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Call For Projects

Call process

To support the commitment of our funds and to plan for future devolved housing funding, the LCRCA is now seeking additional project applications under a call process. Any private sector or charitable body, or Registered Provider, may apply.   

Please review the Information Pack first which outlines the criteria and requirements of the Brownfield Land Fund. 

This Call will close at 23:59 on Wed 14th July 2021 – please send all submissions to brownfield@liverpoolcityregion-ca.gov.uk before this deadline. 

Should you have any queries about the eligibility of your project, please contact us on brownfield@liverpoolcityregion-ca.gov.uk and one of the Housing Delivery team will contact you.

Application Documents

Call Information Pack

Submissions should include:

FAQs

Fund application eligibility - is it land ownership / development contract / investor or end user e.g. HA?

All the above scenarios would be eligible for funding. The application would have to demonstrate a clear route to housing delivery. The obligations from the Grant Funding Agreement would have to pass through the involved parties to ensure the final housing delivery.

Can you submit an application which is a mix of grant and loan?

Yes, although we would expect this to be relatively uncommon. The CA will not generally fund projects where commercial finance is available, apart from grant funding in relation to any viability gap. It is therefore likely that such mixed arrangements will be limited to speculative or higher risk projects where, in addition to there being a viability gap, the return on investment is too uncertain for commercial finance to be available.

The CA will also consider applications requesting “repayable assistance” type loans, which are loans at nil or inflation only interest rates that specifically define the circumstances in which they are or aren’t repayable. Any funding arrangement will of course need to be subsidy control compliant.

Is this the only round of Brownfield Land Fund?

The CA has received £45m of BLF, which must be allocated and have produced outputs by March 2025. Given our existing funding agreements and pipeline work with Local Authorities, we have £15m available to this Call.

Can LA’s identify brownfield development sites and lease the land for development to Community Led Housing?

Yes, the CA would need to see evidence of this agreement and of the Local Authority’s ownership of the land – and the lease would need to be of a realistic length; ideally, 99 years but justification for the length of lease being shorter than this could be accepted.

Beyond the EOI stage will there be a further detailed application/business case submission requirement from applicants, or will the due diligence be based on the EOI and further discussions/supplemented by any additional ad hoc information from applicants?

The due diligence and subsequent internal approvals will be based on the EOI, supplemented by any ad hoc detailed information from applicants. A number of meetings will be held with those projects selected to go forward once the initial material has been scrutinised and this is likely to include requirement for more detailed information to be presented as the final submission for approval.

Is the funding tied to specific site works i.e. remediation, drainage, demolition any others?

No, there is no defined list of site works – the CA has some flexibility to allocate the funding on a variety of site works. Some of the elements which it is likely to fund are described in the paperwork and include remediation, infrastructure works which create the viability gap. The Brownfield Land Fund is output focussed so any proposed use of funding must have a clear link to the delivery of housing on the site. The CA is also bound by Subsidy Control and would require evidence of value for money in anticipated costs etc.

Can you apply if a development has already started on site?

This is not anticipated and would require extenuating circumstances such as a genuinely unforeseen change/issue with the development after it started on site. Similarly, if an unexpected opportunity arose for the development to extend into an additional phase, this could be considered for funding – taking the additional phase on its own appraisal.

Is there a deadline for when funding will need to be spent by?

We have given the absolute longstop deadline of March 2025 for the foundation of the first house to be started – and the assumption is that recipients will have expended their funding in advance of this. Projects that have expenditure and SOS well in advance of 2025 will be prioritised.

Where a site has an LA-owned asset that requires investment to enable a scheme, and a developer in need of funding to bridge a viability gap, could there be two separate awards in relation to the same project?

In practice, the CA would work with the LA/Developer to understand the overall viability of enabling the site to be brought forward and any delivery hurdles thereafter. If funding was granted, this would most likely be defrayed to the LA to manage, as appropriate.

Regeneration sites - is this net new homes?

Yes. The BCR calculation currently dictates that regeneration sites where there is demolition of existing homes and replacement with new homes will likely only consider the net number of new homes as the output.

Will there be a mixture of small and larger sites supported? Could a number of small sites be considered if combined they will provide the 50 unit minimum? If there are a mix of sites included within one area so one application, does SOS relate to the application in totality or each individual development site?

Yes, we expect to see a mixture of smaller (circa 50 units) and larger (200+ units) sites.
Yes, in principle – the stated minimum ask of £500K BLF could be allocated across a cluster of smaller, related sites. However, the CA would be keen to see that delivery phasing was detailed and realistic; with all individual sites SOS by March 2025.

Where a CLH group is in discussion with a LA regarding brownfield land the LA own - but nothing signed, can they bid as a ‘prospective’ scheme, pending all agreements to be finalised?

Yes – though, one of the CA’s criteria in shortlisting applications for funding will be on the project’s deliverability – so this could be a considered a potential obstacle. As a minimum, the CLH group should be able to demonstrate the LA’s support for the project, in writing (via a Memorandum of Understanding or Letter of Intent), with a reasonable timescale for completion which would most likely be a condition of the grant funding.

Can an element of funding be expended on detailed planning associated costs? Do sites need to have outline / full planning to be considered?

This funding is housing output driven, so the CA needs to justify that the BLF is directly enabling delivery. While planning costs are not precluded from BLF eligibility, the project would need to demonstrate a realistic expectation of housing numbers with an outline appraisal, at least – and that any planning issues had the support of the LA and were close to completion.

Did I hear that there is a £500k minimum grant amount?

Yes, for a project to be of strategic importance and worthy of the time and effort of applicant and CA, this is the minimum allocation being considered. In exceptional circumstances requests for grants below this amount may be considered where they provide high value for money, for example where a lower value grant is needed to bridge a small viability gap on a large-scale housing scheme.

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