LOCAL PEOPLE MAKING LOCAL DECISIONS
The devolution deal agreed in 2015 committed to a new place-based approach that gives Tees Valley greater flexibility over a wider investment fund than ever before. Government recognised that the delivery of long-term growth requires longer-term funding commitments, and that Tees Valley should to be able to manage funds locally so we can meet our region’s specific needs and respond flexibly to opportunities as they arise.
We manage all public funds according to the Tees Valley Combined Authority Assurance Framework (2019). This Framework replaces the last published Assurance Framework (2016) and takes on board the national guidance published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government for the National Local Growth Assurance Framework (January 2019).
The Assurance Framework covers all funds within the Tees Valley Investment Fund, incorporating the Single Pot under the Tees Valley Devolution Deal agreed with Government and funds added to the Single Pot since the Devolution Deal, together with other sources of income such as Enterprise Zone business rates and loan repayments.
The Assurance Framework provides Government with a guarantee that we are accountable for all Single Pot funds in a way that is consistent with their practices. Following this framework ensures we are open, transparent and accountable for all of our decisions on how we spend public funds.
We assess all investment proposals in line with the Assurance Framework and the supporting Assessment Framework. This is aligned with the HM Treasury Green Book Guidance to look at:
- Strategic Fit: Does it deliver the SEP? How does the proposal deliver our Investment Plan priorities?
- Economic Impact: What will it deliver? Is there a need for public funding? Is it value for money? What economic return will we see?
- Commercial Considerations: Is it feasible and deliverable? How will it be procured fairly?
- Financial Model: Is it affordable? What is the financial risk? What is the financial model, i.e. grant, loan, joint investment?
- Management & Legal Issues: What is the deliverability risk to the project? Does the project lead have a strong track record/experience? How will the project be monitored and evaluated?
The key objectives of the Assurance Framework is to support the Combined Authority to make judgements about the value for money of potential investments and to accept or reject accordingly. However it is just one of a range of guidance developed by the Combined Authority to inform decision making and ensure value for money, including:
- A key strategy for the region
- Sets high level targets for jobs and GVA for the Combined Authority and develops the rationale for intervention across the region over siz themes and seven priority sectors.
- Sets output targets both in terms of spend and impact for the six themes in the Strategic Economic Plan
- Provides for each theme a capital and revenue logic model, including the key market failures to be addressed and a range of indicative activities, outputs, outcomes and impacts, tied back to the achievement of the key performance indicators specified in the SEP
- Provides the evidence base for the Local Industrial Strategy and the baseline for all outputs and outcomes identified in the thematic logic models detailed in the draft monitoring and evaluation plan
The following describes the various templates developed by the Combined Authority which must be completed by applicants seeking funding support, including:
- Expressions of interest are only required for programmes or projects that are not already covered by the Investment Plan
- Expressions of interest guidance notes
- These are required for programmes and projects that are named in the Investment Plan but do not have an agreed funding allocation and for those projects that have been accepted into the Investment Plan though the Expression of Interest Route.
- A full business case to be completed by all applicants seeking funding support from the Combined Authority on completion of either an expression of interest or project initiation document.
- Business Case guidance notes