UK Community Renewal Fund

An exciting opportunity to pilot new ideas and help shape future funding programmes.

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The UK Community Renewal Fund comprises £220 million of investment across the UK and will be the pre-cursor to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund to be launched in 2022 which replaces EU Structural Funds.  

This Fund aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches and will invest in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment.  

UK government identified Cumbria County Council as the Lead Authority for Cumbria with responsibility for inviting, assessing, prioritising, and submitting bids to government.  

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.

If you have any questions about the Fund please email and a member of the team will get back to you. 

More information about the Fund can be found on the website

The UK Community Renewal Fund submission deadline has now passed.  Applications received before the submission deadline of 12 noon on 17 May are being processed and we will be in touch in due course.

Project Proposals to be submitted to the County Council byNoon on 17 May 2021
Project Proposals appraised, prioritised and submitted to Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)Noon on 18 June 2021
Bids assessed by UK government and announcements Anticipated late July / early August 2021
Estimated project start dateAnticipated August 2021
Project activity completed and funding spent by31 March 2022

There are 4 investment priorities.  Projects may align with one, or deliver across several investment priorities:

  • Investment in skills - eg Work-based training, retraining, upskilling/reskilling, promote digital skills and inclusion
  • Investment for local business - eg Supporting entrepreneurs, to create more jobs, to develop innovation potential, decarbonisation measures
  • Investment in communities and place - eg Feasibility studies for delivering net-zero/local energy projects, for promoting culture-led regeneration, community development, improving green spaces and 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.

Proposals will be assessed on:

Strategic fit

All proposed projects will be assessed against the following strategic fit considerations:

  • Level of contribution to local needs articulated in relevant local plans and with evidence of local support
  • 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 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

Deliverability, effectiveness, and efficiency

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

  • That 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)

  • That 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
  • Call for Project Proposals
  • Applicants develop complaint projects
  • 17 May 2021, 12noon - project submitted to Cumbria County Council
  • Cumbria County Council assess project proposals
  • Officer Panel underakes draft prioritisation exercise
  • CLEP Investment Panel agrees final priority projects
  • 18 June 2021, 12noon - Portfolio of projects submitted to Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)
  • Late July 2021 - MHCLG approve projects
  • Early August 2021 - Cumbria County Council contracts with approved projects
  • August 2021 - Projects commence
  • November/December 2021 - Mid point delivery review
  • 15 March 2021 - Practical completion for all projects