Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

FAQ: How do I apply for funding?

Answer: Application forms are on the website www.marshescbf.uk.

FAQ: Can individuals apply for funding for local projects they support?

Answer: Guidance on who is eligible to apply are provided on the MCBF website www.marshescbf.uk

FAQ: Will match funding or other grants increase my chance of getting a grant from the MCBF.

Answer: Match funding is likely to increase your chance of gaining funding from the MCBF.

FAQ: Who is on the MCBF panel and how were they chosen?

Answer: The MCBF is a group of local residents. They have been selected initially by Frodsham Wind Farm Limited (FWFL) following applications submitted during public consultation.

FAQ: Can anyone join the MCBF Panel

Answer: The process for applying to be an MCBF Panel member is now closed and the Panel is at its full complement. Panel membership is for a fixed term being the earlier of 3 years or a member’s resignation or removal (in specific circumstances). Vacancies, when they arise in future, will be posted on the MCBF website (www.marshescbf.uk), along with details of the application process, eligibility criteria and deadlines.

FAQ: Can anyone apply for funding?

Answer: No. The eligibility criteria is provided on the MCBF website. www.marshescbf.uk

FAQ: What are the boundaries for MCBF funded projects? and how have they been set? will projects outside this boundary be accepted?

Answer: The MCBF is to be used for projects within the Elton, Helsby and Frodsham and certain other local communities. The definition of ‘local community’ in geographic terms was proposed by FWFL and has been adopted by the Panel. Projects need to demonstrate a community benefit within the agreed boundary.

FAQ: Can the Community Benefit Fund be used to cover the cost of feasibility studies?

Answer: No. The fund is available for projects which have already undertaken extensive research and community consultation and meet the eligibility criteria set out on the MCBF website.

FAQ: Can funds be made available from the MCBF for ongoing maintenance costs?

Answer: No. The organisation should demonstrate they have plans for long term funding for maintenance in their initial application. There are limits on the frequency and organisation can apply for funding which are contained in the application eligibility criteria on the MCBF website www.marshescbf.uk.

FAQ: What conditions are placed on the money, does it have to be paid back?

Answer: The money does not have to be paid back once awarded. The panel will audit the applicant to ensure the money has been spent in accordance with the initial application. In the event of misuse of the grant the organisation will be permanently excluded from applying for further funding.

FAQ: What happens if funds are not allocated each year, do we lose the money?

Answer: The funds do not all have to be allocated each year, if they are not allocated they will be available for future applicants.

FAQ: Once we have submitted our application how long will it take to approve, and what is the process for approval

Answer: The closing dates for applicants will be provided on the website and advertised locally. After the closing date applications will be checked and only go forward to the panel for consideration if they comply with the requirements. The panel expect to notify applicants within 8-12 weeks, from the closing date, whether their application has been successful.

FAQ: How often does the MCBF Panel meet?

Answer: The Panel meets twice a year to consider grant applications. Details of the application process and dates when the Panel will consider applications will be provide on the MCBF website www.marshescbf.uk.

FAQ: Can anyone attend the MCBF meetings

Answer: No the MCBF meetings are held in private.

FAQ: Does FWFL have the right of veto over projects?

Answer: The eligibility criteria has been drawn up in consultation with the FWFL. Projects

FAQ: How is the MCBF governed?

Answer: The MCBF is an un-incorporated not-for-profit organisation, with the sole purpose of distributing money from the MCBF. A copy of the constitution is provided on the website www.marshescbf.uk

FAQ: Is there a code of conduct for the Panel members?

Answer: Yes the panel members have agreed to comply with the code of conduct available on the website www.marshescbf.uk

FAQ: Is there a limit to how much money can I apply for?

Answer: The fund is limited to a maximum of £3m over 25 years (or the life of the wind farm) up to £120,000 will be available for projects each year.

FAQ: What happens if one of the Panel has a conflict of interest?

Answer: Panel members must declare their interest in any applications and will be excluded from the panel discussions in connection with the specific funding application.

FAQ: Are the panel paid?

Answer: No.

FAQ: Can I join the panel? What are the criteria for being a panel member?

Answer: The Panel has been selected for their professional skills and experience. Panel membership is for a fixed term being the earlier of 3 years or a member’s resignation or removal (in specific circumstances). Vacancies, when they arise in future, will be posted on the MCBF website, along with details of the application process, eligibility criteria and deadlines.

FAQ: How does the panel check that the money awarded to projects has been spent in the way it was proposed?

Answer: A panel member will be allocated to each of the projects awarded grant funding, they will be responsible for auditing the project and reporting back to the panel.

FAQ: What are the deadlines for funding applications and how are they set?

Answer: The panel will meet twice a year to make funding decisions. The deadlines for applications are set out on the website www.marshescbf.uk. In the event that all the available funds are allocated in the first round (up to £120,000) the panel will not meet to consider further applications that year.

FAQ: If I miss a deadline what should I do?

Answer: If the deadline is missed the application will need to be re-submitted for the next round.

FAQ: If my project has already been started can I apply for funding?

Answer: No. Funding will only be made available for new projects

FAQ: We are a sports club can we apply for funding?

Answer: Yes, if the project is in accordance with the eligibility criteria contained on the website.

FAQ: I am not sure about some of the questions on the application form, can I talk to someone to help me?

Answer: The application forms and guidance notes are provided on the MCBF website. If there are further questions they can be submitted by e mail. Panel members will not be available to answer questions about individual applications.

FAQ: My organisation does not have a bank account is one required?

Answer: Yes. Please refer to the application guidance notes and eligibility criteria contained on the MCBF website.

FAQ: Can I reapply if my project was not accepted?

Answer: Yes, re application will be considered in the next application round.

FAQ: I’m rubbish at forms – can someone else apply on our group’s behalf?

Answer: Yes – but the relationship between the person completing the form and the organisation seeking the award must be clarified within the application.

FAQ: Is the value of the fund likely to change in the future?

Answer: The fund is capped at a maximum of £120,000 per year, but if for any reason a turbine or turbines need to be permanently removed from the scheme, the amount of the fund will decrease proportionately. For example, if only one turbine were removed then the fund would drop by one nineteenth.

FAQ: Who pays the Panel’s expenses?

Answer: Expenses are taken from the main Fund. Records of all of the Panel’s expenses will be available upon request. Expenses such as advertising, printing, maintenance of the website, travel etc. are likely to be considered eligible.

FAQ: Who decides if an expense claim by one (or more) Panel member is acceptable?

Answer: This is determined by the Panel at its regular meetings.

FAQ: How will the Panel promote and raise awareness of the Fund?

Answer: The fund will be advertised locally in shops, public notice boards and local magazines. The local press will be notified prior to the find closing dates. A list of projects awarded finding will be available on the MCBF website.

FAQ: What happens if you get two applications for the same thing?

Answer: Each and every application is assessed on its individual merits, but multiple applications by different groups but for the same project will be dissuaded.