Stoke Staffs LEP

Getting Building Fund

In June 2020, the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (the LEP) was invited by UK Government to put forward ideas for projects that might benefit from a policy intervention. The UK Government response to the ‘call for ideas’ was to create the Getting Building Fund that was designed to support or accelerate established schemes that might be affected by the economic impact of COVID-19. In addition, a tranche of new projects was supported where the case for intervention was clearly established and business cases sufficiently advanced to enable delivery of the projects within an 18 month timescale.

Specifically, Government was looking for shovel-ready capital projects which could be delivered within 18 months.
Nationally, the size of the Getting Building Fund pot totals £900 million.
The overarching objectives of the fund are to drive economic growth, create new jobs and support green recovery. This includes funding to enable:
• town and city centre modernisation through targeted infrastructure investments unleashing their longer-term economic potential;
• investment in physical connectivity to improve the functioning of the local economy;
• investment in innovation ecosystem including through improvements to research and development facilities driving up business productivity;
• improvements to human capital; and
• improving digital connectivity, in order to support economic performance, particularly in more isolated areas.
SSLEP was provisionally allocated £23.7 million Getting Building Fund subject to business case appraisal, to be spent by 31st March 2022.

Watch: to hear Chairman Alun Rogers talk about the importance of our Getting Building Fund projects.

Which projects will be supported by the Getting Building Fund?

The Getting Building Fund focuses on projects that can progress quickly but will also stimulate and boost economies in some of the areas most economically impacted by COVID-19. Our supported projects have good strategic fit with our Local Industrial Strategy core themes of Place, Innovation, Growing Business and Future Workforce.

Projects will support the delivery of new enterprise and innovation space, investment in digital skills for young people and improvements to transport infrastructure which will unlock new housing sites and enable increased, active travel, helping to facilitate a green recovery.

Find out more about  the 11 projects that were initially selected, subject to delivery of full business cases and funding approval.

How were the projects selected?

As part of the initial ‘Call for Ideas’ stage, the LEP Secretariat collated a long-list of approximately 60 reference projects from across the LEP geographical area and submitted these along with initial spend profiles and headline information as requested by UK Government. Following the subsequent establishment of the Getting Building Fund and associated criteria, the LEP Secretariat commissioned its technical advisors (Hatch Regeneris) to prioritise the reference projects aligned to the indicative spend profile of the provisional funding envelope of £23.7m.

Hatch Regeneris provided technical assessments based on a range of criteria (e.g. was planning permission in place, could the project be delivered within the timescales required to access the funding, etc) and made recommendations to the LEP Secretariat and the LEP’s Strategic Programme Management Board. A contingency list was also produced to draw on should any of the shortlisted projects not progress as envisaged (4 of these contingency schemes have now been approved by MHCLG and added to the programme, pending contracting). UK Government provisionally agreed the LEPs shortlist of projects on 4 August 2020 subject to more detailed individual business case submissions and subsequent appraisal and approval by the LEP in the Autumn/Winter (see links below for the individual project approval meeting dates via the Strategic Programme Management Group SPMG).

How do we approve the business cases and award funding?

Whilst 11 projects were initially identified for Getting Building Fund, each project was then required to develop a detailed business case, to be scrutinised by the SSLEP’s Independent Technical Evaluator. Funding approval was then sought from SPMG. Funding has subsequently been allocated to 14 SSLEP schemes, plus investment in the D2N2 Drakelow Park scheme.

Keeping up to date

We will regularly update the information below for each of the GBF projects, keep an eye on our news feed and Twitter accounts as well.  Many of the projects are complete or well underway.

Drakelow Park (£5.05m)

A strategic development in South Derbyshire that will accommodate housing and employment .The scheme has transport implications for East Staffordshire and the project will deliver a new road bridge that will facilitate the development.

Forecast outputs (to be claimed by D2N2):  2,000 houses and 30 hectares of employment land.

Latest update (September 2021): MHCLG has approved the request to de-allocate £5.05m from SSLEP and reallocate it directly to D2N2.  SSLEP will be acknowledged as a co-investor but D2N2 will manage the scheme from the LEP perspective; this de-risks the scheme for SSLEP and allows D2N2 more control to manage the scheme efficiently.  Pending completion of a legal assurance document between SSLEP and D2N2.

Innovation Centre Seven (£6.1m)

Innovation Centre Seven (IC7) will deliver 2,696m2 of BREEAM excellence innovation space at the Keele Growth Corridor University Enterprise Zone.

Forecast outputs: 2,696m2 BREEAM excellence innovation space; 174 jobs; 53 construction jobs

Latest update (July 2021): Scheme commenced on site activities in April 2021.  Steel frame erection has commenced.

Creative Lab (formerly known as New Enterprise Collaboratory) (£500K)

The Creative Lab will accelerate and strengthen the creation, survival and growth of business start-ups through access to specialist equipment, co-working environment and wider enabling facilities and support within Staffordshire University’s Innovation Enterprise Zone.

Forecast outputs: 147 m2 commercial floorspace; 44 jobs created; 22 businesses assisted; 600 collaboratory users.

Latest update (July 2021): The project overall is on track.  Construction of the space is underway with the first fix completed, and an expected hand back date from constructors of 31/08/21.  They have procured all furniture and equipment. Through internal communications promoting the facility, they have now begun to take bookings to utilise the space once it is ready.

