UK Community Renewal Fund Now Open

The Community Renewal Fund (CRF) has been introduced by the UK Government for 2021/22 to support people and communities most in need across the UK.

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. The Prospectus can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-community-renewal-fund-prospectus

The deadline for applications is Wednesday 12 May at 12 noon. 

The West Midlands Combined Authority has been designated as a lead authority by the UK Government. On 1 April 2021, the WMCA launched the invitation for bids. This invitation can be found at: https://www.wmca.org.uk/what-we-do/uk-community-renewal-fund/

As the lead authority, The West Midlands Combined Authority will assess all bids submitted aligned to UK Government UKCRF Assessment Process.

The government has identified 100 “priority places”, including 5 local authorities in the West Midlands (Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton) and bids are sought in four key areas/themes:

1. Investment in skills

2. Investment in local business

3. Investment in communities and place

4. Supporting people into employment

Details of the alignment to Local Priorities can be found here https://www.wmca.org.uk/media/4772/wmca-invitation-to-bid-v3.pdf

There are no financial allocations to these priorities, but there is a maximum of only £3m available per place. The UK Government anticipates supporting a range of projects by theme and size, but applicants are encouraged to maximise impact and deliverability through larger projects (£500,000+) where this is possible. Therefore for the third sector, consortia working is supported and encouraged.

Third sector support offer

The West Midlands Combined Authority have engaged with regional third sector umbrella organisations in ‘priority places’ to provide support to voluntary, community, and social enterprise organisations in understanding the Community Renewal Fund and coordinating applications.

If you are an organisation from the sector within one of the 5 priority places, the West Midlands Combined Authority recommends that you engage with your area lead, as detailed below. If you are from Coventry or Solihull, please reach out to WMCA directly at CRF@wmca.org.uk.

Bids must be submitted using the UK Community Renewal Fund Application Form, which is available here

 

AREA ORGANISATION RESPONSIBLE LEAD CONTACT
Birmingham Birmingham Voluntary Service Council (BVSC) Brian Carr brianc@bvsc.org
Sandwell Sandwell Council for Voluntary Organisations Mark Davis mark@scvo.info
Wolverhampton Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council Ian Darch idarch@wolverhamptonvsc.org.uk
Walsall One Walsall Manjit Dehal ManjitD@onewallsall.org
Dudley Dudley Council for Voluntary Service (Dudley CVS) Andy Gray andygray@dudleycvs.org.uk
Coventry & Solihull WMCA WMCA CRF@wmca.org.uk
Social Enterprise iSE Sarah Crawley sarah.crawley@i-se.co.uk

The timeframes outlined in the invitation document are:

  • Thursday 1 April – Open for bid applications
  • Wednesday 12 May (12 noon) – Close Bidding Process
  • Friday 18 June – Shortlist of bids submitted to MHCLG
  • Late July/August – Projects selected and funding provided
  • End March 2022 – All activity complete

For information please email info@i-se.co.uk


Birmingham City Council are currently accepting Expressions of Interest for potential bidding partners for an East Birmingham Public Sector Employment Hub. You can download the EOI here and return no later than 12 noon on the 23rd of April to tara.verrell@birmingham.gov.uk.