Council Creates Six New Roles To Work On European Grants
Three of those new positions – a Programme Manager, Engagement Officer and Finance Assistant – will organise the replacement for the old Local Action Group scheme.
But in a report that went before councillors at last week’s Full Council meeting, Senior Development Manager Diana Mompoloki said the new approach will be different.
Grants of between £1,000 and £100,000 will be given to islands’ firms to allow them to access support and training to start up or grow their businesses.
And an independent review of the old LAG programme said there wasn’t enough separation between staff who engaged with businesses and those that actually managed the applications and finances.
So this time, the Engagement Officer will work from the Islands’ Partnership offices on Hugh Street, while the other two staff will remain in the Town Hall.
The Council will also be involved in a second European programme, this time to replace the ERDF, which funded several important infrastructure projects like the quay extension and airport terminal refurbishment.
Councillors approved the appointment of a further three staff members to manage this Technical Assistance scheme.
Those grants, if successful, will be awarded by the Islands Futures Board, set up to deliver the recommendations made in the economic development report produced for the Council last year.
The board is currently made up of Council Chief Executive Theo Leijser, Chairman Amanda Martin, and representatives from the Duchy, Islands’ Partnership, Tresco Estate and Steamship Company.
Back in March councillors approved recruiting two representatives from Scilly’s smaller businesses to that group but Mr Leijser told members that although they had advertised for people to come forward, “no credible applications” had been received yet.
Cllr Christine Savill was concerned that the perception in the community “will be that the major players are having all the input” and she urged the appointment of the extra representatives quickly.
Diana told councillors that all of the new appointments will be made from the existing budget for her department.
They will be three year roles, although Cllr Fran Grottick questioned why, if this was the case, the Council had to include redundancy payments within the budget when the staff get laid off at the end of their contracts.
Diana said this was the law and kicked in after just a year of employment.
The new roles will mean there’s a total of ten people working on grants and capital development within the Council. Diana says her team has pulled in over £30m of funding for the islands over the last five years.