Projects

This guidance explains what the Scottish Landfill Communities Fund (SLCF) is and how to apply for funding. The guide also provides potential applicants with the information they will need to submit an application for funding.

Background

Those living close to landfill sites and transfer stations may experience loss of amenity and other impacts as result of the storage, treatment and handling of waste close to their communities. The Landfill Communities Fund (LCF) was set up in 1996, as a tax credit scheme that allows landfill operators to help mitigate these impacts by contributing to a fund which supports environmental and community projects across the UK. 

Landfill Tax was devolved to Scotland from 1 April 2015. From this date Landfill Operators in Scotland can claim tax credits against their Scottish Landfill Tax liability in respect of qualifying contributions made to the Scottish Landfill Communities Fund (SLCF). A SLCF qualifying contribution must be attributable to SLfT payable on waste disposed of by way of landfill in Scotland. Landfill Operators will only be entitled to Scottish Landfill Tax (SLFT) credits in respect of qualifying contributions where they are paid to a registered Approved Body (AB). Organisations who wish to receive and distribute SLCF money, known as Approved Bodies, must first be approved by SEPA, the regulatory body for the SLCF. Regulation 29(1) of The Scottish Landfill Tax (Administration) Regulations 2015 sets out the criteria bodies must meet if they wish to be approved.

The new Scottish Landfill Communities Fund was established at the same time, in place of the LCF mentioned above. Anyone seeking funding from the SLCF must apply to an Approved Body in the first instance.

What type of projects are eligible?

There are six main areas of work that qualify for funding under the Scottish Landfill Communities Fund (SLCF) - these are called the 'objects'. All projects must fulfil or support at least one of these objects, which are specified within Regulation 29 (5) (a-f), The Scottish Landfill Tax (Administration) Regulations 2015. Further details of these objects are provided below.

Please note:

  • If the project does not fulfil at least one of the objects, the Approved Body will not be able to award SLCF funding.
  • Work on a project cannot start before its application is approved and the project is enrolled with an Approved Body.
  • The objective of the project must be actual physical works at an identified site.
  • Under the SLCF, landfill operators who contribute to the fund have only limited influence over what money is spent where; funding decisions are primarily up to the Approved Body in question.

The following describes the objects of the SLCF. To be eligible for funding under the SLCF, your project must fulfil or support at least one of these objects:

Object A:

The reclamation, remediation, restoration or other operation on land to facilitate economic, social or environmental use.

  • The project must be in Scotland;
  • The work must be on a site where there once was an activity which has now ceased, which prevents or restricts the current use of the land, e.g. the site may have been contaminated;
  • The person who polluted the land must not benefit from the reclamation, remediation or restoration of the land;
  • The reclamation, remediation or restoration of the land must not be required under a statutory notice, order or agreement, or under the terms of a planning permission or consent.

When applying to an Approved Body, your project will need to provide details of:

  • the affected site;
  • the ceased activity;
  • who carried out the ceased activity;
  • when the activity ceased;
  • how the person who polluted the land will not benefit (financially or through obligations being met) from the work proposed;
  • there being no statutory requirements to carry out the works; and
  • how the works being carried out will bring the land in question back into use.

Object B:

Community based recycling, re-use and waste prevention projects which protect the environment.

  • The project must be community based and not for profit;
  • The project must encourage recycling, re-use or waste prevention;
  • The project must protect the environment;
  • The project can’t be carried out as part of the requirements of a statutory notice, order or agreement; under the terms of a planning permission or consent; under a Nature Reserve agreement; on a SSSI or under a Management Scheme or Notice.

The project’s application to an Approved Body will need to provide details of:

  • the community connection/involvement;
  • how the project promotes recycling, re-use or waste prevention;
  • how the project protects the environment; and
  • evidence that the project is not required as part of any statutory notice etc.

Object C:

The provision, maintenance or improvement of a public park or other public amenity.

