Aim of the fund

The Community Transport Vehicle Fund is a one-off Scottish Government initiative with £1m available for 2013/14. It aims to help community transport operators buy new vehicles either to replace older vehicles or to expand services. This initiative has arisen because the Scottish Government recognises that funding of vehicles is a particular problem for community transport operators and also because community transport meets a number of social objectives, such as:

  • Giving older and disabled people who cannot use mainstream transport mobility and access to services
  • Providing access to health and social care services
  • Helping to build more resilient communities by ensuring that people are not isolated.

The Scottish Government wishes to provide this support to those organisations whose transport services are likely to have the biggest impact in their communities. It is anticipated that most of the Fund will be used to replace vehicles which are now close to the end of their useful life and which are well used in their local communities. However, vehicles for new services will also be considered though applications will need to be exceptional showing a strong case for the need for and impact of the vehicle.

Eligibility criteria

Applications are invited from voluntary and community organisations only. The Fund is not open to public bodies (including arms-length external organisations) or private companies.The organisation must have a governing instrument such as a constitution or memorandum of articles and association, have a board of independent directors/trustees and be able to show good governance standards. Applications from start-up organisations will not be eligible. Nor will applications from organisations which have no experience of operating transport services.

Funding is available for the purchase of vehicles only. It will not support revenue costs such as vehicle insurance. It is anticipated that the vehicles which the Fund will support will primarily be minibus vehicles. Applications for funding towards smaller vehicles – for example seven seater MPVs – can be considered but the impact of the vehicle in a community must be strong and the application should show why the smaller vehicle is a more appropriate fit to the community’s needs.

Applicants must show that they have knowledge and experience of basic standards in managing vehicles, including ensuring they are properly maintained, safe and roadworthy. The maximum grant amount which the Fund will provide is £50,000. If the organisation applying for a grant is VAT registered then the Fund will not pay any VAT element of the vehicle’s costs. If the applicant is not VAT registered then VAT costs may be included in the amount applied for.

The Fund can pay up to 100% of the costs of the vehicle purchase, subject to the VAT considerations above. If the applicant can provide a financial contribution towards the purchase of the vehicle then the application will score higher in the assessment process. Matching contributions will help the Fund to support a larger number of applications. Matched contributions should already have been secured by the applicant. Where the funds are committed but not yet paid over, the application should include copies of relevant correspondence.

Applicants should provide information on the environmental improvements which the new vehicle will make. If the vehicle is a replacement for an older vehicle, the new vehicle should have better emissions performance than the vehicle it is replacing.

Successful applicants must be able to provide the Scottish Government with written confirmation from the vehicle manufacturer that they have received an order from the applicant by 31 March 2014.

Applications should set out how they address one or more of the following policy areas: reducing social isolation, reducing the need for institutional care, increasing mobility for low income groups, improving transport links, assisting older and/or disabled people, and assisting those who have had or are likely to have welfare benefits cut. A supporting letter from a local authority, regional transport partnership, health board, user group or other stakeholder would be helpful in evidencing this but is not mandatory.

Applications should include a written quotation for the vehicle from the supplier.

To comply with State Aid regulations funds will be issued under ‘Commission Regulation (EC) No. 1998/2006 on the application of Articles 87 and 88 of the Treaty to de minimis aid’. This allows public funding to a single organisation of up to €100,000 in the road transport sector over a 3 year fiscal period. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that any grant aid they receive does not breach the de minimis threshold and applicants should provide confirmation of the level of de minimis aid their organisation has received since April 2011. (This is any public funding that has been confirmed in writing since April 2011). Details of State Aid regulations can be found here. If in doubt please seek advice from CTA.

Timetable

The deadline for the submission of applications is 5pm on Friday 31st January 2014.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that completed applications are received by the appropriate deadline.

Applications will be copied to the Decision Making Panel shortly after the deadline. The Panel will meet during February and the results will be announced by Friday 21st February 2014 at the latest.

Applicants who are successful in securing funding should return Grant Acceptance Forms to the Scottish Government within two weeks of receiving their grant offer letter. Applicants should note that signatories such as Board members may need to be available to sign acceptance within this period.

Completed, signed and dated grant claim forms must be received by the Scottish Government within two weeks of applicants receiving their grant offer letter and no later than 31 March 2014. They should be accompanied by a letter from the vehicle supplier confirming that an order has been placed with them and containing details of the price, expected delivery date and payment arrangements. If grant is required to pay a deposit, a copy of the relevant invoice should also be provided. Payment will otherwise be made on receipt of the final invoice.

How your application will be processed

All applications should be submitted to the contact details set out below. Community Transport Association (CTA) staff will be available to assist applicants (see below for contact details) prior to their applications being forwarded for consideration by the Panel. CTA can advise applicants on the general structure and presentation of their application and provide any additional detailed guidance on the legal and operational aspects of their proposal.

Ideally the application should be sent electronically to the email address below but it may also be submitted by post. Supporting documentation such as the organisation’s governing instrument (e.g. constitution or memorandum of articles and association), a copy of the most recent set of audited accounts and a copy of the minutes from the organisation’s most recent trustees/directors’ meeting (with confidential information redacted if necessary) should also be sent with the application form. The supporting information will provide the Panel with the governance evidence it needs.

The decision-making panel

A Panel will consider each application in detail and make recommendations to Scottish Ministers on which are most appropriate for funding awards. Their decisions will be based on the information provided on the application form. The Panel will include a representative from the Regional Transport Partnerships, the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, and two others with knowledge and experience of transport and the voluntary sector. The Community Transport Association will provide the Panel with any technical assistance it may require.

In assessing the applications the Panel will place priority on those which are likely to have the biggest impact on their communities. This may be demonstrated by showing the range of services which the vehicle is likely to provide including information on who the users will be, how many people are expected to benefit from the vehicle, how frequently the vehicle will be used, the social objectives which the vehicle will help to meet, etc. Other important information which the Panel will be looking for includes how the vehicle will be managed and the governance and management of the organisation.

This is a one off fund for this financial year. All funds will have to be allocated (on the basis of confirmed orders) by 31 March 2014. There will be no appeals process but unsuccessful applicants will be advised and given feedback if requested and signposted to other potential sources of support.

Where to send your application

Completed applications should ideally be sent by email to CTVFund@scvo.org.uk . Additional information such as the organisation’s constitution, latest audited accounts, copy of the most recent minutes of a trustees’ meeting and any supporting statement should also be sent with the application form.

Applications may also be sent by post to:

Community Transport Vehicle Fund
SCVO
Mansfield Traquair Centre
15 Mansfield Place
Edinburgh
EH3 6BB

CTA staff are available to provide assistance to potential applicants, prior to them making an application. The contact details are:

John MacDonald 0131 220 0052 Email: john@ctauk.org
Sheila Fletcher 01349 830724 Email: sheila@ctauk.org

Confirmation that submissions have been received will be sent by email to all applicants.