Ports: Finance

Department for Transport written question – answered on 7th October 2019.

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Photo of Chris Ruane Chris Ruane Shadow Minister (Wales)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the criteria was for the selection of bids for funding for the Port Infrastructure Resilience and Connectivity competition.

Photo of Chris Ruane Chris Ruane Shadow Minister (Wales)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department has taken to ensure that funding allocated through the Port Infrastructure Resilience and Connectivity competition represents value for money for taxpayers.

Photo of Chris Heaton-Harris Chris Heaton-Harris Minister of State (Department for Transport)

The aim of the Port Infrastructure Resilience and Connectivity (PIRC) Fund is to secure, by way of a grant, investment in English maritime ports that improves the resilience of the relevant ports to handle potential disruption from a no deal EU exit on 31 October, and also enhance ports’ resilience capabilities to maximise post-EU exit trade opportunities.

The bids received from ports for grants from the Fund were carefully assessed by officials at the Department for Transport and technical advisers against the following pre-determined criteria:

  • Delivery date of the project

  • Capacity & capability to be delivered

  • Project deliverability & cost

  • Longer term resilience benefits.

The 16 bids that performed best against these criteria were duly selected for grant funding, as announced by the Secretary of State on 26 September.

The bid assessment process should ensure that bids selected represent value for money. Further, the Department will now be monitoring successful bidders under the terms of grant agreements to make sure that the projects are delivered on time and on budget, so that grants are spent effectively and appropriately. Grants will only be paid in arrears following evidence that the work has been completed. Further, as per best practice for HMG grants, a review will be carried out at an appropriate time to assess the benefits of the scheme.

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