  • The park or public amenity must be open and accessible to the general public;
  • The park or public amenity must be in Scotland;
  • The park or public amenity must be in the vicinity of a landfill site or transfer station;
  • The park or public amenity must not be operated with a view to profit; and
  • The provision of the park or public amenity must not be required by statutory notice, order or agreement or under the terms of a planning permission or consent.

The project’s application to an Approved Body will need to provide details of:

  • the project site;
  • the proposed works;
  • how the proposed works will provide, maintain or improve a public park or other public amenity;
  • how the park or other public amenity is accessible to the public and how they have use of it;
  • how the park or public amenity will protect the environment;
  • how far the project site is from a landfill site or transfer station; and
  • how the proposed works are not required by a relevant condition e.g. statutory notice, order, etc. Approved Bodies may include a disclaimer note in their application form, if not, project applicants should include a disclaimer with their application.

Object D:

The conservation or promotion of biological diversity through the provision, conservation, restoration or enhancement of a natural habitat or the maintenance or recovery of a species in its natural habitat.

  • The project must conserve or promote biological diversity;
  • The project must involve the provision, conservation, restoration or enhancement of a natural habitat, or the maintenance or recovery of a species in its natural habitat;
  • The project must be located in Scotland;
  • The proposed site must be in the vicinity of a landfill site or transfer station;
  • The project must protect the environment;
  • The project can’t be carried out as part of the requirements of a statutory notice, order or agreement; under the terms of a planning permission or consent; under a Nature Reserve agreement; on a SSSI or under a Management Scheme or Notice; and
  • The project must be not for profit.

The project’s application to an Approved Body will need to provide details of:

  • the conservation site;
  • the conservation work proposed;
  • the species or habitat that will be conserved by the project;
  • how the project protects the environment;
  • how far the project site is from a landfill site or transfer station; and
  • how the proposed works are not required by a relevant condition e.g. as part of the requirements of a statutory notice, etc. Approved Bodies may include a disclaimer note in their application form, if not, project applicants should include a disclaimer with their application.

Object E:

The maintenance, repair or restoration of a building or other structure or a site of archaeological interest.

  • The project must be to carry out works that maintain, repair or restore the building, structure or site;
  • The building, structure or site must be in Scotland;
  • The building, structure or site must be a place of religious worship, or must be of historic, archaeological or architectural interest;
  • The building, structure or site must be open to the public;
  • The building, structure or site must be in the vicinity of a landfill site or transfer station; and
  • The building, structure or site cannot be operated for profit.

Your project’s application to an Approved Body will need to provide details of:

  • the project site;
  • the proposed works;
  • how the proposed works will maintain, repair or restore a relevant building, structure or site;
  • how the relevant building, structure or site is a place of religious worship, or is of historic, archaeological or architectural interest;
  • how the project protects the environment;
  • how the relevant building, structure or site is open to the public and when they will have access to it;
  • how the building, structure or site is not operated with a view to profit; and
  • how far the project site is from a landfill site or transfer station.

Object F:

The provision of financial, administration and other similar services to bodies enrolled with an approved body.

  • An Approved Body may provide financial, administrative or other similar services to projects enrolled with them.
  • Your project application to an Approved Body will need to provide details of the service(s) which you would like the Approved Body to provide to you.

Additional information relating to Objects A - F can be found in the SLCF guidance

Who can apply for funding?

Applications for funding should come from individuals, or organisations which are operated on a not-for-profit basis. The SLCF awards funding to community or environmental projects that fulfil at least one of the objects of the SLCF. 

Where do I apply to for funding?

You must apply to an Approved Body. Only Approved Bodies, registered with the fund regulator SEPA, can distribute funds to a project. Funding for your project does not have to come from the Approved Body located nearest to you; you may apply to any Approved Body in order to seek funding. A register detailing all Approved Bodies is available on SEPA’s website.

Please note that all applications for funding must be directed to the Approved Bodies and not to SEPA or Revenue Scotland.

Can I apply to more than one Approved Body for funding?

Yes, you can approach any of the Approved Bodies in Scotland, at the same time or individually.

Applying for funding

Applying for funding involves a series of steps as set out below:

  1. Identify if your project involves work that is eligible for SLCF funding.Approved Bodies can only support projects that fulfil the objects set out above.
  2. Confirm, if appropriate, that your project is within the vicinity of an authorised landfill site or transfer station. To be eligible for funding under object C, D or E of the SLCF, the site of a project must be within ten miles of a landfill site or transfer station. There is a screening tool to help you check this. When you enter the National Grid reference of your project’s site, the tool will tell you whether or not your project is within ten miles of an eligible landfill site or transfer station. If you don’t know the National Grid Reference, you can obtain it by browsing a map within the tool on SEPA’s website or by using the postcode of the project site.
  3. Use the register of Approved Bodies published on SEPA’s website to identify one (or more) Approved Bodies. You can contact any Approved Body on the register to discuss your project, your funding needs and the application process. Each Approved Body has their own application process and their own process for awarding funding.
  4. Complete the appropriate application form(s) and submit them together with all relevant information, to your chosen Approved Body(ies) for evaluation.

In completing an application form the following information will be required (as a minimum):

Project costs

Project applications should provide evidence that value for money has been sought in any estimation of project related costs. It is recommended that if SLCF monies are to be used to purchase goods or services, where possible, tenders or quotations are supplied with the project bid. This should consist of a summary of tender information or copies of tenders submitted. It is not necessary to select the supplier with the lowest cost if there are good reasons for selecting another supplier. However, there should be a written explanation as to why that particular supplier has been selected. As a matter of good practice, the provision of goods and services should be independent of companies and people connected to the Approved Body or to any third party contributors (see below).

Third Party Contributions

Project applicants should provide supporting documentation where a third party contribution is integral to the application for funding. Please note that a third party contribution is not treated as a donation towards the cost of a project and should not be deducted from the project cost.

What is a Third Party Contribution?

The SLCF enables landfill operators to contribute money to Approved Bodies in Scotland to support community and environmental projects.

Having made a qualifying contribution to the SLCF, the landfill operator can then claim a tax credit of 90% of the money contributed. The contributing landfill operator does not receive tax credit for all of its contribution to the SLCF. In practice, this means that the landfill operator only receives tax credit for £90 out of every £100 they contribute to the SLCF. In some cases the landfill operator will absorb this cost themselves, being aware of the benefits that can be derived from participating in the fund. Alternatively, the landfill operator may require a third party to pay the 10% required to make their contribution to the SLCF cost neutral. This third party is known as the Contributing Third Party.

An Approved Body may require that projects arrange or secure a third party contribution before releasing the payment of agreed SLCF funds. In this case, the Contributing Third Party payment should not be taken into account when the Approved Body is deciding on which projects to fund in principle. All Contributing Third Party payments must be made directly to the landfill operator(s) that made the qualifying contribution(s) and not to the Approved Body. The Third Party contribution should not exceed 10% of the qualifying contribution(s) that will be used to fund the project (to cover the 10% shortfall in tax credit the landfill operator is entitled to claim from a qualifying contribution). A Contributing Third Party is not allowed to benefit from their contribution or the project it is linked with, other than by being part of a group who generally benefits (e.g. because they are a member of the public that makes use of the project).

Who can make a Third Party Contribution?

Subject to certain conditions, a Contributing Third Party can contribute or reimburse this 10% to the landfill operator:

  • A private company, public sector organisation, charity, voluntary body or an individual can be a Contributing Third Party
  • A public sector organisation might make a contribution as part of their community relations strategy or because a specific project meets their own social or environmental objectives
  • The Contributing Third Party must be an entity which is entirely separate from the Approved Body which has received the original qualifying contribution
  • The Contributing Third Party should make the payment to the landfill operator with the intention of encouraging the landfill operator to make a contribution to the SLCF to reimburse them for all or part of their contribution
  • The Third Party Contribution should be paid directly to the landfill operator
  • Approved Bodies cannot accept third party contributions
  • Although in practice a Contributing Third Party is likely to have links to a particular project, the Contributing Third Party cannot receive unique benefit from the project or from having made the Third Party Contribution.

