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Agenda Item No

 

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 27 January, 2014

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation

 

Invitation to deliver a grant scheme to support new business start-ups in the Vale of Glamorgan for young people.

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To report on an invitation from a charitable Foundation to deliver a grant scheme to support new business start-ups in the Vale of Glamorgan for young people.

2.         To support the creation of new business start-ups through investment from the Foundation.

Recommendations

1.         That authority is granted to deliver a bursary scheme on behalf of the Charitable Foundation.

2.         That the Head of Legal Services be authorised to negotiate and enter into a contract with the Foundation to deliver the bursary scheme, in consultation with the Director of Development Services and the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning & Transportation.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To enable CRC to utilise the resources offered through the Foundation to increase new business stat-ups and job creation in the Vale of Glamorgan.

2.         To facilitate delivery of the grant scheme.

 

Background

3.         Creative Rural Communities is the Council led rural regeneration partnership, currently delivering a range of projects under the Rural Development Plan for Wales, funded by Welsh Government (WG) and the European Union.  CRC has been approached by a Charitable Foundation regarding the delivery of a grant scheme to support the development of new business start-ups across the Vale of Glamorgan for young people up to the age of 30.  Further information on the Charitable Foundation is set out in a Part II report to this meeting.

4.         On 31st July 2008 Cabinet gave consent to submit an application to WG to deliver Axes 3 and 4 of the Rural Development Plan in Wales from 1st Mar’11 to 31st Dec 2013. Minute C112. The ‘Inspiring the Vale Bursary’ scheme formed part of that application and was delivered during Business Plan 1 which came to an end in December 2011. A Report Covering the Expression of Interest to form a new Local Action Group for the 2014-2020 period is also being put before Cabinet on January 13th 2014.

 

Relevant Issues and Options

5.         The ‘Inspiring the Vale Bursary’ scheme provided assistance to young persons up to the age of 30 to implement their ideas for a business or community enterprise. Up to £3k (or 75% of the total project cost) was available for applicants to apply to start up their new enterprise.

6.         This approach, which saw the creation of 23 new businesses, appeals to the Foundation, and they have therefore approached CRC with the offer of employing our services to run a very similar scheme once again, administered by CRC, utilising funding through the foundation.

7.         Unlike the previous bursary scheme which was restricted to the Wards within the rural Vale (which excluded Barry, Penarth and Llandough) and certain sectors being ineligible in accordance with grant conditions, the foundation would like to see coverage across most business sectors across the whole of the Vale.

8.         The Foundation approached CRC on the basis that the Bursary project, funded through the Rural Development Plan for Wales (2008-11) was well received and had a lasting legacy on job creation and business development in the Vale.

9.         CRC currently lacks the ability to offer business start-up grants to young people and this opportunity provides an invaluable opportunity to support economic development with no cost to the Council.

10.      Funding for CRC is currently secured until the end of 2014 through the Rural Development Plan Wales. Staff contracts are currently being extended on a quarterly basis in order to limit risk to the Council.

11.      Costs associated with the delivery of this scheme will be separated using an approved apportionment methodology, linked to actual costs.

12.      Scheme criteria and guidance notes are included in the Part II report.

13.      Demand for the scheme is based on the success of the previously run scheme which was oversubscribed. 23 new businesses were set up in the Rural Vale by young people up to the age of 30. It is expected that demand will surpass this in the new scheme given the high rates of unemployment amongst young people and the increased cost of higher education. Many young people may choose instead to establish new business ventures.

14.      Additional staff resource would be required to run this project in order that its introduction is not to the detriment of the current programme. Indicative costs based on the funding of additional staff required have been calculated into the overall costs for running the scheme. Any additional positions will be subject to Job Evaluation and cost may vary depending on the time available to deliver the scheme. Indicative costs are based on a 12 month delivery programme and the employment of a Bursary Officer (Estimated Grade G-I). Post numbers have recently reduced within the current programme delivery structure as the existing programme approaches its end.

15.      The Council maintains close links with other support providers. On-going Partnership working with these organisations and alignment with existing schemes will be key to the success of this bursary project.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

16.      An outline budget for the delivery of the proposed project is shown below. The costs below will be met by the Foundation. The exact breakdown of the £40,000 running costs will depend on Job Evaluation. The project is staff intensive based on our previous experience of running this scheme. The time needed with young people depends on the individual, but this approach needs to be labour intensive to achieve the best results in the form of sustainable businesses.

17.      Staff Costs & Running costs = £40,000

18.      Grants 20 X £3,000 Max = £60,000

19.      The scheme would require no cash match funding from the Council. However, grant recipients will be required to match fund.

20.      Some costs of housing the officer in Cowbridge Old Hall would be borne by existing rural development budgets. The Council will also host a desk for the officer at the BSC and meet these costs from within existing estimates, to provide a more convenient base for urban applicants.

21.      In the next Rural Development Plan it is expected that Welsh Government will move away from grant funding and therefore such opportunities will not be available after the completion of the current business plan (Dec 2014). The introduction of this funding will support the development of ideas from future projects through the RDP.

22.      Risks associated with this scheme include a lack of grant uptake. It is envisaged that this will not be an issue. However this will form part of the legal agreement with the Foundation. Risks associated with this scheme were identified through the previous delivery of the scheme. Record retention, advance payment and keeping track of capital assets were the main risks and CRC has systems in place in order to monitor all of these. Funding agreements between the Council and beneficiaries will remain unchanged and failure to comply with conditions will result in grants being reclaimed and penalties being applied to the recipients.

 

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

23.      The scheme will facilitate the creation of small businesses which will generate employment and local services.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

24.      It will be necessary to enter into a contract with the Foundation to deliver the project. Grant recipients will enter into a funding agreement with the council in respect of conditions such as claw back of grant.

Crime and Disorder Implications

25.      There are no crime and disorder implications.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

26.      The needs of vulnerable groups and those with protected characteristics will be   considered in the delivery of the project. Limiting those eligible for this funding does not contravene the 2010 Equalities Act.

Corporate/Service Objectives

27.      The project fits with Priority Outcomes 7 & 8 of the Community Strategy 2011-2020:

·               Priority Outcome 7: The underlying causes of deprivation are tackled and the regeneration of the Vale continues, opportunities for individuals and businesses are developed and the quality of the built and natural environment is protected and enhanced.

·               Priority Outcome 8: The Vale maximises the potential of its position within the region working with its neighbours for the benefit of local people and businesses, attracting visitors, residents and investment.

Policy Framework and Budget

28.      This is a matter for Executive decision by Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

29.      No ward member consultation has been carried out as this proposal applies to the whole of the Vale. The Creative Rural Communities Local Action Group (LAG) will be consulted on these proposals in January 2014.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

30.      Economy & Environment

Background Papers

None

 

Contact Officer

Phil Chappell, Principal Rural Regeneration Officer, Creative Rural Communities

 

Officers Consulted

Operational Manager, Countryside & Economic Projects

Principal Officer (Business & Employment)

Communities First Cluster Manager - Barry Communities First Cluster Team

Principal Regeneration Officer

Head of Performance & Development

Corporate Equalities Officer

 

Responsible Officer:

Director of Development Services

 

 

 

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