Decision details

Heritage Action Zone - Leominster

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes

Purpose:

To approve expenditure and deliver activities as detailed in the Leominster Heritage Action Zone Delivery Plan.

 

Decision:

That:

(a)       The council enters into a funding agreement with The Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England (HBMCE) to deliver the Heritage Action Zone Programme in Leominster as per the Delivery Plan with an anticipated total budget of £3.6m from the capital programme (£1.8 of which is match funded) and £1.8m from HBMCE;

(b)       The Director of Economy and Place, in consultation with Section 151 Officer, be authorised to take all operational decisions necessary to secure the funding agreement between the Herefordshire Council and The Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England;

(c)       The Director of Economy and Place be authorised to sign all sub grant agreements (for the building grants) to grant recipients and take day to day operational decisions, including any variations to any sub grant agreements;

(d)       The Director for Economy and Place, in consultation with Section 151 Officer, and approved by Cabinet Member for Economy, Environment and skills and Cabinet Member for Infrastructure and Transport, be authorised to sign any programme changes which may include identifying new projects in light of Covid19;

(e)  Section 151 Officer agrees that the Council provide forward funding grant payments to grant recipients up to a cumulative maximum of £500k over any quarterly period, pending drawn down of funds from the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England

 

 

Alternative options considered:

1.         Do nothing – the council is not statutorily obliged to deliver this programme.  Not delivering the programme would mean that the council would not have to incur up to £1.8m of capital expenditure to match fund the programme activities.  This option has been discounted as it would mean the council would not receive £1.8m of external funding to deliver regeneration activity within the county that will bring economic benefit and investment.  There are no alternative sources of funding to deliver this programme and deliver this activity. 

2.         Reject the grant off from HBMCE and operate the scheme using only the Herefordshire Council match funding allocation.  A capital funding budget allocation was approved at Council to use £1.8m council match should a successful Delivery Plan be agreed.  £1.65m of this match is to be used for public realm and road improvements in Leominster town centre, including Corn Square, which are complementary to the other projects within the Heritage Action Zone Delivery Plan.

3.         Operate the scheme but not forward fund grant claims from secondary grant recipients ahead of receiving monies from HBMCE.  This approach has been ruled out with previous grant schemes in order to minimise the financial risk to applicants.  When applying for grants, the capital items/works only commence once the grant has been offered.  Applicants have to fund the costs themselves prior to having any grant monies reimbursed.  The majority of secondary grant applicants cannot afford to wait before having the grant monies reimbursed, and is often the reason they are not able to carry out works without the support of grant funding. 

 

Reason Key: Expenditure and strategic nature / impact on communities;

Wards Affected: Leominster East; Leominster North & Rural; Leominster South; Leominster West;

Contact: Nadine Kinsey, Economic Development Officer Email: nkinsey@herefordshire.gov.uk.

Publication date: 23/07/2020

Date of decision: 23/07/2020

Effective from: 30/07/2020

Accompanying Documents:

  • Heritage Action Zone - Leominster