Norfolk County Council has announced that organisations can bid for a share of government money to support innovative projects aimed at boosting the economy. Sounds very similar to what I proposed last year when I asked then to launch an ‘Eco Dragon’s Den’ scheme to support innovative ideas to protect our environment. They were reluctant to fully sign up for my idea but I am glad to see they are promoting this. And it comes with £220 million of funding too. Here’s the council press release with all the details:
Norfolk organisations can bid for a share of a £220 million Government fund to support innovative pilot projects to boost the economy.
Known as the community renewal fund, it is part of the Government’s levelling-up agenda and aims to support innovative responses to local challenges and local need.
The Government has identified priority district areas for support, four of which are in Norfolk: Great Yarmouth, King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, North Norfolk and Norwich. These places are expected to be the focus for delivery of projects in this round of funding.
Bids can be submitted by a range of organisations, such as councils, universities, voluntary and community sector and business support bodies.
Councillor Graham Plant, the county council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for growing the economy, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for Norfolk to develop new schemes, which can be delivered by the end of March next year.
“It’s about finding new ways to tackle the challenges Norfolk faces, as we recover from the pandemic – from new approaches to skills and training, to cutting edge responses to climate change.
“The Government wants to establish new ways of working with local areas and wants to give communities a stronger voice in their future.”
The categories are:
- Investment in skills
- Investment for local business
- Investment in communities and place
- Supporting people into employment
With the exception of skills and employment projects, bids should link to the Government’s clean growth and net zero agenda, contributing to a reduction in greenhouse gases.
All projects must be delivered fully and funding spent before the end of March 2022.
Full details are available at https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/communityrenewalfund . For more information from the Government, see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-community-renewal-fund-prospectus .
The fund is 90% revenue, 10% capital and largely revenue bids are sought.
To ensure they have real impact, projects should seek a minimum of £250,000 of community renewal funding, with a preferred bid size £500,000 plus. The more local funding that can be aligned with the grant being bid for, the greater the chances of a project’s success.
The more local funding that can be aligned with the grant being bid for, the greater the chances of a project’s success.
Bids must be submitted to the county council by 5pm on Friday 14 May, before the Government announces successful bids in late July.
All projects must be delivered and funding spent before the end of March 2022 – so this gives about eight months to carry out planned projects.