Agree that the Getting Building Funding (GBF) will be used to support the Kent-based projects that are awarded additional GBF by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership’s Accountability Board.
Delegate to the Section 151 Officer the authority to sign on KCC’s behalf a deed of variation to the original grant agreement or equivalent, where this is required to draw down GBF funds following business case approval.
Getting Building Funding was announced by the Government in June 2020. The funding is part of the Government’s plan to deliver upgrades to local infrastructure, boost skills, and help fuel a green economic recovery by investing in shovel-ready housing and infrastructure projects, creating jobs and supporting economic recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Government choose that the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) would allocate the funding with their endorsement. In total, the Government provided £85m of GBF to SELEP in 2020.
In summer 2022, the SELEP Accountability Board removed one East Sussex GBF project and one Essex projects from the GBF programme. This meant £3.3175m of GBF became available for reallocation to alternative projects by SELEP.
The SELEP Strategic Board has decided to create a GBF reserve project pipeline, so this money can be reallocated. The SELEP Strategic Board has decided that the only projects eligible to be on this reserve project pipeline are existing schemes that have previously been awarded GBF.
Ten Kent-based projects have previously benefitted from a GBF award and are thus eligible to bid for the funding. Four of these Kent-based projects chose to submit a bid to SELEP by their August deadline.
The GBF will be awarded only to existing GBF projects because:
a) The project has experienced a cost increase due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brexit, or high inflation levels, OR
b) The project wants to support a further phase of delivery (i.e. project extension).
The SELEP Strategic Board is due to meet in October 22 to decide the pipeline of existing GBF schemes which will receive the extra GBF funding. A formal award of the GBF funding to these projects is then expected to be made by the SELEP Accountability Board in November 22.
This key decision is required to enable KCC to enter into the deeds of variation to the existing grant agreements, so that additional Government funding may be secured for Kent-based projects on SELEP’s reserve GBF pipeline.
For reference, Kent County Council took decisions20/00085, 20/00086 and 21/0005 previously to secure GBF funding for Kent.
Options (other options considered but discarded)
If Kent County Council were to choose to not enter into a deed of variation for the GBF projects selected by the SELEP Strategic Board, the GBF funding could be either (i) retained by central government or (ii) reallocated to other projects by the SELEP Strategic Board.
How the proposed decision supports Framing Kent’s Future 2022-2026: (https://www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council/strategies-and-policies/corporate-policies/our-council-strategy)
The award of GBF to Kent-based projects supports KCC achieve its Levelling up Kent, Infrastructure for communities, and Environmental step change key priorities.
Decision type: Key
Reason Key: Affects more than two Electoral Divisions;
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Division affected: Ashford Central; Dover Town; Ramsgate; Sandwich;
Notice of proposed decision first published: 01/11/2022
Decision due: Not before 1st Dec 2022 by Leader of the Council
Lead member: Leader of the Council
Lead director: Stephanie Holt-Castle
Department: Growth, Environment & Transport
Financial implications: If KCC-led GBF projects (such as Javelin Way and Thanet Parkway) are selected by SELEP, this will reduce the cost pressures on KCC.
Legal implications: If Kent-based projects are awarded additional GBF by SELEP, KCC will need to enter into deeds of variation for each GBF project.
Equalities implications: Equalities implications: Each individual GBF project has its own EqIA, which is a requirement of SELEP’s business case approval process. Data Protection implications: The award of GBF relates to infrastructure projects, so a DPIA is not required.