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Agenda Item No

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 1st July 2013

Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation

Welsh Government Regeneration Framework - Vibrant and Viable Places

Purpose of the Report

1. The purpose of this report is to advise Cabinet of the publication of Welsh Government Guidance for applicants to access Welsh Government targeted regeneration investment. The Guidance is attached at Appendix 1 and is entitled "Vibrant and Viable Places Regeneration Framework". The report also seeks delegated authority for the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation, to submit a bid in consultation with the Director of Development Services.

Recommendations

1. That the content of this report be noted.

2. That delegated authority be given to the Director of Development Services in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation and the Leader to submit a Stage 1 bid to Welsh Government.

3. That a copy of this report be submitted to the Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee for information purposes.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1. That the report is for noting.

2. To enable the Council to submit a bid under Stage 1 of the programme by 12th July 2013.

3. To keep Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee informed of progress on this matter.

Background

2. On the 17th December 2012, I reported to Cabinet the release of the consultation document "Vibrant and Viable Places - A New Regeneration Framework". That report also recommended a response to that consultation (Cabinet Minute C1949 refers).

3. That report sets the context for current and future Welsh Government area based programmes with regeneration implications and that context is not repeated here. However, particularly relevant is the fact that the Barry Regeneration Area programme was launched by the Welsh Government in March 2010. A total of £9.8m of Welsh Government investment was allocated to the programme, which was initially intended to run for three years (April 2010 - March 2013 inclusive). However, following the spending review by the United Kingdom Government, this allocation was re-profiled over four years. Cabinet considered an update report on the Barry Regeneration Area Programme and the Welsh Government's Ministerial review of approaches to regeneration on 23rd July 2012 (C1780 refers).

4. In addition, the Council has been awarded revenue funding of £1.4 million over the programme period (2012 - 2015) for a cluster area in Barry based on parts of Castleland, Cadoc, Gibbonsdown, Buttrills and Court Wards. This was the subject of a report to Cabinet on 3rd December 2012 and also of relevance is the fact that in terms of housing led regeneration, Castleland Renewal Area (2010 - 2022) covers parts of Castleland, Court and Buttrills Wards. To date £2.8m capital funding has been invested in the residential face-lift programme to assist the regeneration of private sector housing in the area. In terms of public sector housing the Council's Housing Improvement Programme (2012 - 2017) is investing £82m in Council properties to meet the Welsh Housing Quality Standard.

5. The St. Athan - Cardiff Airport Enterprise Zone was launched by the Welsh Government in April 2012. The Enterprise Zone is focused on the aerospace sector which is a key sector in the Welsh Government's commitment to creating jobs and sustainable growth. The Welsh Government is offering specific incentives to attract new business such as access to finance, diverse support packages, international trade advice, help with finding a location, workforce and skills development plus links with industry networks. The Cardiff Airport Task Force was set up by the First Minister in June 2012, to address how the competitive position of Cardiff Airport could be improved through collaboration between its then owners, the Welsh Government and the wider public sector and business community. Since this time, the Welsh Government has taken ownership of the Airport.

6. The Council responded to the consultation on Vibrant and Viable Places and this was the subject of the report to Cabinet on the 17th December 2012. Key points that were presented related to the fact that the Vale of Glamorgan is a non-convergence area and that as a result there is a risk that areas of disadvantage, particularly Barry could miss out should funding be skewed towards other areas. The point was also made that notwithstanding the above, continued regeneration intervention in the Vale of Glamorgan can build upon and add value to several successful examples of intervention such as successful regeneration programmes in the rural Vale of Glamorgan and Barry, as well as recent policy interventions such as the Enterprise Zone, the Airport Task Force and the announcement of a Communities First Cluster. In addition, there is ongoing housing renewal work and progress being made on regeneration at Barry Island. Furthermore, the emphasis in the consultation document to the role of coastal towns and town centres was welcomed, especially given that the Council has progressed work on a Destination Action Plan and produced a Town Centres Framework. The point was therefore made that it was essential that momentum gained through the Barry Regeneration Area and other associated initiatives be retained and built upon.

