The Sector Support Fund (SSF) is a £500,000 per year pot to support one-off, discrete pieces of work of a pan-LEP nature with a sector focus that brings demonstrable benefit and has support across the LEP.
It uses Growing Places Fund (GPF) Revenue grant to fund a programme of works to support the sector focussed activities that are being undertaken on a pan-LEP basis and predominantly led by the SELEP working groups. When the Growing Places Fund (GPF) grant was originally awarded, a proportion of the fund was earmarked as revenue which is being used for the Sector Support Fund.
Since its inception, SELEP has enabled a number of sector based working groups that function across the LEP area. These working groups are made up of representatives of any number of different organisations who give their time on voluntary basis as the benefits of cross-working have been clear. As these groups have matured it has become clear that there is additional work or projects that the group could put into place that would bring further benefit. Finding funding for these projects is increasingly difficult. The Sector Support Fund has been designed to be catalyst funding for this.
Table 1: Eligibility Criteria (taken from Guidance Notes)
|Scope must be pan LEP||The project must be able to demonstrate impact in at least three of the SELEP federated areas, preferably all four|
|Federated areas must support the project||Project sponsors must discuss the project with Federated Boards or their lead officer/Director for every federated area impacted|
|The outcomes must align with SELEPs overarching objective to create the conditions for increased jobs and homes, safeguarding existing jobs and raising skill levels||Given the low investment levels of this fund, it is not expected that the projects will directly deliver greater numbers of jobs and homes but applicants must be able to demonstrate how the project will be part of creating the conditions for greater numbers of jobs and homes|
|The project must align with the SELEP priorities as defined in the Strategic Economic Plan||Applicants should highlight which objective(s) that their project supports. If you are unable to identify an objective to align to, this would suggest your project is not suitable for this funding|
|The project must be for a discrete piece of work, not ongoing or business as usual (BAU) costs||This funding is project based, that is a stand-alone piece of work, with defined start and finish dates and clearly identified inputs and outputs|
|Minimum application value is £25,000 and maximum application value is £200,000||Bids outside of this range will not be considered|
|Funding will be awarded as a grant to support revenue spending only||Capital bids will not be considered|
|Match funding of 30% must be demonstrated||Applicants must be able to evidence at least 30% of match funding at time of application. This match can be either cash or non-cash. The source of this match must be identified and other SELEP funding or SELEP resource (including SELEP working group time) cannot be submitted as match|
|Projects are expected to be a maximum of 12 months duration. Exceptions will be considered on a case by case basis||Funding can be provided in more than one financial year if the 12 month period straddles two financial years|
|The project must demonstrate Value for Money and comply with the SELEP Assurance Framework||Further guidance on demonstrating Value for Money in a proportional manner can be found in Annex A|
|The project must be supported by a lead County/Unitary Authority or equivalent||The preferred route of contracting would be with one of the County/Unitary authorities. Other contracts will be considered on a case by case basis|
In the first instance applicants should make contact with via the SELEP lead for the relevant working group (see list below). If there isn’t a working group for the particular sector focus of the bid, please use the general contact email address, email@example.com, and the most suitable contact will respond.
The total allocation value for each year is £500,000. Information on the current value of funds available in each year can be found via your SELEP contact, on the website via this link, or by emailing the Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following sets out the timetable for the first open call for projects in 2018/19. If the annual allocation is not fully depleted through the first call for project then a further call for projects will be launched until the annual funding has been fully allocated.
Table 2 Timescales for 2018/19 SSF Call for Projects (taken from Guidance Notes)
|Action:||Deadline June Board 2018:||Deadline September Board 2018:|
|Bid Submission||1st June 2018||10th August 2018|
|Independent Review of bid by the SELEP Accountable Body||4th - 7th June 2018||w/c 13th August 2018|
|Prioritisation by SELEP Directors Group||8th June 2018||w/c 27th August 2018|
|Strategic Board report to be published||21st June 2018||20th September 2018|
|Strategic Board Meeting||29th June 2018||28th September 2018|
An independent review of the Business Case will be completed by the SELEP Accountable Body against the Eligibility Criteria set out in Table 1 of the guidance notes and the requirements of the SELEP Assurance Framework.
This review of projects is to ensure that the requirements of the SELEP Assurance Framework to ensure that all investments are independently evaluated are met. The appraisal will be proportionate to the value of the investment. If your project does not meet all of the eligibility criteria, it is not suitable for this funding. In this case, please discuss further with the SELEP Secretariat who may be able to help you identify other, more suitable funding sources.
Prioritisation: Where total calls for SSF exceed the amount of funding available bid will then be prioritised as per the Table 3 of the Guidance notes (see Prioritisation Criteria below). An initial technical prioritisation of the project, informed by the information presented within the Business Case submission, will be led by the SELEP Directors Group, based on the outcome of the independent evaluation of bids and the assessment criteria. This will then be presented to the SELEP Strategic Board or Investment Panel.
Fuller details are available in the guidance notes.
Following a successful appraisal, SELEP Secretariat will recommend your project to SELEP Strategic Board for endorsement. The lead times for a funding decision are detailed Table 2 above (also contained in the Guidance Notes).
Dates of all SELEP meetings can be found here.
Since its inception, SELEP has enabled a number of sector based working groups that function across the LEP area.
SELEP working groups: