§ Mr. Curry
There were no applications for city challenge funding in the last financial year; 329 final bids were received in respect of the second round of the single regeneration budget challenge fund, for which the deadline was 18 September 1995. Some 172 bids were successful—over 52 per cent. of the total of final bids received. The Government have made no estimate of the cost of submitting bids. We have, however, commissioned independent research from the department of land economy, Cambridge university, into the single regeneration budget challenge fund. As part of that research, a report in the form of a working paper has been prepared on a sample of 10 unsuccessful SRB challenge fund bids. Copies of this paper have been placed in the Library of the House. This working paper estimated on page 28 that the cost of preparing unsuccessful bids varied from £10,000 to £23,000. The evidence from the unsuccessful bids studied in the report suggested that the challenge fund programme strengthened the formation and effectiveness of local partnerships, and that inter-agency co-operation had been enhanced. The report also concluded that there was no suggestion that the costs of preparing SRB bids were necessarily greater than preparing proposals under other funding regimes.