Recommendation 1. Ensure all delivery partners and Committee members understand the role of revenue funding in achieving SLF outcomes, and appreciate the SLF as an integrated fund for sustainable asset acquisition and limited post-acquisition support costs.
Recommendation 2. Ensure the new SLF Committee members are provided with clear guidance for making awards and understand how to compare the benefits of urban and rural applications.
Recommendation 3. Consider reserving larger development grants for more complex projects for communities unable to access HIE's internal resources, if competition for funding becomes significant.
Recommendation 4. Ensure that SLF 2016-20 applicants can access the full amount of revenue funding regardless of when they apply. Financial arrangements will need to be in place by year two (2017-18) to ensure later applicants are not unfairly disadvantaged.
Recommendation 5. Seek greater integration between the major funding streams for community ownership ( e.g. LEADER, GCA and the Rural Housing Fund) to reduce lead-in times between acquisition and development.
Recommendation 6. Monitor applications coming into the SLF to make sure local authorities are not using the SLF to avoid disposing of assets at less than market value. Consider enforcing a set discount if this becomes an issue.
Recommendation 7. Ensure that a shared position is agreed on State Aid amongst SLF delivery partners which allows urban applicants equal access to SLF funding. Endeavour to have this in place and understood by delivery partners before 2017.
Recommendation 8. Consider conducting a mid-term review of SLF 2016-20 which looks critically at the effectiveness of the SLF as it responds to increased diversity in its demand profile.
Email: Clare Magill, firstname.lastname@example.org