Grants and Funding

Framework CAPA Case Study

Project: Millport Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS), North Ayrshire 
Theme: Framework Conservation Accredited Professional Adviser (CAPA)

The Project

Grantee organisation North Ayrshire Council
Total HES funding £750,000
Total Scheme Cost £1,958,963
Scheme Delivery Period 2016-2022

Millport CARS is being delivered by North Ayrshire Council with the focus on carrying our repairs to the historic properties located along the main street of the town. This will in turn help to revitalise the tourist offering, increasing visitor numbers and encouraging them to stay longer and spend more.

Theme: Framework Conservation Accredited Professional Adviser (CAPA)

In many area based schemes, the project team will appoint a conservation accredited professional adviser (CAPA) to advise, develop and manage any grant projects to the property owners applying for grant.

However, in some schemes, a CAPA has been appointed by the CARS project team on a framework agreement which may involve the option to offer their services for third party grant projects. If an owner opts to use the framework CAPA, the local authority pay all the CAPA’s fees direct as part of the framework arrangement. By cutting out this part of the process for owners, this can help to encourage grant uptake if a project officer is struggling with this. Owners can also choose to appoint their own CAPA (on a competitive tender basis) but, under this arrangement, the professional fees will only form part of overall grant-eligible costs which means that the grant intervention rate will be applied against these, and grantees will have to contribute to the fees.

For Millport CARS, North Ayrshire Council procured a framework architect and Quantity Surveyor through Public Contracts Scotland. The framework arrangement took a whole scheme approach, i.e. priority projects, small repair grants and Millport’s Shopfront Improvements Scheme for any grant irrespective of value.

Workmen on scaffolding repairing a wall

Image © ZM Architecture

Key Findings/Conclusions

There are several benefits to appointing a framework CAPA which are:

  • Having one framework CAPA to oversee the whole scheme allows for a consistent approach to be taken and provides the flexibility to react quickly to changes required as the scheme develops.
  • They can help to mitigate any delays such as dealing with where there has been a turnover of CARS Project Officers.
  • They can help to reduce the time needed to be spent by the CARS Project Officer on dealing with several CAPA’s especially if some are unfamiliar with grant processes.
  • They can help to reduce the time needed to be spent by the CARS Project Officer on supporting grantees on the grant application processes, such as tendering of other professionals/contractors and statutory consents.
  • They can help to deliver other initiatives under the framework agreement to benefit the scheme. For Millport CARS, this included delivering Property Health Checks included under a community benefits agreement which was a very beneficial learning experience for the CARS Project Officer and the property owners.

To make the framework process work, it is important to remember:

  • The successful uptake of grants and use of the framework team is still reliant on the CARS Project Officer promoting it and engaging with the owners.
  • The Framework CAPA effectively has two clients, and this has to be managed appropriately by the architect, as they have client obligations to the local authority (working to the framework requirements) and towards the owner/grant recipients.