Bridgend County Borough Council is now accepting applications for the UK Community Renewal Fund, a £220 million scheme to invest in local areas throughout the country.

The fund aims to support people and communities most in need, creating opportunities to trial new approaches and innovative ideas at the local level.

While Bridgend county borough has not been designated within the top 100 priority places, bids are still invited of up to £3million for the area.

Provided by the UK Government, projects must deliver activity that relates to one of four priority areas:
• Investment in skills

• Investment for local business

• Investment in communities and place

• Supporting people into employment

Applications from all areas of Bridgend county borough are encouraged, though projects will score favourably if they are in line with our local priorities as set out in the Bridgend Public Services Board Well-being Plan.

For information about how to apply, please visit the local authority website. Applications must be received by the deadline which is 7am on Monday 24 May.

The council will then submit a prioritised list of proposals for the county borough to UK Government for their assessment before successful projects are confirmed at the end of July. These must be delivered by March 31, 2022.

Investment in skills could cover work-based training, retraining, upskilling or reskilling members of the workforce or promoting the advancement of digital skills and inclusion.

Examples of investment for local business include helping to create more job opportunities for current or new employees, encouraging businesses to develop their innovation potential and supporting decarbonisation measures.

Investment in communities and place may involve feasibility studies for delivering net-zero and local energy projects, exploring opportunities for promoting culture-led regeneration and community development, improving green spaces and preserving important local assets or promoting rural connectivity.

Supporting people into employment might consist of helping individuals engage with local services available in this area, identifying and addressing potential barriers to employment, raising job aspirations, assistance to gain basic skills or evaluating successful approaches to help people back to work.

The fund is a pre-cursor to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund which is being launched in 2022 as a replacement to EU Structural Funds.

As 90 per cent of funding available through the UK Community Renewal Fund is revenue funding and only available during this financial year, projects should be predominantly or exclusively revenue based.

Projects that focus predominantly on the construction or major refurbishment of buildings, the purchase of land or the purchase of large pieces of equipment will not be supported.

A free webinar to help with the application process will take place on 28 April between 4pm and 4.30pm. It will provide an overview of the funding, eligibility criteria and details on how to apply for the fund. Register for the free webinar by emailing bridgendcrf@bridgend.gov.uk

Bids must be submitted using the UK Community Renewal Fund Application Form which then needs to be sent to Bridgend County Borough Council using this email address: bridgendcrf@bridgend.gov.uk

The UK Community Renewal Fund is a competitive process and Bridgend County Borough Council and the UK Government will not enter into discussions with bidders. However, questions can be submitted via bridgendcrf@bridgend.gov.uk

%d bloggers like this: