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Ashford Rural Electric Vehicle Charging Point Grant

The first round of funding has closed and future rounds will be available after April 2024.

The Ashford EVCP Grant of up to £12,000 aims to facilitate the installation of EV Charging Points in rural areas of the Ashford Borough. Please check the full policy attached to this page for all the details about this grant or see the overview below.

Once the EVCP is installed, the equipment will become the property of the applicant. Depending on the operating model to be adopted, it is the applicants’ responsibility to pay any charges for the electricity, the supervision of the spaces, maintaining insurances and upkeeping the equipment itself.

Thes grant can be used in conjunction with other financial support scheme, subject to those other schemes allowing this, except any funding deriving from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Applications will open in rounds, with the first round being from December 2023 to 4 February 2024. Applications submitted outside of these times will not be considered subject to significant material considerations and mitigating factors. These dates may vary at short notice depending on the level of applications the council receives.

Note: Works allowed under these grant schemes may require Planning Permission. Please click on the relevant guidance below to see what applicants need to consider and how to contact the Planning department about projects or how to submit a planning application.

Planning Guidance

Policy

Ashford Rural Electric Vehicle Charging Point policy [pdf] 1065KB.

+ Eligibility Criteria

  1. Applications are eligible from Parish Councils, Town Councils or Community Councils within the Ashford Borough boundary. In some cases, applications may be accepted from other entities where all the eligibility criteria are met.
  2. The site for the EVCP(s) must be located within the designated Rural area as defined under ‘Rural England Prosperity Fund’ by the Department for Environmental and Rural Affairs (Defra). Where the site or the wider land crosses across the designated area the Council reserves the right to assess these on a case-by-case basis. View Ashford Rural Area Maps [pdf] 569KB.
  3. The site for the EVCP(s) must be wholly owned by the eligible applicant or Ashford Borough Council. In cases where this may not apply specifically, the applicant will need to evidence the ownership details and submit written approval for this project from the owner(s).
  4. The site for the EVCP(s) must be publicly accessible to vehicles 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and not limit who can park there or charge parking fees unless the charges are payable to a Parish, Town or Community Council or Ashford Borough Council.
  5. The EVCP(s) should be sourced from the approved list and meet the specifications detailed in the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles guidance.
  6. The EVCP installer should be an approved organisation as detailed in the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles guidance.

+ Work that can be carried out using this funding

Ashford Borough Council will fund the install of the EV Charging Point and then hand over ownership of the charger to the organisation who applied.

The funding will contribute towards the capital costs of installing an EVCP including:

  • Purchasing the EVCP(s) and associated equipment
  • Installation costs
  • Electricity Network connection costs
  • Other capital costs directly associated with the installation phase

Works that may require Planning Applications (such as Listed Building Consent, Advertising Consent or similar) can be considered. Applicants will need to submit their Planning Application, if required, before submitting the grant application.

+ Levels of grant

Applicants are required to provide fully costed quotes of the works being proposed. The assessment will consider this and, if successful, applicants will receive a grant equivalent to 80% of the cost of works (excluding VAT). The maximum level of grant allowed under this scheme is £12,000.

In exceptional circumstances the council reserves the right to award a higher level of grant where this may be necessary and where supporting and significant additional evidence has been submitted.

+ Information and evidence needed for application

  • A completed application form
  • Evidence that:
    • The applicant is the freeholder or leaseholder or where written consent from the site owner to carry out the work, has been obtained and submitted
    • The applicant has the funds available for their share of the project costs (20%, excluding VAT)
    • The applicant should demonstrate they have considered the Planning guidance in relation to their project and have submitted a Planning Application where necessary
  • A completed site survey showing the viability and the type of connection that is possible
  • At least three fully costed quotes for the work, including at least three quotes for the EVCP equipment from the approved OZEV model list and at least three quotes for the installation from the approved OZEV installer list.
  • Recent photos of the site, clearly showing the location proposed for the EVCP and access
  • Details of any grants or funding received from a public authority in the previous three years
  • Any further information or evidence required or which the applicant considers relevant

+ Monitoring and assurances

The grant will be paid to successful applicants once conditions are met such as (but not limited to):

  • The works proposed are due to start imminently and be completed in a reasonable time
  • Any permissions such as Planning Permission have been successfully obtained
  • The EVCP has been ordered or bought and/or an installer has been appointed

The condition of payment for this grant will be included in the decision notification sent to the applicant and is discretionary (to be applied on a case by case basis). For grant applications requiring a Planning Application, the grant can only be paid if Planning Permission has been received by the applicant.

The council reserves the right to attend the site to monitor the progress of work until the expected end date detailed in the applicant’s proposal. The council has the discretion to reclaim the grant funding if the conditions are not met within a reasonable time.

+ Terms and conditions

  • Grant applications (and relevant Planning Applications) must be made before work takes place
  • Our staff must be allowed to inspect the works and see all relevant documentation
  • It is the responsibility of applicants to comply with all relevant regulations and legislation
  • It is the responsibility of applicants to check and confirm whether they comply with the Subsidy Control requirements (formerly State Aid)
  • Applicants agree to report quarterly to the council on progress of their project and outcomes linked to the REPF guidance.
  • Applicants agree to comply with the REPF and UKSPF marketing and branding guidelines linked to their project
  • The applicant commits to monitoring and reporting on indicators such as the number of sessions (users) at the EVCP for up to 5 years after receiving the grant or the amount of CO2 saved in Kg/Year.
  • Any grant money awarded, must be repaid within 3 years of the payment if:
    • The applicant removes or prevents the use of their EVCP(s) within 3 years of receiving the grant
    • Works are undertaken without obtaining the relevant permissions or licences as needed
    • The works are not undertaken

+ Subsidy Control (formerly State Aid)

A subsidy is where a public authority such as a Local Authority provides support to an enterprise that gives them an economic advantage, meaning equivalent support could not have been obtained on commercial terms.

On 4 January 2023, the UK’s new subsidy control regime came into force, implementing a new subsidy regulation framework designed for the post-Brexit era. Underpinned by the Subsidy Control Act 2022 (the “Act”), related statutory instruments and government guidance, the new regime aims to grant public authorities the power to design and award subsidies in an agile way while complying with the UK’s international commitments on subsidy control.

For smaller value subsidy awards, Minimal Financial Assistance (MFA) allows financial assistance of up to a maximum limit of £315,000 to be made to a single enterprise within a rolling period of three financial years (consisting of the current financial year and the two previous financial years), without the need to comply with the majority of the subsidy control requirements.

However, MFA requires a written declaration from the beneficiary confirming that the limit has not been exceeded before the subsidy can be awarded. This effectively mirrors the historic EU De Minimis regime but sets the threshold at a fixed sterling amount and at a higher level than previously.

Applicants will therefore be required to provide information and a declaration in relation to subsidies they may have received in the previous three years.

+ Exclusions

  • Organisations not listed in the eligibility criteria or entities that can access alternative Government funding for the installation of EV charging points.
  • Projects or work that has already been undertaken will not be eligible. This funding is not retrospective.
  • Sites that are located outside of the designated Rural area as defined by Defra for the purposes of this funding.
  • Project proposals that have already received, or are eligible to apply for, funding from Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) are not eligible.
  • Businesses or organisations that have already received funding from another REPF funded grant programme, or projects that are eligible for another REPF grant programme, as administered by Ashford Borough Council, will not be eligible for this scheme. View Ashford REPF Programmes and other Defra Funding [pdf] 593KB.
  • This funding should not be used as a wage support mechanism or for revenue costs such as ongoing maintenance or utilities costs.
  • This funding cannot be used to pay for costs directly to Ashford Borough Council (for example Planning applications) or for significant work to the Council’s land/property that falls within a schedule of maintenance and for which the council is responsible as owner.

+ Decisions

The funding available for these grant schemes is very limited and the council will likely need to prioritise applications to provide best value for money. Decisions will be taken by a panel and each round of decisions will prioritise eligible applications based on the practical impact and deliverability of their project.

Applications will only be taken forward to be decided where all the relevant information and evidence has been submitted by the applicant. The decision to award any grants under this scheme will be taken by a panel of Borough Councillors and key stakeholders. The panel will meet quarterly throughout the year, although this is subject to change. The decision reached by the panel will be final and the council will not consider any appeals submitted. Applicants will subsequently be notified of the outcome of their application.

+ Queries

All enquiries about this grant funding and this policy should contact prosperity.funding@ashford.gov.uk.

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