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Economy and Enterprise

Devon County Council

Devon Place Board Minutes 9 January 2023



Last Updated


Melanie Sealey (Chair), Chris Fuller, Chris Shears, David Bartram, Dominie Dunbrook, Fergus Pate, Heather Hillman, Jamie Evans, Katherine Malavelle, Keir Duffin, Mike Deaton, Nicholas Child, Richard Marsh, Rob Murray, Tom Winters, Victoria Hatfield, Zoe Lentell, Zoe Smith, Zsolt Schuller, Hannah Keyte (Minutes)

Guests: Erin Davey, Elizabeth Spence


Adrian Walsh, Andrew Wood, Chris Brook, Jamie Hulland, Jason Berry, Neil Blaney, Sarah Jane Mackenzie-Shapland, Sean Kearney, Tim Child

1. Welcome and Introductions

Elizabeth Spence and Erin Davey (DLUHC) attended the meeting to take the opportunity to develop and maintain connections with districts and understand opportunities, strengths and barriers to feedback and feed into policies being developed.

2. UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF)

Monitoring and Evaluation – DCC scheduled a meeting for 16 January 2023 to look at delivering monitoring and evaluation due to previous experience through CRF. Currently, four districts are due to attend. ACTION: Keir Duffin to invite Exeter City Council.

Multiply – Programme is looking at supporting maths skills and split into 2 approaches: community support and supporting individuals into employment or whilst in employment. Grant approach has been adopted and approx. 10 providers supporting with delivery. Contracts have been issued and next step is meetings to brief providers. First wave runs through until end of March 2023. By 18 January 2023, will have opportunity to review and reprovision for April onwards for a further 12 months.

Ability not Disability – Innovative programme working with Adult Social Care Teams and Learn Devon alongside other providers.  To date, this has successfully supported 60 people into employment. Some districts have indicated a desire to support this work going forward and currently exploring how to add value through local approaches. ACTION: Districts to contact Keir Duffin if they wish to discuss these projects.

Business support – DCC business proposal was circulated to districts on 16 December 2022 requesting feedback by no later than 16th January 2023. Two focus areas; one is more general business support whilst the other is supporting the land-based sector, in particular Agri-Tech. Confirmation should be received from districts shortly to identify take up of these proposals. Understanding is that districts would have SLAs with DCC, allowing DCC to procure providers to deliver the work. Elizabeth Spence shared the extract from UKSPF prospectus and guidance from government. ACTION: Katherine Malavelle to share the proposal with Victoria Hatfield.

ACTION: Elizabeth Spence to identify a date DLUHC will confirm sign off of Exeter’s Investment Plan following amendments submitted before Christmas.

Due to time constraints as a result of delayed sign off of bids, districts may struggle to spend this year’s allocation in 3 months. Elizabeth Spence confirmed that a major amendment form is not required to be completed but instead this will be part of routine end of year reporting, providing an opportunity to reprofile for the next financial year. Districts will be asked to submit a plan for activity not completed, in order to show how this will be completed within the next financial year.

ACTION: Elizabeth Spence to flag that districts are asking for the Monitoring and Reporting forms that DLUHC are providing.

ACTION: Elizabeth Spence to identify and confirm a date of payment for Mid Devon’s UKSPF allocation.

ACTION: Elizabeth Spence and Chris Shears to have a separate discussion about the capital/revenue split for years 1 and 2.

3 Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF)

East Devon (Tom Winters) – Addendum has been submitted. Looking at funding rural business support scheme and culture and leisure grant scheme for community organisations. Seeking to put some UKSPF activity on hold in order to combine and run with REPF.

Mid Devon (Zoe Lentell) – REPF bid has been submitted along with clarification points. Majority of REPF will be direct capital grants to businesses. Would like to align schemes across the county where possible and MS offered DCC support to facilitate this session if required.

Torridge (Chris Fuller) – Looking at Leader style grant programme to complement UKSPF activity. Small portions of funding have been ringfenced for culture and leisure.

North Devon (Dominie Dunbrook) – Also looking at Leader style follow on programme which anticipate will commence in April 2023. There is an overlap with LUF on some of the regeneration aspects so would be useful to hear back about this asap. In terms of LUF, Elizabeth Spence confirmed letters went to MPs before Christmas advising the date for outcomes is expected to be end of January and this appears to be on track.

South West Devon (Chris Shears) – The REPF programme will look to link with UKSPF fully.

Teignbridge (Fergus Pate) – Approx. 50% of REPF allocation will go towards expanding UKSPF business and community grant schemes. The other half will look at competitions on rural transport to identify innovative schemes and also a digital connectivity grant scheme for those not currently on CDS scheme.

4. Brownfield Land Release Fund (BLRF) Round 2

Confirmation received from Regional OPE there will be BLRF Round 2 launching in Spring 2023. Generally go live is around March time with submission and feedback around May – June.  Keen to submit as many bids as possible.

Keir Duffin and Ian Thompson are organising meetings in the near future with districts to discuss this further.

5. Other funding opportunities

Mel Sealey asked if there are any upcoming funding opportunities that districts are aware of or would like to raise? Acknowledgement that whilst some funding is very locally place-based and therefore can’t be expanded or covered across other areas, it is good to consolidate where possible.

Tom Winters advised East Devon is looking at internally doing Bid Smart, this is a group with officers from each service area that lead on funding bids in order to communicate more effectively. Suggestion for DCC to potentially use a similar concept.

ACTION: Mel Sealey and Tom Winters to have a follow on conversation about this.

6. Any other business

All districts were content for minutes to be published online going forward.

Future meeting dates

  • Monday 30 January 2023 3pm – 5pm.
  • Monday 24 April 2023 10am – 12pm.
  • Monday 17 July 2023 2pm – 4pm.
  • Monday 6 November 2023 2pm – 4pm.