In 2019, the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) announced the release of a further tranche of the Growing Places Fund (known as GPF). GPF is a revolving capital loan scheme, and it funds capital infrastructure projects that support job creation, housing delivery, and wider economic growth.
SELEP has now received £12m in repayments from existing GPF schemes, and this loan funding is now available to reallocate to new projects. SELEP asked its local federated boards (including the Kent and Medway Economic Partnership) to select prospective projects for the SELEP Strategic Board to consider at their meeting on 12 June 2020. At this meeting, the SELEP Strategic Board chose five Kent projects to be added to its SELEP pipeline of projects to receive GPF as repayments become available, subject to final approval of the business case being granted by the SELEP Accountability Board.
SELEP asks Kent County Council to enter into a loan agreement with Essex County Council (which is SELEP’s accountable body) for all schemes awarded GPF by SELEP within KCC’s administrative boundary, whether the projects are Kent County Council projects, or alternatively projects promoted by a third party (e.g. a private sector business). If Kent County Council is not the promoter of a project within its administrative boundary, Kent County Council is asked to enter a back-to-back loan agreement with the third party.
This key decision is therefore required to enable loan agreements to be entered into, so that funding may be secured for the Kent projects from the fifth tranche of Growing Places Funding.
Options (other options considered but discarded):
If Kent County Council were to choose to not enter into a loan agreement for the GPF projects selected by the SELEP Strategic Board, the GPF funding would be reallocated to the other projects that are being promoted by the other federated boards represent East Sussex, Essex, Southend and Thurrock.
Decision type: Key
Reason Key: Expenditure or savings of more than £1m;
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Division affected: Herne Village & Sturry; Malling Central;
Notice of proposed decision first published: 25/06/2020
Decision due: 29 Jul 2020 by Cabinet Member for Economic Development
Reason: In order that the proposed decision can be published for a minimum of 28 days in accordance to statutory requirements
Lead member: Cabinet Member for Economic Development
Lead director: David Smith
Department: Growth, Environment & Transport
Contact: Sarah Nurden, Kent and Medway Economic Partnership's Strategic Programme Manager 03000 416 518 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 03000 416 518.
The proposed decision was considered and endorsed at the Growth, Economic Development and Communities Cabinet Committee on 3 July 2020.
Financial implications: The GPF funding for the loan is provided by SELEP, not KCC.
Legal implications: The loan agreements give Kent County Council the legal and financial responsibility for ensuring the proper use and administration of the funding in accordance with the loan agreement. In the event of a late repayment of the loan, the interest rate would revert back to the Public Works Loan Board maturity rate.
Equalities implications: Equalities implications: An EqIA is being written for each of the Kent projects selected by the SELEP Strategic Board for inclusion on the GPF list on 12 June 2020. These shall be published alongside the ROD and Decision report when the decision is taken. Data Protection implications: DPIA is not required, as personal data is not included in the loan agreements or project business cases.