Community Funding: how does it work?
Good news! From 2019/2020 funding became available for local communities to choose to spend on projects supporting development of their neighbourhood. The money comes from something called the 'Community Infrastructure Levy'. Like many areas of planning, how it operates is a bit complicated! There's a short explanation below with links to more details should you want it. To see how it works in practice, read the proposals that local groups submitted to bid for money from the KDBH Neighbourhood fund in 2019 Here.
What is Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)
Local Authorities can charge a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) on new development to fund infrastructure supporting development. Solihull Council introduced this levy in July 2016. CIL becomes chargeable when planning permission is granted, but only starts to become payable when development commences.
The Council splits what it collects through CIL into two pots: Strategic CIL goes to the Local Authority and must be spent on infrastructure projects, which can be used anywhere across the Borough. More relevant to us in KDBH, though, is the other pot called Neighbourhood CIL (NCIL). And the good news is that, because we now have an approved Neighbourhood Plan, the amount of money going into our Neighbourhood pot increases from 15% to 25% of all the CIL money raised from new development in KDBH.
As we don't have a Parish Council in KDBH, the Council holds our pot of NCIL money. However, the Council must by law consult with the local community, and through the Neighbourhood Forum, on how we want our NCIL funds to be prioritised and spent. What's more, bids that contribute to priorities identified by the community in its Neighbourhood Plan (eg. the Plan's objectives, policies, community actions) will score more favourably and are more likely to receive funding.
So What Sorts of Things Can Neighbourhood CIL (NCIL) be Spent On?
NCIL can be used for a wider range of projects than Strategic CIL, provided always that a project meets the requirement to ‘support the development of the Area’. Examples of projects undertaken elsewhere include:
new, improved or safer roads and other transport facilities, inc. public transport, facilities to support walking and cycling
community library refurbishment
open spaces, tree planting and green infrastructure improvements
renovation of community facilities
improvement of playground equipment
sporting, recreation and leisure facilities
digital networks (eg. broadband).
All bids are assessed on certain qualifying criteria, such as: What level of community support is there? Is there a well defined project plan? What are the benefits, and to how many in the community? These are set out in the Council's funding request form, with supporting documents, that are available Here
You can read about the KDBH bids submitted in 2019 Here. As a Forum we believe that publicising NCIL as widely as possible is essential to ensure transparency and fairness in the submission of bids and allocation of resources. We want to ensure that as many people as possible in our community know what is being proposed and have an opportunity to influence the community view that goes back to the Council.