EU GRANT FUNDING IN CORNWALL… GOING, GOING, GONE, BUT…

13th November, 2018

By Andrew James

We’ve seen a number of grant schemes close for applications over the last few months, LEADER, RDPE Growth Programme being the prominent two.

However, last week I met up with a few grant providers at breakfast events and:

  • One grant scheme administrator is finding that the grant claims are not as high as estimated – leaving an opportunity for a late application
  • Whilst some EU funded schemes are closed for grant support, they are still open to deliver business support
  • There are some EU funded schemes that still have grant funds (and they have been keen to remind us of this!)
  • At least one grant provider is hopeful of further funds potentially being available to spend in the New Year

I have briefly summarised the thread of some of the conversations I have had below (and added in some extra bits):

BIG2

I previously blogged about BIG2 before – as a re-cap, it is an EU funded (ERDF) programme delivered by Cornwall Development Company (CDC). The fund is essentially for capital expenditure and/ or one off revenue spend that will lead to the creation of a job(s) and isn’t ‘business as usual’.

I understand that:

  1. The latest deadline for applications is now 31 December 2018, so if you are interested I suggest getting in touch with the BIG2 team
  2. You are more likely to have some joy from BIG2 if the application amount is kept lower, as the funds available are limited. It will also mean less work is required in the procurement process which will speed up the process
  3. Around the corner after BIG2, will hopefully be BIG3 (fingers crossed for spring 2019)….

What I would say is that if you do have a project, if you put in application and BIG2 doesn’t have the fund, you will be in the pipeline for BIG3.

Superfast Business Cornwall

Superfast Business Cornwall is an EU funded service offering help and support to eligible businesses in Cornwall reviewing their IT systems and processes. Three things to say here:

  1. There is a lot of support they can provide: from making the most out of tech such as CRM systems to the best IT practice and procedures reducing cyber risks threats
  2. By signing up to the programme, you will also be able to access their workshops, including the one we are delivering in partnership on Xero cloud accounting
  3. If there is a business need for implementing a new IT solution, they offer a grant service which would need to be spent and claimed by 28 February 2019. Similar to BIG2, there is potential for funds to become available as claims come in under budget

I would recommend speaking to the Superfast Business Cornwall team to see what support is available and if you have an IT project, you could be eligible for grant support – see if you can get on a waiting list.

Propel and Marine-i

I suspect those engaged in the marine industry in Cornwall are well aware of Propel, but just in case in the words of one of their Marine Innovation Mentors who emailed me this week: “Propel is a fully funded ERDF business support and grant project for the Cornish marine industry. It is delivered by Cornwall Marine Network to support marine SME’s across the Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly area.  We aim to support those businesses to improve their skills, productivity and outputs, as well as the sector and industry as a whole to remain a leading exponent of marine knowledge and skills in the world.  Our grant scheme supports up to 35% of revenue / service based purchases by the business, with a spend of £2,900+. The grant scheme is only accessible to clients signed up to the Propel project.  More information available form www.propelcornwall.co.uk

I have blogged already this week on a grant offering from Marine-i.

Final points

When it comes to grant funding, there are some key points to remember:

  • Don’t start the project until the grant is approved
  • Remember that you claim after you have spent the money which requires cash flow planning
  • There is often an intervention rate which means the grant will not pay for the project in full (say 50%)
  • Grants like to be viewed as a ‘lender of last resort’
  • We are a point of contact if you wish to discuss your funding requirements
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