community Renewal Fund - Government FAQ
- Places and Lead Authorities
- UK Community Renewal Fund: Prioritisation of places methodology note
- UK Community Renewal Fund: assessment criteria
- UK Community Renewal Fund: application form
- UK Community Renewal Fund: technical note for project applicants and deliverers
- UK Community Renewal Fund: privacy notice
- West Yorkshire Combined Authority privacy notice
- 1st April Briefing Session Slide pack