DD1439 Mayor’s Regeneration Fund - Evaluation

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Code: 
DD1439
Date signed: 
10 December 2015
Decision by: 
Fiona Fletcher-Smith, Executive Director of Development, Enterprise and Environment

Executive summary

The purpose of this Decision is to release funds of up to £125,000 for the procurement of an organisation to deliver a quantitative and qualitative evaluation of the Mayor’s Regeneration Fund (MRF). This work will assess whether the aims and objectives of the MRF were met, the impact and value for money of the MRF and individual projects, and what were the strengths and weaknesses of implementation. The final report should be completed by autumn 2016 and will be used by both internal and external stakeholders to inform future policymaking and funding rounds.

 

Decision

That the Executive Director approves expenditure of up to £125,000 revenue funding from the Mayor’s Regeneration Fund (MRF) Programme budget for the completion of the evaluation for the MRF programme. 

 

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    From Saturday 6th of August through Tuesday 9th of August 2011, unprecedented levels of public disorder took place in a range of locations across London. Following over 1,600 arrests and estimated damages of over £100m, the impact on London’s communities, society and economy are undoubted. Following these disturbances, the Mayor announced a fund of £70m to invest in the long term regeneration of some of the worst affected boroughs (MD895).  

1.2    Of this funding, £50m has been provided by the Mayor of London via the GLA. In addition, £20m has been provided to the GLA from the Department for Communities and Local Government and was ring fenced for investment in Tottenham and Croydon.

1.3    Bids were invited from boroughs, and these proposals were assessed by the GLA with regard to deliverability and economic impact, and a number were prioritised for funding. A requirement of 30% match funding was applied to all applications for funding.

1.4    The main aim of the Mayor’s Regeneration Fund (MRF) was stated as: “investing in people’s futures with grant agreements awarded on the strength of job, training and apprenticeship opportunities for local people as well as high street renewal”.

1.5    Given the considerable amount of funds being spent on the MRF and the ongoing importance of regeneration to London, the GLA is committed to learning from this programme. To achieve this, the GLA is planning an evaluation of the MRF to be published in the autumn of 2016 to mark the fifth anniversary of the disturbances, and are looking to commission some of the evaluation work within this specification. If required, this work could include an additional interim evaluation published before the end of the current Mayoral term.

1.6    In January 2014 Regeneris completed two pieces of work for the Regeneration Unit. One was a guide to the self-evaluation process which was issued to delivery partners, and the second was an interim evaluation of MRF, which included an initial process evaluation of the delivery of MRF and a data audit and assessment of the existing MRF projects and recommendations on data gaps which could be filled. Both pieces of work would be issued to whoever undertakes the final evaluation.

1.7    The GLA wishes to undertake a competitive procurement exercise in line with the Authority’s Code of Conduct to appoint an organisation to conduct an evaluation of the Mayor’s Regeneration Fund. The Procurement Strategy is to utilise the existing framework ‘GLA 80405: GLA Economics, Research and Evaluation Framework’ and ‘Lot 2: Appraisal and Evaluation’. It is estimated that this evaluation will not exceed £125,000, and the funding will come from the MRF Programme Support Budget.

1.8    A steering group will be set up to score the proposals and analyse the interim and final reports. Members of the steering group will include representatives from GLA Economics, a representative from the Regeneration Area teams and a representative from the Regeneration Programme team.

 

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1     The purpose of the evaluation is to expand the evidence base for regeneration activities and establish lessons learned which can both help improve future policymaking within the GLA and Regeneration funding rounds. Consequently, the audience of the evaluation will consist of both internal and external stakeholders.

2.2     The focus of the evaluation is an assessment of whether the MRF programme and its constituent projects achieved their aims. Where delivery is ongoing, the aim will be to understand whether the specific projects are on track. 

