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£9M available: NALEP calls for infrastructure projects

A call for infrastructure projects has been announced to mark the launch of the new Economic Strategy for Norfolk and Suffolk.

The strategy, which has been developed over the last nine months by local authorities and business groups led by New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), was formally approved by the LEP’s board at its meeting on Wednesday 25 October. To read the strategy, click here.

To help deliver the ambitions set out in the new strategy, the LEP has made £9million available for capital infrastructure investments.

Priority will be given to projects which have a well-developed outline business case, are realistic and achievable and can demonstrate flexibility in delivery. All projects funded through this call should be completed by 31 March 2019.

Expressions of interest must be submitted by 30 November. Submissions will then be reviewed by the LEP and appraised in accordance with the Treasury’s Green Book principles of viability, value for money, achievability, affordability and need.

The funding is from the New Anglia LEP Growth Deal through the Capital Growth Programme.

Application details

Timetable

Call for projects opens – 25 October 2017

Closing date for Expressions of Interest – 30 November 2017

Recommendation by relevant LEP sub board (Local Transport Body, Skills Board) – 15 December 2017

Review of applications – by end of December 2017

Report to New Anglia LEP Board – January 2018

Feedback to applicants – January 2018

Legal agreements issued from February 2018

Successful projects will need to meet our Capital Growth Programme core outputs:

  • Connectivity- investing in essential projects and assets that improve the infrastructure and which create a modern, mobile, accessible future-proof digital connected economy.
  • Unlocking Growth- investing in infrastructure that unlocks or protects housing or commercial developments in our key growth locations.
  • Investing in skills- investing in projects that deliver the higher level skills needed to drive growth across our economy with a particular emphasis on our ‘innovation’ and ‘enabling’ sectors.

Process

This call for projects is the first stage in the process of identifying and prioritising projects that will form a set of opportunities that will help to deliver economic growth and contribute to the priorities of the Economic Strategy in Norfolk and Suffolk.

1) Expression of Interest: Please submit an Expression of Interest or alternatively, if available, send your full project business case. This process will need to provide sufficient information to help decide if the project meets the requirements of the Call. The call will close on 30/11/17 and all expressions of interest must be received by this date. No late submissions will be considered.

Please send completed Outline Application Forms to

Tracie.ashford@newanglia.co.uk

To arrive no later than 5pm on Thursday 30 November 2017

2) Review of Submissions: The initial review of information by the LEP is a prioritisation process to assess projects against the objectives of the Economic Strategy. Projects that do not meet the ambitions of the Economic Strategy (listed above) will not proceed beyond this stage.

3) Development of projects: Once accepted as a potential Capital Growth Initiative project, the project will supply further information and evidence in support of the business case. This will enable a detailed appraisal of the projects to take place. All projects must be able to demonstrate that the following key issues have been addressed:

  • whether the need for the project has been clearly demonstrated
  • evidence of option appraisal and business case
  • how well the project meets the priorities of the Economic Strategy
  • how well the project fits with local and sub-regional plans and priorities
  • potential for alternative funding, partnering and joint schemes
  • estimated costs with level of detail to reflect the current stage of the project
  • potential of the project to contribute to economic growth
  • potential of the project to achieve payback
  • how likely the project is to be successful
  • how risks will be managed and mitigated
  • economic outputs and impacts created by the project
  • how the benefits of the project will be sustained after LEP funding finishe

4) Appraisal The appraisal of projects will be carried out in accordance with HM Treasury Green Book principles of viability, value for money, achievability, affordability and need. The LEP will appoint external appraisers for this call. A technical appraisal specialist may be sourced for individual projects if necessary.

The appraisal process will examine the following aspects of the project:

  • Justification of local economic need
  • Evidence of failure in commercial markets
  • Barriers to development due to lack of or inadequate infrastructure
  • Viability gaps for development of sites
  • Opportunity to accelerate delivery of development
  • State Aid

5) Selection and Decision: The New Anglia LEP Board will consider all applications at its January 2018 meeting and determine whether to approve or reject each application.

6) Funding: All projects approved for funding will be subject to a legal agreement drawn up in conjunction with the LEP’s Accountable Body, Suffolk County Council. The agreement will include the cycle of anticipated drawdown of funding and the outputs expected to be generated by the project.

Key Criteria

Only Capital Infrastructure projects located within the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership area may apply.

All projects must be:

  • Fully completed by the end of March 2021, although all projects must have a degree of flexibility in delivery and earlier delivery would be looked on favourably
  • Able to demonstrate their contribution to the delivery of the Economic Strategy through direct and indirect outp
  • State Aid compliant
  • Able to demonstrate the need for funding and the additionality achieved by the funding

It will not be possible to support:

  • Revenue costs
  • costs that have been incurred before a grant offer is made
  • items that only benefit an individual or sole business
  • items that are not directly needed to deliver the proposed work
  • loan repayments or contributions to general appeals
  • political or religious activities

Support

Queries on the completion of the Outline Application Form and process should be directed to:

General Infrastructure projects:

Iain Dunnett: Iain.dunnett@newanglia.co.uk

Other Capital Projects:

Emily Manser: Emily.manser@newanglia.co.uk

Jonathan Rudd: jonathan.rudd@newanglia.co.uk

Sue Wilcock