Organisations with ideas to help Kent’s towns, rural and coastal areas thrive are being urged to submit their project plans to a new UK Government programme.
The UK Community Renewal Fund aims to support people and communities most in need, that wish to bring forward new ideas to invest in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment.
Across the UK, up to £220m of predominantly revenue funding will be allocated to successful project bids. The maximum value of any individual bid is £3m.
This Fund has been launched to pilot programmes and new approaches in preparation for the introduction of the Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund in 2022.
The focus for the Community Renewal Fund is to support innovation and new ideas. We are looking for bids that within Kent will build on local insight and knowledge, and project proposals that align with long-term strategic plans for local growth, targeting people most in need and support community renewal.
Kent County Council has been designated as a lead authority by the UK Government for local applications, and is looking for bids that deliver innovation in the delivery of support for local businesses, helping people into employment and investment in communities.
Projects needs to align one or more of the fund’s four investment priorities:
- Investment in skills – such as work-based training, retraining and promoting digital skills.
- Investment for local business – for example supporting entrepreneurs, creating innovative products in collaboration with universities, or decarbonisation measures.
- Investment in communities and place – such as studies for delivering local energy projects, culture-led regeneration, improving green spaces and preserving important local assets.
- Supporting people into employment – including addressing barriers to employment, raising aspirations, and developing basic skills.
Submissions in the first three categories above must demonstrate some contribution to the government’s net zero carbon agenda.
Stephanie Holt-Castle, KCC Director of Growth and Communities, said “The Community Renewal Fund offers a fantastic opportunity for Kent businesses and organisations to secure investment that will help both them and our communities.
“We’re particularly looking to hear from voluntary and community sector organisations, local education providers, and town and parish councils on their proposals for projects that will make a tangible difference in Kent.
“All proposals must align to one or more of the Community Renewal Fund’s four investment priorities, and any bids must show that they do not just benefit a single business or organisation – they must be able to evidence the wider impact that the project will have for multiple people, businesses or other organisations”.
It’s hoped that businesses and organisations from every part of Kent will come forward with their ideas to bring positive changes to communities across the county.
All proposals for the Community Renewal Fund should be submitted to Kent County Council by 9am on Tuesday 4 May. Applications will then be appraised and prioritised, before being submitted to the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) on 18 June.
It is anticipated that decisions by Government on the funding will be announced in summer 2021, with projects due to start in the summer and all project funding spent by 31 March 2022.
Before starting work on a bid for the fund we recommend that you read the following for more information.
- the UK Community Renewal Fund Prospectus
- the UK Community Fund Technical Note for Project Applicants and Deliverers
- the UK Community Renewal Assessment Process
You will find out everything you need to know at www.kent.gov.uk/ukcommunityrenewalfund