‘Powering Up’ Enterprise (£2.45m)

The city council will lead on re-purposing and refurbishing underused and vacant floor space, to create Enterprise Centres which will provide appropriate, modern and digitally enhanced workspace.

Forecast outputs: 3,043 m2 commercial floorspace; 70 businesses assisted; 339 jobs created; 37 construction jobs

Latest update (September 2021): re-scoping of scheme was approved by MHCLG in July.  Pending completion of the revised funding agreement contract.

I54 Western Expansion (£3m)

The i54 Western Extension is set to expand the existing premier employment site i54 South Staffordshire, which is recognised as being of regional and national importance and one of the most successful Enterprise Zone locations in the country.

Forecast outputs (to be claimed under the LGF grant funding programme, which has also provided funding for the scheme).

Latest update (September 2021): work on site is progressing well.  All GBF funding has been spent.  Outputs will be reported through LGF returns to BEIS.

Health Innovation Centre (£2.89m)

The Health Innovation Centre has been designed in collaboration with industry experts to meet modern demands and challenges in the sector and will use the latest medical techniques and methods to train the next generation of skilled nurses, midwives and allied health professionals.

Forecast outputs: 1,230 m2 training floorspace; 115 jobs over 10 years; 500 learners trained over 10 years

Latest update (July 2021): the scheme is progressing well. Although slightly behind schedule, mitigations are in place.  Completion is expected in November, with an official launch event planned for December.

Skills Equipment Fund – Digital Skills Academy (£550,375)

South Staffordshire College has transformed digital training and education, with the delivery of a range of internationally recognised digital programmes.

Forecast outputs: 57 jobs created; 43 businesses assisted.

Latest update: Scheme has progressed to plan; GBF spend has completed.

Skills Equipment Fund – Creative and Digital Industries (£250K)

The Creative and Digital Industries (CDI) scheme incorporates the completion of the remodelling and refurbishment of the New Library Building at Stoke-on-Trent College. This will create a collaborative learning space for the development of digital skills.

Forecast outputs: 30 jobs created; 5 jobs safeguarded; 5 businesses assisted

Latest update (July 2021): Scheme progressing to plan.

Skills Equipment Fund – Digital and Construction Skills Projects (£120K)

The funding will create a hub for the creative digital and digital construction market. Through the remodelling of the New Library Building a new collaborative learning space will be created, ensuring that local people and employers have the best chance to develop the very latest skills and techniques in construction technologies that employers in the local area require.

Forecast outputs: 60 jobs created; 1 job safeguarded; 5 businesses assisted.

Latest update (July 2021): Scheme progressing to plan.

Shire Hall Regeneration Project (£1.6m)

The County Council will re-purpose the hall and give it a new use which will see a knock-on effect of helping to re-generate the town centre. The building will be sympathetically re-modelled to become a business start-up hub in the former library area, high quality events space in the Assembly Hall, a food and drink offer in the vaults, with museum and exhibition space in the court rooms.

Forecast outputs: 12,000 m2 commercial floorspace; 5 businesses assisted; 60 jobs created; 14 construction jobs

Latest update (July 2021): Preliminary works and surveys carried out.  Change of Use planning permission was granted on 8th July; listed building consent has been granted by the Secretary of State on 15/07/21 so subject to getting a couple of minor pre-commencement conditions signed off by the local planning authority, it is hoped that work on site will commence early September 2021.

Staffordshire Local Sustainable Transport Project (£651k)

A package of six sustainable transport schemes in Tamworth, Biddulph, Burton-upon-Trent, Uttoxeter, Eccleshall and Burntwood delivering walking and cycling provision to facilitate a green recovery.

Forecast outputs: 3.6km walkways/cycleways created

Latest update (July 2021): The programme is on track for delivery. The Uttoxeter, Eccleshall and Tamworth schemes are complete and detailed design and consultation is progressing on the Burton upon Trent, Biddulph and Burntwood schemes.

Contingency schemes now being progressed:

Skills Equipment Fund – JCB Automation and Robotics Suite (£86k)

The suite will enable the expansion of curriculum in both the mechanical and electronic sector from level 1 to level 3. The facility will provide a bureau of specialist knowledge and equipment and will allow smaller employers access to emerging technologies and advice.

Forecast outputs: 31 jobs created; 30 businesses assisted; 36 learners assisted

Latest update (September 2021): contingency scheme; now contracted and under way.

Church Street Gaming Hub (£97k)

With a strong focus on the more innovative area of game streaming platforms, the hub will provide educational and training support for video game development and programming across the community, offering digital skill opportunities for those upskilling, for school leavers and NEETS, as well as opportunities for graduate internships and provision of an ideal environment as an incubator for business start-ups.

Forecast outputs: 290m2 commercial floorspace; 5 jobs created; 20 new learners (not FTE).

Latest update (September 2021): Contingency scheme.  Completion of contract pending.

Cleveland Future Skills Hub (£65k)

Provision of refurbished facilities enabling more flexible education areas – providing greater capacity and improved resilience for the delivery of training courses. (e.g. in Covid-secure teaching arrangements).  Phase 1 will deliver digital elements including digital and creative skills (e.g. Cyber Security, Digital Support, Software development, IS Solutions).

Forecast outputs: 1,184 m2 commercial floorspace; 20 x apprenticeships; 25 traineeship starts; 10 work experience placements

Latest update (September 2021): Contingency scheme.  Completion of contract pending.

GBF Forecast Outputs

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