Decision Maker: Strategy and Resources Committee
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
The Committee considered a report by the Chief Executive (circulated previously) regarding the Levelling Up Fund and Shared Prosperity Fund.
The Chief Executive highlighted the following:
· An update had recently been provided at the Council meeting in April 2022. Full Council had approved the submission of a bid for Round 2 funding based on the original bid concentrating on Ilfracombe seafront and the Landmark Theatre.
· Officers were currently working with Members, Ilfracombe Town Council and the Regeneration Board on the bid. The deadline for the submission of the bid was by 6 July 2022.
· Since the Council meeting, further guidance and information had been received in relation to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
· The allocation of the funding would be over 3 years with funding culminating in a national allocation of £1.5 billion in year 3 which would be focussed on People and Skills.
· The calculation of funding was based on indices applied by Government and the population.
· Many local authorities were aggrieved at the level of funding awarded given the level of deprivation.
· Funding would be allocated to District Councils but access to funding would only be given once an Investment Plan had been submitted to Government. This would paid to the Council over a 3 year period: for North Devon this resulted in year 1 £180,000, year 2 £350,000 and year 3 £600,000.
· The first 2 years would be focussed on the investment priorities “Communities and Place” and “Local Businesses”. Year 3 would focus on “People and Skills”.
· The guidance also stated that Councils must identify a broad range of local stakeholders and appropriate groups in order to secure cross sector involvement. Where there was an existing collaborative partnership group, it could be designated for the purposes of the Fund. The Northern Devon Futures Board would act in this role. MPs should also be a part of the discussions and would need to sign off on the Investment Plan. There were some gaps in stakeholders such as Parish/Town Councils and religious groups which would need to be considered.
· The content of the Investment Plan was currently unclear, but it was envisaged that it would include a list of high level intervention projects to be developed in the area and that projects would then be invited to meet these interventions. The Government had issued a list of suggested interventions.
· Discussions on the investment plan were currently taking place at an officer level which would then be discussed with Torridge District Council and the Futures Board. There were opportunities to combine resources and projects with Torridge District Council for interventions that covered both areas. Members would also be included in discussions.
In response to questions, the Chief Executive advised the following:
· That Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government had acknowledged that if inflation rates continue to rise that this would reduce the effective value of the funding awarded as it was not index linked to inflation.
· That the funding that Devon would receive from the SPF over the next 3 years will be around 30% of the amount received through the EU Structural Funding.
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
Publication date: 25/05/2022
Date of decision: 09/05/2022
Decided at meeting: 09/05/2022 - Strategy and Resources Committee