What is the fund?
A new £8 million fund has been set up to help groups from across Belfast deliver capital projects in their neighbourhoods.
The Neighbourhood Regeneration Fund (NRF) aims to help groups deliver physical development projects that will make a real, long-term difference in their communities.
Projects must fit within one or more of three themes:
- social economy
- environmental sustainability, or
- neighbourhood tourism
What projects can be funded?
The fund is for capital projects only. The list below gives an idea of the type of things that can be funded, but it is not exhaustive. It can be used to fund the capital costs of:
- building and engineering works needed to deliver the project (for example, new build, extension, refurbishment, modernisation or conversion).
- plant and equipment necessary for running the project.
- purchase of land, buildings, equipment or fixtures and fittings that are linked to the project.
- professional fees associated with capital spending on the project, including project management and legal fees.
You don’t have to have match funding in order to apply, but you will score more highly if you have secured some other funding.
If you have previously received capital funding from us, you can still apply for this fund.
What is not deemed to be capital under the fund?
The NRF cannot be used to fund:
- costs that will be mainly used for administration or office space.
- any costs which someone else is paying for, whether in cash or in kind.
- routine repairs and maintenance to buildings.
- general improvements to public areas unless they are essential to the project.
- personal equipment not essential to running the project.
- maintenance equipment or office equipment which is not essential to the project.
- any transport that is necessary for delivering the project.
- the purchase of a leasehold that has less than five years to go.
- running costs for the building after the project is finished.
- funds to build up a reserve or surplus, whether distributable or not.
- loan repayments.
- contributions to general appeals.
This list is not exhaustive.
The Neighbourhood Regeneration Fund is our fresh approach to physical regeneration across the city. Its themes are directly linked to the following strategies:
We will use an Outcomes Based Accountability approach, or OBA, to monitor the impact of the fund. It measures effectiveness and impact by answering three questions: How much did we do? How well did we do it? Is anyone any better off?
All applicants must demonstrate at Stage 1 Application Stage how their project meets some of the NRF’s outcomes. More detail on outcomes is available in the application pack.
Projects will be assessed and scored against four key criteria:
- feasibility, and
Online information session
An information session took place on Tuesday 1 March 2022. It included information on the fund, how to apply, the assessment process and information on the fund’s three themes – social economy, neighbourhood tourism and environmental sustainability. Watch the webinar.
To be eligible you must answer yes to all of the following questions:
- Is your project seeking funding of over £250,000?
- Is your proposal a capital project?
- Is the project in the Belfast City Council area?
- Does your proposal align to one of these three themes – neighbourhood tourism, social economy or environmental sustainability?
- Can you confirm that your project will have no ongoing revenue implications for the council?
- Can you demonstrate that your organisation is not an individual, sole trader, profit making organisation or that it is a co-operative or social enterprise?
- Can you demonstrate that your project is not on a council asset, unless there is a long-term lease from the council to a third party in place?
- Does your organisation have a memorandum of association or constitution?
- Does your organisation have a board that meets regularly?
- Does your organisation have management accounts dated within the last three months and signed as agreed by the board of directors or management committee?
- Does your organisation have six months’ most recent bank statements?
If you do answer no to any of the questions, it is unlikely that you are eligible. Please note that we will also check that your project is within our legal powers to deliver.
Applications are now closed.
Timescales for delivery
Details of the three-stage application process are included in the guidance notes and application pack. We hope that decisions on stage one will be made by autumn 2022.
Work on individual projects will get underway from 2023 onwards, with most projects likely to be completed within 12 months, depending on their complexity and scale.
More detailed timelines for the delivery of each project will be included in the final funding agreement.