2.3    The main output from the work we are seeking to commission in this specification will be a final, public facing report including the key themes and research questions outlines above. The recommended report structure for the evaluation is:

•    Executive summary
•    Introduction
•    Overview of programme
•    Profile of funding and expenditure
•    Performance against aims and objectives
•    Effectiveness of the delivery process
•    Impact of the programme
•    Value for money assessment
•    Strategic added value
•    Key lessons learnt and recommendations
•    Conclusions

2.4    Additional budget has been secured to include a follow-up evaluation 12 months on (autumn 2017). This second report will be in the same format, but focus solely on an analysis of projects still in delivery at the time of the original evaluation being published, as well as a longitudinal analysis of those projects featured in the original report. One drawback of our previous evaluation commissions is that the timing means that many of the schemes have only recently finished delivery, and consequently the evaluation could not fully analyse long term benefits and impacts. 

 

 

Equality comments

3.1    GLA specifications will require that organisations that issue tender submissions enclose their Equalities Policies for scrutiny.

 

 

Other considerations

4.1    The Mayor’s Regeneration Fund, while not mentioned in the Strategic Plan directly, as it originated as a response to unforeseen exceptional incidents of August 2011, does link closely to a number of the Mayor’s priority themes, particularly improving Londoner’s quality of life; investing in young Londoners; and making London safer. Furthermore, policy 4.12 of the London Plan, Improving Opportunities For All, aims to “improve employment opportunities for Londoners” and “support local employment, skills development and training” and objective 4 of the Economic Development Strategy “to give all Londoners the opportunity to take part in London’s economic success, access sustainable employment and progress in their careers” mirror the main aims of the Mayor’s Regeneration Fund.

4.2    The evaluation will support the Strategic Plan deliverable to “provide first class intelligence and analytical services to ensure evidence is used effectively in support of investment, policy-making decisions and strategy development”. Furthermore, the Greater London Authority’s Business Plan
2015-17 refers to the ongoing aim of the Regeneration Unit to use their collective body of work to “develop a robust body of evidence describing how regeneration can drive growth”.

4.3    Consultation has been held with the Director and Assistant Director of Regeneration. The evaluation itself will support impact assessment of the projects that constitute the MRF Programme

4.4    The independent nature of the evaluation could potentially result in findings which may be negative and could have reputational implications. However, this is an acceptable risk given that the lack of an independent evaluation of a large regeneration programme carries a greater reputational risk to the organisation. Furthermore, it is worth noting the negative repercussions of not conducting an evaluation, and being unable to assess which strategies have had the biggest impact, and where things need to be done differently in future to inform future programmes. The learning captured through the evaluation helps inform future work and evidence resulting impact.

4.5    There is a risk that due to particular elements of the Mayor’s Regeneration Fund programme still being ongoing, the evaluation may not fully identify the full economic benefits of the various interventions. To mitigate this, the GLA Regeneration Unit will work closely with the winning bidder and the relevant projects and stakeholders to ensure the most up-to-date and relevant information is being captured and communicated in a sufficient manner that is conducive to the aims of the evaluation. We have also made the decision to include a follow evaluation in 12 months to mitigate against this even further. 

 

Financial comments

5.1       The estimated cost of the proposed consultancy contract is £125,000 and will be funded from the 2015-16 Mayor’s Regeneration Fund ‘General’ budget for which the current allocation stands at £983,000.

5.2       The procurement and completion of the evaluation is expected to last 12 months and will span into the 2016/17 financial year. Consequently, officers will seek to carry forward the budget provision required to fund the completion of the work into 2016-17. It should be noted that all budget carry forwards are subject to the Authority’s closing of accounts process

 

Planned delivery approach and next steps

Activity

Timeline

Procurement of contract [for externally delivered projects]

w/c 23/11/2015

Announcement [if applicable]

N/A

Delivery Start Date [for project proposals]

w/c 30/11/2015

Final evaluation start and finish (self/external) [delete as applicable]:

w/c 01/08/2017

Delivery End Date [for project proposals]

w/c 05/09/2017

Project Closure: [for project proposals]

w/c 12/09/2017

 

Appendices and supporting papers

Appendix 1 MRF Evaluation Specification