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Social Infrastructure Fund guidance

1.1 Norfolk County Council has established a capital grants scheme for voluntary and non-profit making groups. Grants are available for groups who are in involved in community projects and initiatives that benefit the residents of Norfolk

1.2 In awarding funds we aim to ensure that the application process is easy to understand and made to clear to all applicants, while at the same time ensuring sufficient information is gathered to promote value for money, fairness in decision making, public accountability and avoidance of fraud or misuse of funds, reflecting the highest standards of public sector financial management

1.3 Projects and initiatives will be assessed on their ability to contribute to the achievement of the County Council Plan, Together, For Norfolk

2.1 The following criteria must be met in order to be eligible for funding under this scheme:

2.1.1 Grants will be given only to voluntary and non-profit making groups and organisations to support community initiatives that benefit residents of Norfolk

2.1.2 Grants will be awarded for capital costs only, therefore operational running costs, general maintenance costs or ongoing staffing costs will not be funded. Capital costs include cost of acquisition and construction and costs incurred too subsequently to enhance or replace a significant part of an asset. And asset for this purpose must have a useful life of more than one year, and can include intangible assets such as computer software, as well as tangible assets such as buildings. Further guidance on what can be classed as capital is included in Appendix 1

2.1.3 Applications will be considered from properly constituted groups only, who are registered with the relevant authorities and hold a bank account. Applications will not be accepted from individual

2.1.4 Projects from faith organisations can only be funded if they can demonstrate a clear benefit for the wider community

2.1.5 Organisations or groups that operate a policy of exclusivity or have a closed membership group and is thereby not open to any member of the public will not be considered for funding

2.1.6 Grant applications will not be considered from political organisations

2.1.7 Grants will not be awarded retrospectively. Grants will only be awarded for work still to be purchased at the time the application is made.

3.1 Applications can only be considered in response to a call for projects. There will be at least one call for projects per year. Further calls will be dependent the size of allocations made in the first round. Funds not allocated within the financial year will be rolled over to future years.

3.2 Applications for funding should be made on our application form and supported by all requested supporting documentation. Forms can be downloaded from the Norfolk Social Infrastructure Fund page.

3.3 You can fill in an electronic version of the application form and email it to us, but we must receive a hard copy of the application with at least two signatures along with the supporting documentation in order for us to process it.

3.4 The following supporting documents must be submitted with the application

3.4.1 A minimum of three quotes for the work to be carried out from three different independent suppliers

3.4.2 A detailed breakdown of all costs associated with your application for funding

3.4.3 A copy of a recent bank statement for all accounts held in the name of your group

3.4.4 A copy of your most recent Annual Accounts or Audited Accounts

3.4.4 Your Equal Opportunities Policy or Statement (where not explicit in Constitution)

3.4.5 Your Constitution or other governing documents

3.4.6 A copy of your last Annual Report and AGM minutes

3.4.7 Your Child Protection Policy, if relevant

3.4.8 Your Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Policy, if relevant

3.5 Incomplete applications or applications that do not include all the above documentation cannot be considered for funding

3.6 We may contact you to ask for more details about your project or possibly arrange to visit your organisation. We will be pleased to help you with any queries you may have in relation to the supporting information for are required to provide in advance of submitting your completed application.

3.7 Norfolk County Council will appraise the projects and score each against the scoring table below. A maximum possible score will be 15 points. Any projects that score below 5 points will be rejected.

SIF scoring

Scoring areas:

  • Aims of the project
  • Benefits: who will benefit and how
  • Strategic fit: helping deliver Together, for Norfolk
  • Capital costs, funding and ongoing costs clear; VFM
  • Project planning and milestones

For each scoring area, points are given from 0-3:

  • Not explained - 0 points
  • Response poor as to provide little confidence that the requirements have been met - 1 point
  • An acceptable response with some weaknesses but where the weakness does not cause fundamental concerns and is outweighed by strengths - 2 points
  • An excellent response - 3 points

3.8 A detailed timetable will be set out for decision making when each call is launched. However it is expected that from the opening of the call for projects to the issue of offer letters will take approximately six months.

