by Andrew James from PKF Francis Clark
Through my work researching potential funding sources for an (exciting) project in Cornwall, I became aware of Community Led Local Development (CLLD). After exchanging a number of emails with one of the Area Coordinators for the fund, I think I have concluded that it is not a fit with that project but thought I would share details in a blog post. We also have the Area Coordinator visiting our office soon, so there may well be a follow up blog post as well…
What is CLLD in Cornwall?
CLLD is a term used by the European Commission and in practical terms, is a way of integrating and distributing funding from the EU Growth Programme. A CLLD programme is based on four principles:
- It is bottom-up and targeted at local areas of greatest need
- It is about finding innovative ways of addressing local challenges and opportunities
- It is based on Local Development Strategies and led by Local Action Groups
- It brings together different types of activity in different sectors into a coordinated strategy.
In Cornwall, funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and European Social Fund (ESF) has been combined to create a total CLLD fund of £11.56m that “welcomes applications for projects that will create sustainable local solutions to address issues of deprivation such as low household income, unemployment, health and education”. To be considered eligible, projects must provide benefit for individuals and/or businesses in ‘core areas’ (within the 30% most deprived areas according to the Indices of Multiple Deprivation). Neighbouring hinterland is designated as ‘functional area’ and some project activity may be eligible here if it benefits communities in the ‘core area’. Guidance and maps are available to confirm eligibility.
Types of projects that could be supported
Based on materials that I have been sent, the types of projects that could be supported include:
|Delivery of training/ activity for individuals||Provision of informal or formal training courses supporting individuals to build confidence, self-esteem, skills, knowledge, etc. where this can lead to further development and help move the individual into employment or closer to the job market.|
|Support for people starting out in business||Provision of dedicated support for potential entrepreneurs to assist with issues such as company registration, registering with HMRC for tax purposes, market analysis, product/service development, marketing etc.|
|Supporting existing businesses||Businesses from sole traders through to large employers are eligible to apply for funding towards capital items, building improvements, training and other costs for unemployed and inactive people (to help them into a work environment) where the business is in a ‘core area’ or a neighbouring ‘functional area’ and will provide benefit for residents in a ‘core area’.|
Support is available from the CLLD Delivery Team who can confirm if your project is eligible and advise on making an application – see further below.
CLLD is delivered through four Local Action Groups (LAGs) across Cornwall with each funding the activity in their area to achieve the objectives of the Local Development Strategy.
Delivery of CLLD in Cornwall
As stated above, CLLD in Cornwall is being administered through the four Local Action Groups (LAGs).
A small grants (up to £9,999) application process will be launched in October, but the main scheme is already open for applications of £10,000 and over.
It is advisable to contact the LAG Facilitator in your area (details on the website) before making an application. They will provide advice regarding the eligibility of your project and how much funding you can apply for. The main application process is in two stages; first you submit an ‘Expression of Interest Form’ (your Facilitator can support you with this) giving a summary of what your project aims to achieve, where it will be based and the associated costs. This is checked for eligibility and presented to the LAG who will consider whether it should be invited to make a full application. Following this, you have up to four months to submit your Full Application, although it can be submitted earlier if ready. On submission of a full application, it is first checked to ensure sufficient information is provided so the project can be appraised. If more information is required, your Facilitator will let you know. With the necessary information provided, your application is appraised and then taken to the following LAG meeting for a decision. Applicants will be notified of the decision following the meeting.
The Call (for delivery/ support agencies)
Earlier this month, the Coast to Coast and West Cornwall LAGs issued a Call for funding applications with a deadline of 10 September 2018. Overview of projects sought as follows:
|LAG||Coast to Coast||West Cornwall|
|Activity and funding available||Support community-led and community based skills development; enabling and building capacity of individuals; £474,000 (ERDF & ESF)||Micro/small business advice, skills development and practical support; £449,250 (ERDF & ESF)|
|Minimum application level||£25k|
|Duration||Typically projects should plan to deliver activity for a minimum of one year and can plan to deliver up to June 2022.|
|Specific Call Requirements||This Call is for projects to deliver activity for individuals residing in the core areas within the electoral wards listed below in section four within each Local Action Group area.|
If you feel you may have a project that fits with CLLD in the above areas I would recommend you read the Call Specifications as there is a lot of examples of ‘proposed activities”’ and ‘outputs’ etc.
We have been advised that Atlantic & Moor and South & East Cornwall LAGs are taking a different approach to West Cornwall and Coast to Coast with support for potential entrepreneurs, hence they’re not part of the current Call. Due to the lack of typical economic development infrastructure organisations, like Oxford Innovation et al, they are keen to support local partnership proposals e.g. relevant local businesses offering structured support for potential entrepreneurs in their community, with the aim of providing a more sustainable local model which could be replicated in other communities. We understand there has been some initial interest to this approach, but our contact in Atlantic & Moor is keen to talk to more businesses and potentially community organisations to flesh out in more detail. And he has said leads, introductions or support you can offer to further this would be welcome…
Further details on CLLD including maps detailing the ‘core’ and ‘functional’ areas and also how to apply can be found here or by calling 01209 615067.