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The big news this quarter is that they’re really excited to be able to update you on decisions about extending BBO!

The Big Lottery Fund Board met on Tuesday 25th and agreed to put further Lottery investment into Building Better Opportunities (BBO). they are currently planning to extend some existing BBO projects, either providing more time to spend existing underspend or providing additional funding for continued delivery beyond your current end date.

Now that a decision has been confirmed, they are beginning to review the existing projects. Your Funding Officer will contact you in the near future to discuss whether your project(s) meet the criteria for extension and discuss the next steps.

Updates to the guidance since our last roundup:

  • Changes to Article 125 testing
  • Section 9 of the Guide to delivering European funding, Publicity – Updated to reflect the clarification of logo size; requirement to send drafts of all materials has been removed
  • Section 1 of the Guide to delivering European Funding – Updated to reflect the importance of using the Guide together with other documents produced to support the delivery of European Social Fund projects.
  • Annex N – Following the update on participant costs in the July 2018 Quarterly Roundup we have now amended Annex N Participant expenses, allowances and incentives form. Version 8.0 has been updated to enable participants to confirm that all items are exclusively for BBO use, and asks project workers to consider the value for money of participant expenses. In addition, the declaration has been updated to align with changes previously made in annex H.
Sarah, Stronger Families

My Key Worker could see all along what I was capable of and helped to pull it out of me. If someone was thinking of accessing support from Stronger Families, I would tell them to go for it. It is full of support and help to get you where you want to be.

The MA have released an updated version of their guidance on Document Retention, please ensure that you read this.

The update includes revised information on document retention periods. It is now our expectation based on the duration of the current programme, that documents will need to be retained until at least December 2031.

In light of the above announcement regarding the extension of the BBO programme, this date is likely to be extended further. We will advise you of this in our regular updates.

Capital items over £1,000

We have had queries from applicants about purchasing equipment over £1,000 for participants but then putting it under a different cost category to equipment. The ESF guidance is clear this is not a capital programme and no single item of equipment can cost more than £1,000. Putting that item under a different cost category on Annex O like Staff Expenses or Participant Expenses does not “get round” ESF rules and the item would still be ineligible.

See the ESF National Eligibility Rules:

“6.24 No single item can cost £1,000 or more. There is no set limit to the number of small items of equipment under £1,000 which can be claimed, but the total expenditure on small items of equipment will be taken into account when assessing the project’s value for money, bearing in mind that ESF is not a capital programme.”

and the ESF Programme Guidance:

“17.6 Indirect costs are costs such as: Equipment (no single item can cost more than £1,000) and premises costs where these are not used wholly for ESF activity;”

Publicity Updates

They appreciate that it has been difficult while they have been awaiting clarification around logo size relative to other logos, and would like to thank you for your patience on this matter. They have been dealing with the Managing Authority, and can now confirm these updates.

With regards to European Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund Branding and Publicity Requirements, European Union Implementing Regulation No 821/2014, Article 4:

“5. If other logos are displayed in addition to the Union emblem, the Union emblem shall have at least the same size, measured in height or width, as the biggest of the other logos.”

  • The ESF logo must be equal to all other logos by either height or width. It is acceptable for logos to be larger in one of these dimensions.
  • Auditors will only be concerned with the ESF logo, not the lockup logo. Where logos are the same height as the ESF logo this should not cause a problem. Where measuring by width, logos must be the same size as the ESF logo, not the overall BBO logo.
  • The Article 125 team will be taking a wider view considering projects’ intentions to acknowledge ESF funding, bearing in mind the good work done by projects, and considering publicity materials as a whole rather than as individual items.

While the supporting notes talk specifically about funder logos, this does not except non-funder logos from the requirements above.

They have updated section 9 of the Guide to delivering European funding to reflect these changes. Section 9 version 12 can now be found online.

The BBO Yammer group now has a Communications and Publicity Group. This is for BBO staff working in this field to share ideas, discuss challenges and generally support each other. We would like to have all BBO projects represented in the group as we feel these discussions may be more helpful than email reminders.

If your Communications and Publicity lead has not yet been invited to the group, please email BBO@ecorys.com.

Please continue to send us your case studies and photos! We are always in need of case studies to demonstrate the importance of funding projects like BBO. We are desperately short of high quality images to illustrate BBO on our website, social media and these updates.

Please fill in and send a copyright consent form along with each case study or set of photos to confirm that we have your permission to use the content.

Send case studies and photos to Laura.

Evaluation

Ecorys will be continuing to capture evidence from projects on delivery experiences, outcomes and successes throughout the autumn. This will be done principally through telephone interviews with project leads and project visits which will provide opportunities for more in-depth exploration and inputs from partners, delivery staff and participants. Projects who have been sampled for these visits will be contacted shortly.

We are keen to hear from all projects and see any local evidence being gathered or disseminated. If you have a local evaluation report or participant case studies, please share it with us.

Ecorys are also preparing to launch a telephone survey with participants in the autumn to capture more widely the views and outcomes for participants. We do not expect to need input from projects directly for this but will keep you informed when participants may be contacted in case of any queries.

Shared learning

The BBO Yammer network continues to grow. Recent activity includes an expansion in the group focused on communications and publicity, discussions on tools for document sharing across partnerships and how to deal with evidence requirements when participants move over to Universal Credit. If you, your delivery partners or evaluators would like to join, please contact us using the button below.

A series of regional learning and networking events were held in June and July. Thank you to all who attended, presented or were kind enough to host us at their venue. Feedback on the events was positive and there appears to be an appetite for more opportunities to get together with other projects. So we are planning to run another round of events in November. If you have any ideas of themes you would like us to cover or have a venue that might be suitable, please get in touch.

Get in touch with Ecorys

33,045 – people registered to BBO by the end of December 2017

2325 – participants have entered employment or self employment thanks to BBO

1189 – participants have entered education or training thanks to BBO projects

Cath, New Leaf

My Mentor took time to ask ‘How are you feeling?’ or ‘What can I do to help?’ I suffer from anxiety and depression, and the way he knew when to push me and when to ‘hold my hand’ was really important to me. I could not be happier, I never thought I would be able to achieve this and wouldn’t have but for New Leaf.