Venue: Virtual Meeting
Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Mary Stuart (University of Lincoln, Chair of Lincoln Town Deal Board), Valerie Johnson (St Marks Retail Centre), Ruth Carver (Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership), Andy Gutherson (Lincolnshire County Council), Caroline Killeavy (Lincolnshire YMCA), Group Captain Steve Kilvington (RAF Waddington) and Mark Speed (Siemens).
Vote of Thanks
A vote of thanks was led by Lord Patrick Cormack (House of Lords), to Mary Stuart who was due to leave her current post as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lincoln. He gave thanks to her on behalf of everyone for the work she had been involved with on the Lincoln Town Deal Board. He expressed extreme gratitude for all her hard work in her role at the University which had raised its status to become internationally recognised in importance, currently named as University of the Year.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the previous meeting held on 12 March 2021 be confirmed as a correct record.
Additional Item - Levelling Up Fund
Kate Ellis, Strategic Director of Major Developments, City of Lincoln Council gave a brief overview on the Levelling Up Fund. This represented an alternative potential funding source to breach the gap in funding to allow one or more of the additional Town Fund projects to go forward. She covered the following main points:
· The Levelling Up Fund was a sum of money amounting to £4.8 billion fund to invest in visible local infrastructure projects to drive prosperity.
· The scheme was managed jointly by the Department for Transport, HM Treasury and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
· It was open to all local authorities, although priority areas had been identified for funds.
· The City of Lincoln was classified as a Category 1 area for funding based on need, due to deprivation.
· There was specific involvement by Members of Parliament.
· All local authorities were able to submit at least one bid for funding.
· In addition, Lincolnshire County Council was entitled to submit a Transport bid.
· The criteria for funding was based around value for money, strategic need, ability to deliver and collaboration with partners.
· The deadline for submission of the first round of bids for funding up to £20m was 18 June 2021 with a requirement for awards to be spent by March 2024.
· The three themes were:
Ø Regeneration and Town Centres
Ø Culture and Heritage
· Local authorities could bid in one of these three areas.
· There was potential to apply for this alternative funding for projects currently identified in the Town Deal Fund.
Board members expressed caution that deadlines for the Lincoln Town Deal Board project confirmations should not be compromised by additional work involved in applying for the Levelling Up Fund.
It was suggested that the Board could proceed with all the proposed projects for the Lincoln Town Deal Programme on the assumption that some may not be delivered in order to get as many projects through as possible.
Leo Scott Smith, Chair, highlighted that there was a shortfall in funding of 20% against the original bid. This meant that either one large project or several small projects could not be delivered without further funding.
Jo Walker, Assistant Director of Growth, City of Lincoln Council suggested the option to keep some projects in at a lower level and use the Levelling Up Fund opportunity for additional match funding. It was understood that the Levelling Up Fund criteria required a minimum of 10% match funding from another source.
Kate Ellis, Strategic Director of Major Developments, City of Lincoln Council referred to the potential of phasing some elements of certain projects to enable them to be retained within the Town Deal programme, whilst seeking Levelling Up Fund to allow for further phases and to bring in additional schemes. Discussions were ongoing on this matter.
RESOLVED that the content of the verbal overview and comments made be noted.
Jo Walker, Assistant Director of Growth, City of Lincoln Council:
a. updated the Board in relation to project details for the Town Deal Selection Process:
· Following the last meeting of the Lincoln Town Deal Board on 17 March 2021 the heads of terms for the £19m funding awarded under the scheme was agreed by the City of Lincoln Council Executive and submitted to Government on 22 March 2021.
· The Board now had two months to confirm the final selection of projects by 22 May 2021.
· A Project Confirmation Form must be submitted for each project using the template at Annex A of the Stage 2 Guidance circulated.
· After confirming the projects and agreeing the confirmation forms, any adjustments to these projects for example, to take into account any additional match funding secured, and any other changes must be submitted on the project Adjustment Form circulated
· Once the final selection of projects had been made, each project would then need to develop a full business case for local approval prior to the draw down of funds. The timescale for this work for all projects being 12 months, with a summary document required in each case for submission to government
b. detailed the current financial position in respect of funding secured as follows:
· There was no further material funding available for the projects at this stage apart from an additional £0.6m from the Heritage Action Zone for the Central Market.
· The current portfolio of projects ‘in scope’ would require £23.77m Town Funding - £4.77m over the £19m allocation. This amount would either need to be sourced by way of match or projects to this value removed from the programme of 14 projects.
· Noted that no schemes were without risk and all assessed by government as a strategic fit with the programme but to enable Board to move forward, a high level assessment of risk/value and impact had been carried out on the status of each project with the following six proposed for consideration at the current stage in the process in the sum of £9.9m; considered to be a lower risk relative to the other schemes in the portfolio:
Ø Lincoln Connected
Ø Tentercroft Street
Ø Drill Hall
Ø Central Market
Ø Lincoln City Football Club Stadium and Community Redevelopment Project
· Alternative funding would also be explored for one or more of the remaining projects through the Levelling Up Fund.
c. requested that the Board give feedback on:
Ø whether or not to take all the projects forward especially if there was no match funding available; and/or
Ø arrange for a further independent assessment to be undertaken of the remaining projects looking at deliverability, value for money and prioritisation.
d. highlighted that procurement of consultants to support leads with the development of business cases had been undertaken and that these consultants could be utilised for an independent assessment
e. requested that Lincoln Town Deal Board meet again on 14 May 2021 to make the final decision on selection of projects ... view the full minutes text for item 46.
Monday 10 May 2021 – 9:00am via Zoom.