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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet 3rd November 2014

 

Report of the Leader

 

External Funding: Maximising the Employment Potential of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To inform Cabinet of an external funding bid submitted on the 24th September to Coastal Communities which is delivered by the Big Lottery Fund on behalf of the UK Government and the devolved administration of Wales.

Recommendations

1.         That Cabinet approves the bid submitted to maximise the employment potential of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast.

2.         That Cabinet approve acceptance of the grant if awarded and all the terms of the grant.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1&2  To advise Cabinet of the details of the grant, the scope of the proposals and required matched funding.

 

Background

2.         A Stage One application was submitted to the Coastal Communities Fund in April 2014.  The application was successful and an application was subsequently submitted for the next round of bidding on the 24 September 2014.

3.         The details of the grant application have been considered by the External Funding Steering Group and a copy of the External Funding Group proforma with the details of the bid is attached as Appendix A.

Relevant Issues and Options

4.         The bid is for £224,759.00 funding towards a project on the Heritage Coast. Although match funding isn't necessary it is intended that this will be provided to the value of £40,000 from the next Rural Development Plan (RDP) Programme.

5.         The project will encourage the development of new businesses along the entire Vale of Glamorgan Heritage Coast, focusing on capital improvements at Dunraven Bay in Southerndown as a hub for this activity.

6.         The project will add value to a planned investment of over £250,000 into new coastal interpretation, walking promotion, sense of place and the piloting of new coastal activities under the current RDP programme. The project will seek to exploit opportunities from the Wales Coastal Path, with the Vale stretch being recognised as one of the best in Wales.

7.         Key aspects of the project are;

·               Employment of a Glamorgan Heritage Coast Coastal Activities Development Officer to support the expansion and creation of micro enterprises within the Glamorgan Heritage Coast area.  The Development Officer will seek to exploit opportunities for business from the coast path and activities along the coast. 

·               Creation of business storage units at the Heritage Coast Centre for off and on shore activities such as paddle boarding, kite surfing, surfing, beach schooling and kayaking.

·               Accessible beach wheelchairs

·               Repairs to the slipway at Dunraven Bay (derelict for over 10 years) to allow access for the activities listed above and to make the beach more accessible for wheelchair users.  An agreement is being prepared for the long term management of the slipway and officers are working with the landowners to identify the most appropriate and sustainable way forward. 

·                Implementation of recommendations listed as part of the recently commissioned  Glamorgan Heritage Coast Interpretation Plan.

8.         The project is in line with the Council's Destination Action Plan and will help to develop niche projects (e.g. walking, water sports, heritage, well-being, food and music) that are creatively packaged and promoted and provide more reasons to visit the Vale. The project aims to create 16 direct jobs through new businesses, 20 indirect jobs as a result of the increase in visitor numbers and safeguard 20 service sector posts. 

9.         The Rural Partnership has diverted a significant percentage of its current Axis 3 and 4 funding in exploiting economic opportunities from walking and the Glamorgan Heritage Coast.  This project reflects priorities in the Local Rural Development Strategy 2008-2013 and will build on work previously undertaken through the partnership.

10.      This project will seek to assist people in the development of their micro enterprises which will both secure local employment and increase youth retention rates in an area with an ageing population.

11.      The legacy of the project will be;

·               A better networked business community

·               Up skilled businesses

·               Networks of businesses established

·               New sustainable businesses established

·               More visitors to the coastal area of the Vale, and in particular the Glamorgan Heritage Coast

·               Benefits through tourism for surrounding communities long term

·               Empowered businesses

·               Better retention of services within communities through better resilience

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

12.      The Development Officer post is for 21 months and will incur redundancy costs which can be recovered from the grant. 

13.      There will be ongoing maintenance costs for the units for the Council, but these will be offset by the rental income from each unit.

14.      There are likely to be ongoing management costs and liabilities in respect of the proposals for the slipway. Discussions are ongoing with the landowner about these, and the proposal will not be progressed unless agreement is reached or another party takes on the management and maintenance of the slipway and the associated costs. If there are any financial implications for the Council a further report will be presented to Cabinet before taking up the grant.

15.      Match funding will be provided through the next RDP Programme as the two schemes are complementary. There is a theme within the RDP local development strategy of maximising the economic benefits of the coast and this funding would be used to cover staff and feasibility work on that theme.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

16.      The project aims to develop environmentally and economically sustainable activities and employment around the area of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast and linked to the Wales Coast Path.  The project will support a more resilient rural economy and increase business opportunities. Conservation projects will also see a greater awareness amongst the general population on biodiversity, the environment, geology and conservation of the coastline.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

17.      On grant funding being approved or secured, the Council will enter into appropriate terms and conditions with the relevant funding body.

18.      Consent from the Landlord will need to be obtained to carry out works and let the storage units and appropriate advice will be sought from Legal Services and the Estates Group before proceeding with such.

19.      The Council will have due regard to any partnership arrangements, working protocol or constitution where the Council is a lead authority for any grant directed through a partnership.

20.      An agreement is being prepared for the long term management of the slipway. 

21.      There will be employment law implications in particular, relating to the appointment of the Development Officer. Advice in regards to these implications will be sought as and when appropriate throughout the project.

Crime and Disorder Implications

22.      There are no crime and disorder issues arising from this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

23.      The projects delivered through the bid will improve access to the Heritage Coast.  All information produced is translated and meets accessibility requirements. The project also includes the purchase of beach wheelchairs to enable better access to the Heritage Coast beaches. 

Corporate/Service Objectives

24.      This grant will support the delivery of the Corporate Plan outcome 'The Vale of Glamorgan has a thriving economy supporting cohesive sustainable communities'. 

Policy Framework and Budget

25.      This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

26.      The bid reflects priorities within the RDP which is developed in partnership.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

27.      Corporate Resources and  Economy and Environment

Background Papers

Application submission to the Coastal Communities Fund

 

Contact Officer

Helen Moses, Strategy and Partnership Manager

 

Officers Consulted

External Funding Steering Group

Corporate Management Team

Clifford Parrish - Operational Manager, Visible Services

Phil Chappell - Principal Rural Regeneration Officer

Bob Guy - Operational Manager (Countryside and Economic Projects)

Mike Walsh - Principal Lawyer

Evelyn Morgan - Senior Lawyer

Sian Cornwell Shaw - Estates Officer

 

 

Responsible Officer:

Huw Isaac, Head of Performance and Development