Timing of projects

All SLCF monies need to be spent within 2 years of the date on which the Approved Body received the contribution.

Approved Bodies may impose closing dates for their project funding applications. The Approved Bodies cannot accept applications from projects which have already started. If you want to start your project at a specific time of year or by a specific date then you should contact the Approved Body in question for further information and consider these dates when planning your project.

Additional information

All Approved Bodies will require you to provide detailed information in support of your application as that information will help to demonstrate that the SLCF is operating legitimately and transparently. The following are examples of additional information which may be required:

Consultation/community involvement

Project applications should provide evidence of support from local communities, including their involvement or consultation during the project planning process. Applications from projects which might result in local disagreement should ensure that any areas of potential conflict are resolved prior to submitting an application.

Public access

In general, all projects which involve parks or amenities should include evidence of the levels of access offered to the park or amenity. To be considered “open to the public”, the public should have access on no fewer than four evenings or two days per week, or no fewer than one hundred and four days per year. Any access arrangements more restrictive than this would be considered insufficient for SLCF projects funding criteria. Ideally, a park or amenity is somewhere the general public can go, join or use without any limit or unreasonable restriction.

How will the Approved Bodies allocate funding?

All Approved Bodies must ensure that they only award funding to projects which fulfill one or more of the objects of the SLCF. An Approved Body’s application procedure should help to determine which projects meet the objects of the fund and which projects do not. If an Approved Body awards funding to a project that does not fulfill at least one of the objects, the funding will not be considered compliant. In this situation, the Approved Body may be subject to enforcement action from SEPA.

It is likely that the applications for funding will outweigh the contributions made by landfill operators, and so each Approved Body will decide which applications should receive funding and which applications should be rejected.

The Board of the Approved Body will evaluate the applications they receive from eligible projects and then decide how much money, if any, is to be allocated to each project. These funding decisions will be made using pre-determined evaluation criteria and the details will be recorded. Projects will be advised of the outcome of these evaluations and funding decisions. It is the responsibility of each Approved Body to manage the funds they have and justify their spending decisions.

If your application is successful the Approved Body will explain how much money has been allocated and what you need to do to trigger payment (e.g. produce an invoice for works completed or arrange a contributing Third Party payment). The Approved Body will also explain any conditions that you must satisfy as part of the funding process. 

If your application is unsuccessful the Approved Body will inform you, with an explanation of why your application did not succeed. The Approved Body may offer to retain your application and to consider it again at some point in the future. You may choose to seek funding elsewhere but you may also choose to apply again, to the same Approved Body and/or to a different Approved Body, in a further attempt to secure funding.

What level of supervision or compliance checking will be carried out on the projects?

SEPA, as regulator of the SLCF, will work with Approved Bodies to ensure that they continue to operate in a compliant manner. SEPA’s compliance activities will verify that contributions received by each Approved Body have been spent on approved objects of the fund. SEPA will inspect records and other documents held by the Approved Body to carry out these activities.

SEPA is empowered to investigate both Approved Bodies and projects enrolled with Approved Bodies to ensure that SLCF monies are being spent appropriately. SEPA may not check every project but you should bear in mind, when submitting an application to an Approved Body, that SEPA may at some point in the future ask to see evidence that the project has been completed and that any funding awarded has been spent in the furtherance of the objects of the SLCF.

Information, advice and guidance

Queries relating to the SLCF should be initially directed to the SLCF Team at SEPA by email at slcf@sepa.org.uk or on 01698 839000.

Alternatively, any funding queries and project applications should be directed to the Approved Bodies. Details of Approved Bodies can be found in the Register of Approved Bodies.

Last updated: 
20 July 2017

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