Relevant Issues and Options

7.   The Welsh Government's New Regeneration Framework, "Vibrant and Viable Places" was launched at the Senedd on 11th March 2013. The new framework is the result of a review of approaches to regeneration in Wales and the consultation from October to January 2013. The framework seeks intensive targeted regeneration investment in a small number of key places which will be used to support local growth in town centres, coastal communities and Communities First clusters. The Vibrant and Viable Places Guidance was released by Welsh Government on 16th May 2013. The document is attached at Appendix 1.

8. Key messages that emerge from the guidance are as follows:

  • Targeted regeneration investment of up to £30 million per year will be available from 2014 to 2017.
  • Other separate funding will remain available for local projects.
  • Each local authority will be eligible to submit one application or bid on behalf of a local partnership.
  • The programme will run for three years with a maximum of £5 million allocated per year per bid.
  • The timescales are such that a Stage 1 bid is required by 12th July 2013, limited to a maximum of 3500 words, with the outcome of Stage 1 being known on 2nd September. A Stage 2 bid deadline has been set at 4th November with an outcome date of 21st January 2014. It is anticipated that the investment period will run from 1st April 2014. 
  • Priority areas are identified as Town Centres, Coastal Communities and Communities First Clusters. The Minister for Housing and Regeneration, has made it clear that his emphasis is on the home and the home environment and this is an overarching theme to the programme.
  • There are four key performance indicators for programmes. Three will be used to assess applications:

a) Investment levered in (split by private, public and third sectors).

b) Net additional jobs created.

c) People supported into work (including through targeted recruitment and training).

The fourth indicator will be tracked over the lifetime of the programmes, but will not be assessed during the application process; nor will it be part of any contractual grant agreement:

d) Percentage of spend retained within Wales based supply chains.

  • Eligible costs can be provided to support the following phases of development:

a) Feasibility and design work (for example master planning, character studies including an audit of heritage resources and historic character, etc) for new programmes relating to the settlements for which targeted investment is being applied (no more than 10% of total budget) - for other feasibility work outside targeted settlement areas, consider the Community Innovation Grant scheme.

b) Completion of existing legacy programmes where they have a demonstrable strategic fit with future plans and priorities.

c) Physical works on new programmes and related activity.

d) Monitoring and evaluation (continuous throughout and beyond investment project duration).

  • The outcomes are in common with the National outcomes of prosperous, healthier and learning communities.

Programmes must:

a) Help people into work, either through job creation or by improving employability skills acquisition;

b) Be strategic, with regional as well as local buy-in and demonstrate cross-sector and cross-boundary benefits;

c) Demonstrate how the investment is complementing, but not substituting for, mainstream funding.

d) Support targeted recruitment and training, and where possible maximise community economic benefits;

e) Show clear commitment to sustainable development in terms of the balance between economic, social, cultural and environmental opportunities and constraints, together with long term viability; and show clear alignment with relevant commitments within the Programme for Government.

  • The bids will be assessed on the following basis:

20% Key outputs

20% Strategic fit

15% Policy fit

15% Housing

10% Quality of programme delivery

10% Value for money

10% Creativity and innovation

  • The bid will need to demonstrate stakeholder engagement and a plan for communication.

    9. In terms of progressing the Stage 1 bid the publication of the guidance was reported to the Council's Corporate Management Team on 22nd May 2013. Subsequently, a cross Service Working Group was established and met on the 29th May. The notes of that meeting are attached as Appendix 2. In addition, a Barry Regeneration Area Partnership Board Workshop was held on the 6th June 2013 and the notes of that meeting are attached as Appendix 3. This workshop followed a discussion that had been held at the previous Board meeting on the 16th May 2013, the very day that the guidance had been released by the Welsh Government.

    10. At the time of writing, a further Board meeting is scheduled to take place on 18th June, and this will allow the discussion to be progressed. A further officer meeting is scheduled for 19th June. At the time of writing, it is also planned to report the matter to the Corporate Management Team on the 26th June and the Local Service Board meeting on the 27th June.

