Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Economic Development
Decision status: For Determination
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
The Cabinet Member for Economic Development is asked to give approval for the East Malling Advanced Technology Horticultural Zone project to be progressed through the next stages of development and delivery including authority for Kent County Council to enter into funding and legal contracts with the third party (NIAB EMR) who are delivering the scheme.
i) give approval to enter into Local Growth Fund funding agreement subject to the approval of the Corporate Director of Finance & Procurement
ii) give approval to enter into legal agreements with the third parties delivering the schemes to transfer the conditions of the LGF spend and project management to them
In the Growth Deal announcements in July 2014 (Round One) and January 2015 (Round Two), the Government allocated £482 million from the Local Growth Fund to capital projects across the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) area.
As the end of the Growth Deal (March 2021) approaches; projects throughout the SELEP region have experienced delivery challenges; therefore £33.396m of funding, from these projects has been returned for reallocation through the LGF3b pipeline list. Through this process, an allocation has been made available for the East Malling Advanced Technology Horticultural Zone project. This scheme is being delivered by an external partner (NIAB EMR) and KCC will transfer the allocated funding onto the third party, for the delivery of the scheme.
It has been agreed with Government that SELEP and therefore Kent County Council will receive Local Growth Fund in quarterly instalments in advance in accordance with the scheme spending profiles, subject to completion of a Business Case for each project and the approval of the project by SELEP Accountability Board.
A Legal agreement has been prepared between KCC and NIAB EMR which will transfer all the LGF spend and project management responsibility on to them. This includes updating Kent County Council monthly on project progress and spend; as well as completing the post scheme monitoring required by SELEP.
The East Malling Advanced Technology Horticultural Zone will be delivered in line with the current governance arrangements under the Local Growth Fund (KCC and SELEP). Therefore, the scheme will carry out necessary consultation and equality impact assessments as part of the scheme progression.
The business case for the East Malling Advanced Technology Horticultural Zone (£1,683,600) was approved at SELEP Accountability Board on 3rd July 2020.
Before the legal agreement can be finalised for NIAB EMR; a key decision is required. The LGF cannot be spent until the Key Decision is in place.
The options considered for the East Malling Advanced Technology Horticultural Zone are set out in the business case document which can be accessed here:
East Malling Advanced Technology Horticultural Zone (pages 24-26)
As Cabinet Member for Economic Development I approve the progression, via KCC’s Local Growth Fund arrangements, for the East Malling Advanced Technology Horticultural Zone, allowing it to progress to the stages of development and delivery.
To facilitate this, I agree:
- to confirm that KCC will act as the accountable body for the project;
- to enter into a Local Growth Fund (LGF) funding agreement; and
- to enter into legal agreements with the relevant third parties delivering the schemes to transfer the conditions of the LGF spend and project management to them
I also agree to delegate authority to Corporate Director of Growth, Environment and Transport, in consultation with the Corporate Directors of Finance and Strategic and Corporate Services, to enter into relevant legal agreements and take other actions necessary to implement this decision.
Publication date: 05/10/2020
Date of decision: 05/10/2020
Effective from: 13/10/2020