Community Renewal Fund
In March 2021 the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government introduced the £220 million UK Community Renewal Fund (CRF) to support the people and communities most in need across the UK. This 90% revenue funding aimed to support local communities as part of the Government’s efforts to ‘level up’. The CRF is intended to support and incentivise communities to launch new programmes and approaches as a precursor to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, a flagship policy that will be introduced in 2022 to deliver on the Government’s commitment to level up the country.
This opportunity enabled local authorities, including constituency MPs, to obtain funding to implement Family Hubs as part of a bigger package of measures: transforming the service provision landscape to create better awareness of and access to family support that is more effective, integrated and helps whole families, and building stronger and more resilient communities.
Since the focus was to address communities most in need, bids from these 100 priority places identified by the Government were prioritised. All bids had to demonstrate that they built upon local knowledge, had long-term strategic plans for growth and targeted people most in need. Bids had to be submitted by 18 June 2021 and the CRF will finish on 31 March 2022.
Growing Up Well
In February 2021, the Department for Education announced its Family Hubs – Growing Up Well project to improve outcomes for disadvantaged and vulnerable children from conception to five across education, health and social care. The £1.2m capacity and transformation grant, funded at Spending Round 2020 as part of the Shared Outcomes fund, will be shared by three local authorities across 2021-23 who will engage in a digital discovery process.
The successful bidder will work with Department for Education digital specialists to develop digital and data products to improve how early years professionals collaborate and plan around families with a focus on information sharing. The new products will have the potential to be replicated in local authorities around the country.
Applications for Round One, where one local authority was recruited, opened on 16 February 2021 and closed on 14 March 2021. The bidders had to fill out an expression of interest form and demonstrate high levels of data maturity. Round Two, which will select the remaining two local authorities, will open for applications in Summer 2021, when more information will be provided.
Evaluation Innovation Fund
The Department for Education launched the Family Hub Evaluation Innovation Fund of up to £400,000 to design and deliver evaluations of Family Hubs’ effectiveness and value for money. It was aimed at research suppliers/consortiums, who would work with named Family Hubs to produce an Expression of Interest, an evaluation and a service-level agreement. Published on 10 December 2020 with a deadline of 13 January 2021, it is expected to be delivered between 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2022.