    11. Cabinet will note that as a consequence of the content of the guidance issued by Welsh Government, Barry appears well positioned in terms of the new programme. This has been explored further in the various engagement sessions held with officers and the Board and will be fed into the Council's bid. In terms of key themes, Appendices 2 and 3 provide an insight into the areas that are likely to figure in the Council's bid. In particular, there needs to be an emphasis on the home, housing quality and the community. In this regard, the links with Welsh Housing Quality Standard and Housing Renewal work will be fundamental when submitting a bid. In the same way the Council has recently completed work on the framework for the future of the Town Centres of the Vale of Glamorgan. The role of Holton Road and High Street and Broad Street has been explored in that framework and it is likely that Town Centre interventions will also figure in the bid. Finally, the current regeneration involvement in the town focuses on the role of Barry Island and any future bid will need to consider how this work is taken forward alongside the investment already made in the Pumphouse on the Waterfront.

    12. Due to the very tight timescale for submitting the bid, it will not be possible to report the content of the bid to Cabinet in advance of the 12th July, deadline. I am therefore seeking Delegated Authority to submit the bid in consultation with the Director of Development Services.

    Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

    13. There is a requirement that the Council provides match funding to the level of 25% to support the bid. In formalising the bids this will be addressed.  In terms of compiling the bid, this is being met from within Directorate resources with assistance and input from staff across the Council.

    Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

    14. There are no sustainability and climate change implications associated with this particular report. However, regeneration has implications for the sustainability of communities, especially when integrated with planning and transport issues. By way of example, investment in new developments and facilities can reduce the need to travel.

    Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

    15. There are no legal implications associated with this particular report.

    Crime and Disorder Implications

    16. There are no crime and disorder implications associated with this particular report, although successful regeneration activity will result in a reduction in crime and anti-social behaviour. The bid will seek to address this issue.

    Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

    17. There are no specific equal opportunity implications associated with this particular report, although successful regeneration can lead to improved access to services and facilities and foster community cohesion, a factor which will figure in the Council's bid.

    Corporate/Service Objectives

    18. There is broad agreement both in Wales and across the United Kingdom that regeneration is a comprehensive process, which aims to tackle a combination of social, economic, physical and environmental issues and that it is focused on areas of disadvantage, particularly those where the market alone cannot delivery improvement. Regeneration therefore requires broad action across a range of Departments and service areas and this is reflected in the content of both the Corporate Plan and Service Plans.

    Policy Framework and Budget

    19. This report is a matter for Executive Decision by Cabinet.

    Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

    20. No Ward Members have been consulted as the report relates to matters that are not Ward specific. The matter is being referred to Economy and Environmental Scrutiny Committee for information purposes.

    Relevant Scrutiny Committee

    21. Economy and Environment.

    Background Papers

    Wales Audit Office (August 2005) Regeneration - A Simpler Approach for Wales

    Welsh Assembly Government (October 2010) Framework for Regeneration Areas

    Welsh Government (October 2012) Vibrant and Viable Places - New Regeneration Framework

    Cabinet Report (23rd July 2012 Minute C1780) Barry Regeneration Area

    Cabinet Report (17th December 2012 Minute C1949)

    Contact Officer

    Rob Thomas

    Officers Consulted

    Operational Manager Countryside and Economic Projects

    Operational Manager Planning and Transportation Policy

    Head of Housing and Building Services

    Principal Housing and Pollution Officer (Public Protection Services)

    Major Project Manager (Development Services)

    Head of Performance and Development (Corporate and Customer Services)

    Business Manager (Corporate and Customer Services)

    Tourism/Marketing Manager (Leisure Services)

    Manager, Barry Communities First Cluster Team (Planning and Transportation)

    Senior Accountant - Accountancy (Resources)

    Committee Reports - Legal Services (Resources)

    Responsible Officer:

    Rob Thomas, Director of Development Service

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