UK Community Renewal Fund

We are inviting applications from organisations wishing to deliver activity as part of the Government’s UK Community Renewal Fund.

1 Introduction

The UK Community Renewal Fund comprises £220 million of investment across the UK. The fund aims to support people and communities most in need to pilot programmes and new approaches. It will invest in:

  • skills
  • community and place
  • local business
  • supporting people into employment.

The Government has set out its approach to ensuring the UK Community Renewal Fund reaches the most in need by identifying 100 ‘priority places’ for funding based on an index of economic resilience. Although there are no ‘priority places’ in West Sussex, applications are welcomed from the county.

West Sussex County Council (WSCC) is the lead authority for West Sussex with responsibility for inviting, receiving, assessing, prioritising and submitting bids to government. In addition, we will pay grants to any successful projects and manage their performance.

The Government anticipates supporting a range of projects by theme and size, but encourages applicants to maximise impact and deliverability through larger projects (£500,000+) where this is possible.

Detailed information can be found in the UK Community Renewal Fund prospectus. This provides the objectives of the fund, the types of projects it intends to support and how it operates, including the process and selection criteria that will be used to assess bids.

If you have any questions on the fund guidance, further information is available on GOV.UK or you can email communityrenewalfund@westsussex.gov.uk. We are not able to advise on applications however.

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2 Types of application we are looking for

We are interested in applications that build on local insight and knowledge, and in project proposals that support economic recovery. These need to:

  • align with long-term strategic plans for growth
  • target people most in need and support community renewal
  • benefit one (or more) of the boroughs and districts in West Sussex
  • show how they complement other national and local provision.

A focus for this fund is to support innovation and new ideas, investing in pilots that draw on local insights and which will help places to prepare for the introduction of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund in 2022.

Projects must deliver activity that is in line with the UK Community Renewal Fund prospectus and is aligned with at least one of these investment priorities:

  • Investment in skills - For example:
    • work-based training
    • retraining
    • upskilling/reskilling
    • promoting digital skills and inclusion.
  • Investment for local business - For example:
    • supporting entrepreneurs
    • creating new jobs
    • develop innovation potential
    • decarbonisation measures.
  • Investment in communities and place - For example:
    • feasibility studies for delivering net-zero/local energy projects
    • promoting culture-led regeneration
    • community development
    • improving green spaces
    • preserving important local assets
    • rural connectivity.
  • Supporting people into employment - Supporting people on their journey towards:
    • employment
    • identifying/addressing barriers to employment/moving closer to the labour market
    • developing basic skills
    • testing what works in helping people move towards work.

The examples included for each of the investment priorities are for information only and do not constitute an exhaustive list of potential projects.

The Government has not set out specific financial allocations to these priorities, so applicants may choose to align with any, or a combination of them.

We will consider alignment with the following local strategies and plans when selecting the applications to go forward to Government:

The UK Government anticipates supporting a range of projects by theme and size. There is no minimum threshold to the value of bids, but applicants are strongly encouraged to maximise impact and deliverability through larger projects submitted in West Sussex (£500,000 and above) where possible.

3 Assessment criteria

All applications will be assessed against:

  • the level of contribution to local needs articulated in relevant local plans and with evidence of local support
  • the level of contribution to an investment priority
  • the extent of contribution to net zero objectives, or wider environmental considerations (not applicable to employment support interventions)
  • the extent to which the project can inform the UK Shared Prosperity Fund through transferable learning or opportunity to scale up for local partners and UK government
  • the extent to which the project demonstrates innovation in service delivery, through introducing new delivery approaches. For example, trialling new modes of delivery, integrated approaches across policy themes or collaboration across more than one place).

All proposed projects will be assessed against the following deliverability, effectiveness and efficiency considerations:

  • It can be delivered as proposed by March 2022 with realistic milestones identified.
  • Project risks have been identified and are adequately mitigated, including project-level management controls.
  • The applicant sets out an efficient mode of delivery, taking account of the level of innovation proposed and will operate at an appropriate scale. This shall include an assessment of value for money taking account of the level of contribution to programme outputs for funding sought, the amount of match funding or leverage proposed to maximise impact (not applicable to employment interventions).
  • The project would not proceed without funding or could only be delivered on a smaller scale.
  • An effective monitoring and evaluation strategy has been identified for the project.

4 Applying

This fund is now closed.

Before deciding whether to apply and starting work on an application, we strongly suggest you read the Government guidance documents and our UK Community Renewal Fund privacy notice.

Applications can be submitted by organisations including, but not limited to:

  • local authorities
  • voluntary and community sector organisations
  • universities
  • colleges
  • umbrella business groups
  • private sector organisations
  • registered charities.

Applications cannot be submitted for projects that benefit a single entity (for example a single business). There must be evidence of wider impact for multiple individuals, businesses or other organisations.

  • If you intend to submit an application, an ‘Intention to apply’ email should be sent to us no later than 5.00pm on Friday 30 April 2021. Please provide a one paragraph summary of the project.
  • Completed UK Community Fund application forms must be submitted to us no later than 12 noon on Friday 14 May 2021. Late applications will not be accepted.
Complete the UK Community Renewal Fund application form (GOV.UK) (external link)

Your 'Intention to apply' email and completed UK Community Fund application form must be sent to communityrenewalfund@westsussex.gov.uk.

Successful UK Community Renewal Fund applications will be for 2021/22 only and activity must end in March 2022.

Delivery timetable

The UK Community Renewal Fund is a competitive process and West Sussex County Council and the UK Government will not enter into discussions with bidders.

Application timetable showing milestone and deadline.
Milestone Deadline
Intention to apply email to West Sussex County Council 5.00pm on Friday 30 April 2021
Applications submitted by email to West Sussex County Council 12 noon on Friday 14 May 2021
Applications appraised, prioritised and submitted to Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) by West Sussex County Council 12 noon on Friday 18 June 2021
All applicants notified on status of their application 5.00pm on Monday 21 June 2021
Bids assessed by UK Government and successful projects announced Anticipated late July/early August 2021
Funding agreement signed with West Sussex County Council Anticipated early August 2021
Estimated project start date Anticipated August 2021
Project activity completed and funding spent 31 March 2022
Last updated:
17 June 2021
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