Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership is keen to offer advice and support to bids to the Government’s Regional Growth Fund, aiming to make sure that bids adding value to Cumbria, and meeting RGF criteria, are helped on their way.
While support from your Local Enterprise Partnership is not a prerequisite, the Government has indicated that it will strengthen the case of a bid.
What is the Regional Growth Fund?
The Regional Growth Fund (RGF) is a £2.6 billion fund operating acrossEngland. It supports projects and programmes that lever private sector investment to create economic growth and sustainable employment. The RGF has two objectives:
(a) To encourage private sector enterprise by providing support for projects with significant potential for economic growth and create additional sustainable private sector employment; and
(b) To support in particular those areas and communities that are currently dependent on the public sector to make the transition to sustainable private sector led growth and prosperity
Bids from private bodies and public private partnerships across England on a challenge basis will be accepted. The Government envisages bidding partnerships coming together that include a combination of large private sector players, SMEs and social enterprises working together with public partners. In particular it is expected that Local Enterprise Partnerships will play a role in coordinating across areas and communities, and in bidding for the Fund.
While all areas of England are eligible to bid, some parts of the county (particularly where there is currently high employment, low levels of deprivation and a vibrant private sector) may struggle to demonstrate how they meet the second objective of the fund.
How much can I bid for?
The minimum bidding threshold is £1m of assistance. Bidders are expected to at least match the amount bid for – although most successful bidders in round one have levered in much more.
When can we bid?
The fourth round of bidding is now open, closing at noon on 20th March 2013. The closest expression of interest roadshows are in Manchester on 31st January and Gateshead on 20th March.
More details about the Regional Growth Fund are available at http://www.bis.gov.uk/policies/economic-development/regional-growth-fund
Help with your bid
If you are looking to bid and would like some support then please contact email@example.com and we will endeavour to provide constructive feedback and advice, and where appropriate technical support such as economic evidence. All bids will be treated in the strictest confidence.
Cumbria LEP’s RGF Programme
Cumbria LEP has been awarded approximately £4m to run an RGF programme, which will contribute to the two main objectives set out above.
The focus of the LEP’s RGF programme is to provide grants to support projects to enable the growth of small and medium businesses in Cumbria and to support specialist manufacturing and businesses seeking to grow through export which contribute significantly to job creation and private sector growth.
Applications are requested from businesses to allow the LEP to produce a Scheme Delivery Plan which will form the basis of the LEP RGF programme.
How much is available?
Typically grants will be between 10% and 40% of the total cost of a project. The amount of grant will be dependent on the company size, location and activity. Applications must be for less than £1m, and especially in the case of SME’s can be for considerably less.
Applicants will need to review their project to ensure that it is compliant with the specific articles of State Aid General Block Exemption Regulations (GBER), taking into account ineligible sectors, regional aid limits in relation to the assisted areas and rules on eligible expenditure www.gov.uk/state-aid
When do I need to apply?
The deadline for applications which will form the Scheme Delivery Plan is 5pm on Monday 18 February 2013. Decisions on which projects will go forward to form the overall programme will be made by after 22 March 2013.
How do I apply?
The first step is to fill out an LEP RGF Project Funding Application Form.
The application form and accompanying information will help the LEP to assess whether the project is eligible and worthy of support. It is therefore important that you fill it in carefully and provide information that can be realistically assessed and monitored.
More information is available through the Guidance Note, link below.
Please note that any grant awarded will be subject to Freedom of Information requests. Any details of awards will be made public and successful applicants must agree to participate in any publicity or advertisements.
For general information about the RGF Programme:Leanne Beverley Cumbria County Council firstname.lastname@example.org 01228 226628
Growth Hub Advisers can help to put together an application and provide access to further potential support for SME’sEmma Blaney Project Co-ordinator – Growth Hub email@example.com 0845 226 0040
Applications submitted to:Regional Growth Fund Regeneration Support Team Cumbria County Council Unit 5a Lakeland Business Park Cockermouth Cumbria CA13 0QT Email firstname.lastname@example.org