The Leader of the Council – Regeneration Cabinet Member – Minutes – 28 November 2011

8  (8)  GROWING PLACES FUND – The Head of Regeneration and Planning submitted a report informing the cabinet member of the Growing Places Fund announcement, and sought approval to work with both the Humber and Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnerships to develop proposals for the Growing Places Fund. 

The £500m Growing Places Fund was announced by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) on 7 November 2011, the purpose of which, was to help boost economic growth by kick-starting the required infrastructure to enable the creation of new jobs and homes by getting stalled projects moving again.  It was explained that the £500m would all be allocated from the end of January 2012.  

It was anticipated that the Fund would ‘kick start’ developments that were currently stalled due to the economic climate and would deliver key infrastructure that would create jobs.  

The Head of Regeneration and Planning explained that the Fund would put local businesses and organisations in the driving seat with the 38 LEPs being able to apply for the funding and then take decisions about what to prioritise locally. LEP areas would receive an allocation based on a clear formula, which would be a mix of population and employed earnings data for each LEP area.  The reason for this formula approach was transparency, fairness and speed. 

It was clarified that the DCLG would distribute the funds as an unringfenced grant to local authorities.  This would require a single lead local authority to act as ‘banker’ for each allocation for which the accountable body would receive a 2 per cent management fee. 

Resolved – (a)  That the information on the Growing Places Fund be noted; (b) that North Lincolnshire Council work with the Humber and Greater Lincolnshire LEPs to identify schemes for the Growing Places Fund and explore the opportunity to pool allocations, and (c) that the Humber LEP be informed that North Lincolnshire Council is willing to act as the accountable body for the Growing Places Fund.

9  (9)  RURAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME FOR ENGLAND (RDPE) LEADER FUNDING PROGRAMME UPDATE – The Head of Regeneration and Planning submitted a report to inform on the changes to the responsibility for the RDPE LEADER Programme and update on the Northern Lincolnshire LEADER Programme. 

The Northern Lincolnshire LEADER programme was established in 2008 as part of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), to provide financial assistance to projects in the rural wards of Northern Lincolnshire. 

Funded through the European Union and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DeFRA), the aim of the LEADER Programme was to enable rural communities to improve the quality of life and economic prosperity in their local area. 

At local level, the LEADER funding was distributed by the Northern Lincolnshire Rural Local Action Group with North Lincolnshire Council acting as the Accountable Body. A LEADER Coordinator and a LEADER Support Officer were employed to manage the Programme. 

In August 2011, Local Action Groups were notified of a national LEADER budget reduction in line with the budget cuts being implemented across all government departments. The LEADER Team was in the process of agreeing a revised annual spending profile for the budget with DeFRA details of which were outlined in Appendix 1 to the report. 

Resolved – (a)  That the changes to the LEADER Programme be noted, and (b) that the  current and future budget and delivery of the LEADER programme be approved.           

Where there is no report this is because it is exempt, as it contains information which is considered to be of a confidential nature, as detailed in the Local Government (Access to Information) Act.