Report of the Director – Development and Economic Growth
It was RESOLVED that Cabinet:
The Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Business & Growth, Councillor Edyvean, presented the report of the Director Development and Economic Growth which outlined plans for UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) and Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) 2023/24.
Councillor Edyvean explained that UKSPF funding had been set up to replace European funding and had first been considered by Cabinet in July 2022. He said that the funding worked better at delivering money locally and highlighted that in its first year the Council had spent £312k of UKSPF funding on communities and place and local businesses. Councillor Edyvean explained that it had allowed the Council to provide initiatives such as further improvements to Rushcliffe Country Park, reed clearance on Grantham Canal and cost of living workshops and had enabled the Council to employ an advisor to support local high street businesses. He added that the funding would also support people and skills, with that money kicking in the third year of funding.
Councillor Edyvean said that the proposals before Cabinet were for the coming financial year of 2023/24 and amounted to funding of £624k, to be split between community and place at £325k and business support at £274k. He referred to paragraphs 4.7 and 4.8 of the report which set out the proposed funding allocations.
Councillor Edyvean referred to paragraph 4.2 of the report which set out proposals for REPF, including £80k for businesses to bid for, for projects such as diversification of their business, net zero infrastructure, support for rural business hubs and supporting a visitor economy. He said the £69k was allocated for communities and place and that the Council would invite applications for funding between £10k to 40k, with match funding required in certain instances. He said that businesses grant applications would require 60% match funding and that community grants would require 30%, which could be either financial or in kind. He explained that whilst match funding for the community and place was not mandatory, the Council would like to see commitment for some match funding. He said that the Council would be accepting bids from the end of April 2023.
Councillor Edyvean referred to paragraphs 4.19 through to 4.22 of the report which set out the proposal for governance. He highlighted that Officers would continue to refine the programmes as they unfolded, with the Leader, Chief Executive and S151 Officer being able to agree any changes and that grants would be assessed monthly by report to the Portfolio Holder for Business and Growth and sign off of the grants would be through the S151 Officer and the Director Growth and Economic Development. He added that quarterly reports would be presented to the Strategic Growth Board and monthly monitoring would be carried out by the UKSPF and REPF Project Board to ensure delivery of projects and that spend was on track.
In seconding the recommendations, Councillor Moore said that £3m to spend in Rushcliffe was a good thing and he was pleased to see the process put in place ... view the full minutes text for item 55