4.1 Section 1: Your organisation

Please provide the name of your organisation as it appears on your constitutions and bank account as well as its registered address and postcode, a contact name and title of someone we can discuss the application with and their contact details.

4.2 Section 2: Your project

Please can you provide a summary of the project submitted for funding and how any money granted to you would be used. What are the aims and objectives of the project?

Who will benefit from the delivery of your project e.g. local children, elderly residents, a number of community groups that use your facilities? What are the planned outcomes from your project e.g. to improve local community facilities, to promote heritage and culture, to promote health and well-being, to get more people to attend you group, providing local activities or meeting evidenced community needs? from the delivery of your project?

4.3 Section 3: Helping deliver Together, for Norfolk

Norfolk County Council has set out its key priorities in Together, for Norfolk: An ambitious plan for our County 2019-2025. In this section you are invited to explain how your project will support at least one of the priorities and outcomes outline in the plan. How will you project help with the delivery of this plan and address the challenges and opportunities set out in it. For example, your project might invest in creating community sports facilities. This could help to deliver Together, for Norfolk by helping people using those facilities to feel more connected to their communities and to enjoy better health and increased wellbeing.

4.4 Section 4: Funding your project

The grant funding provided by this fund is for capital projects only. Norfolk County Council is wanting to invest in larger projects that make real difference in our communities and are looking to invest in projects seeking funding between £50,000 and £250,000. You will need to confirm that you project costs are classed as capital as set out in 2.1.2 and in appendix 1.

In this section and in the accompanying breakdown of project costs, you are required to provide a detailed breakdown of all project’s costs.

The County Council wishes to see local commitment to the proposed scheme. All proposals must therefore include a financial contribution towards the overall costs of the measures put forward. While we will consider the business case in the round, the greater the overall local contribution towards the costs, the more positively the business case will be considered in the assessment process. Please can you explain how you are funding the remainder of the costs? Are you applying to another funder for further grant funding? If so, who are you applying to, and what is the status of your application. You will need to provide letters confirming the remainder of the required funds are in place before drawing down grant funding from NCC.

What are the ongoing running costs and staffing costs associated with running your project? How will pay for these? You will need to demonstrate here that your organisation has a credible plan to meet these ongoing costs.

Please confirm if your organisation has previously received a grant from NCC. If yes, please provide details and amounts, and the results achieved from these previous investments.

In the application form please provide a breakdown of costs into broad headings. Detailed costs should be provided in your attached breakdown. How have these costs been estimated? For costs where you will contract with a third party (such as a builder, for example) please provide three quotes from three different suppliers for the works to be contracted.

4.5 Section 5: Delivery and milestones

When do you expect your project to start? What are the key milestones for your project? These could include land purchase agreed, construction contract let, start on site, and completion of build, for example.

5.1 Applicants whose applications are unsuccessful, or ineligible will be notified by letter and receive feedback on the reasons for the failure of the grant application within two weeks of the decision.

6.1 Grant can be drawn down in full at the start of the project, on the return of an appropriately signed offer letter, and can be paid directly into your organisation’s bank account.

7.1 As part of the conditions of funding you will be required to complete and return 6 monthly project monitoring reports while the project is live and a project closure report once it has been completed.

7.2 The monitoring report and project closure report will provide an evidence base for the Council’s internal audit process. As part of theses reports you will be required to provide supporting documentation e.g. receipts, invoices, bank statements etc to evidence the expenditure of the funding awarded.

7.3 Throughout the duration of the project and until the project closure report has been agreed, you will agree to open your books to the Council’s internal auditors upon reasonable request.

7.4 Grants awarded must be spent only on the purpose for which is stated in your application. If for any reason your circumstances change and you wish to vary the way in which you spend your grant you are required to contact us and request written permission to do so.

7.5 We would also require a project outcome report 12 months from completion of the project, to enable us to review the success of the funding.

