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Coastal Communities Fund open for applications – Round 5 (or should we say rounds 5.1 and 5.2?)

At the end of February, the Coastal Communities Fund (CFF) Round 5 was launched with £40 million available for applications (to be spent by end of March 2021).

I found the guidance notes very useful (much more useful than the headlines themselves which I found confusing…).

Key parts from the guidance:

1. Definition of Coastal Communities?

“Any coastal settlement within a local authority area whose boundaries include UK foreshore, including local authorities whose boundaries only include estuarine foreshore”. Coastal settlements include seaside towns, ports and other areas which have a clear connection to the coastal economy.

2. Applicants

The following types of organisation can apply to the CCF in England:

  • Coastal community teams
  • Local authorities
  • Other public sector bodies
  • Charities
  • Voluntary and community sector organisations
  • Social enterprises, including co-operatives and community ownership initiatives
  • Private sector companies
  • Local Enterprise Partnerships

3. Types of project that may be supported

CCF Round 5 is particularly interested in projects that:

  • Support improvements in productivity in the coastal economy through projects promoting investment in innovation, infrastructure or skills provision that will improve the outputs and performance of coastal businesses
  • Provide support for small and medium sized enterprises through business development support, improvements to infrastructure and targeted incubation support where there is strong evidence of demand and where these do not duplicate provision funded elsewhere
  • Address seasonality by creating new patterns of demand for tourism, establishing unique selling points and distinctive market niches in the visitor economy across a greater proportion of the year
  • Deliver improvements to public places that will increase the number of visitors, generate direct and indirect employment opportunities, and make coastal communities more attractive places to live and work
  • support the delivery of jobs and economic growth through integrated regeneration initiatives which include, where appropriate, addressing the issues of flooding, coastal erosion risk management or bathing water quality which threaten the development of the coastal economy. Where proposals involve flooding and coastal erosion risk management schemes or bathing water quality initiatives, these must be supported by the relevant Coastal Protection Authority (for erosion) or the Environment Agency (for flooding/ bathing water standards).

4. Level of funding available/match funding

“Funding in excess of £50,000 is available for projects which benefit coastal communities. There is no upper limit, but bids for a large proportion of the funding available will not be successful. We are looking to support a range of strong coastal projects that will deliver jobs and growth throughout England. Whilst funding from other sources is encouraged, it is not essential and CCF can be the sole funder of your project”.

5. Timetable

Within this round (Round 5), there are 2 separate funding rounds, each with their own timetable as set out below:

Fast Track RoundMain Round
Funding available for:Revenue projects only, with no more than £10,000 of essential capital equipment. Projects with capital works are not eligible for the ‘Fast Track’ roundBoth capital and revenue costs in the main funding round.
Funding available from2018/19April 2019
Expression of Interest (Stage 1)Opened: 26 February 2018

Closes: 11pm on 2 April 2018

Opened: 26 February 2018

Closes: 11pm on 30 April 2018

Notification/ Stage 2 invites30 April 2018Late June/ Early July 2018
Full Application (Stage 2)Closes:11 June 2018Closes:15 October 2018
Successful projects announcedSummer 2018December 2018/ January 2019

It should be noted that Round 5 will prioritise fully developed projects that are able to spend all of their CCF funding before 31 March 2021. Therefore, projects that are sufficiently developed with all necessary consents in place are more likely to be funded in this round.

As I said at the outset of this blog, the Guidance Notes are good and these guidance notes cover the areas above in more detail, including:

  • Examples
  • What can the money be used for
  • Application process, assessment and decision-making
  • Guidance for capital projects

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have a potential project you wish to talk through and/or please check out the documentation available on the Coastal Communities Fund Round 5 webpage.

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