8.1 We require that groups and organisation recognise Norfolk County Council’s funding support by highlighting this on all promotional materials in relation to the project or initiative such as press releases, posts, flyers, websites, signage etc.

New Acquisitions (Land, Vehicles, Plant etc.) and Reclamation of Land

Any costs incurred before the intention to acquire or construct a particular asset has been confirmed: No

Feasibility studies / option appraisals / risk assessments: No, unless they contribute directly to the scoping of the asset ultimately acquired

Project management fees – external: Yes where directly attributable to the acquisition, but not if scheme is abortive

Internal project management costs directly related to specific acquisitions: Yes, but not if scheme is abortive. Subject to effective time recording and costing being performed and evidence retained.

Internal staff time spent on abortive projects, training, programme management and co-ordination, assigning resources between projects, budgeting and reporting: No

Site selection / bidding for funds / identification of possible schemes: No

Purchase costs: Yes

Stamp duty / Import duty / Non-refundable purchase taxes (does not apply to VAT for NCC): Yes

Site preparation and clearance: Yes

Initial delivery and handling costs: Yes

Professional fees eg legal, architects, surveyors, engineers: Yes, where directly attributable to the acquisition but not if scheme is abortive.

Finance fees / interest: No

Abnormal costs, eg design errors, industrial disputes, wasted resources and slippage: No

Nomination rights: No

Purchase of software and software licences: Yes, provided the software is to be used for a period of at least one year.

Estimated cost of dismantling and removing asset and restoring site: Unlikely. Possible to the extent that it is recognised as a provision in the accounts.

Administration and general overhead costs: No

 

Construction, Preparation, Installation and Replacement

Feasibility studies / option appraisals risk assessments: No, unless they contribute directly to the development of a specific project

Site selection / bidding for funds / identification of possible schemes: No

Purchase Costs: Yes

Project management fees: Yes where directly attributable to the construction, preparation, installation or replacement but not if scheme is abortive.

Internal project management costs directly related to specific schemes: Yes but not if scheme is abortive. Subject to effective time recording and costing being performed and evidence retained.

Internal staff time spent on abortive projects, training, programme management and co-ordination, assigning resources between projects, budgeting and reporting, training: No

Construction Costs: Yes

Installation Costs: Yes

Import duty / Non-refundable purchase taxes (does not apply to VAT for NCC): Yes

Site preparation and clearance: Yes

Initial delivery and handling costs: Yes

Professional fees eg legal, architects, surveyors, engineers: Yes where directly attributable to the construction, preparation, installation or replacement but not if scheme is abortive.

Finance fees / interest: No

Abnormal costs, such as those relating to design errors, industrial disputes, wasted resources and slippage: No

Estimated cost of dismantling and removing asset and restoring site: Yes, to the extent that it is recognised as a provision in the accounts (not likely at NCC)

Nomination rights: No

Development of software: Yes, provided the software is to be used for a period of at least one year

 

Enhancements

Feasibility studies / risk assessments: No, unless they contribute directly to the development of a specific project

Project management fees: Yes where directly attributable to the enhancement but not if scheme is abortive or if no enhancement.

Routine maintenance of roads, bridges and footpaths, eg repairing potholes: No

Structural maintenance of roads, bridges and footpaths: Yes

Re-roofing of significant element of building: Yes

Replacement of tiles: No

Installation of Central Heating: Yes, where additional not replacement

Installation of Double Glazing: Yes, where additional not replacement

Replacement of broken windows: No

Road widening: Yes

Bridge strengthening: Yes

Painting and decorating: No

Day-to-day servicing, repair and maintenance: No

Installation of new engine in vehicle: Yes

Major overhauls: Yes, if replacement or refurbishment of significant parts included, no if simply a major service.

Replacement of major parts: Yes, if asset is enhanced

Professional fees eg legal, architects, surveyors, engineers Yes where directly attributable to an enhancement: No if scheme is abortive or if no enhancement.

Finance fees / interest: No

Nomination rights: No

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