Innovation and Resilience Fund – grants for East Devon businesses - PKF Francis Clark
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Innovation and Resilience Fund – grants for East Devon businesses

As someone who acts for a lot of businesses based in the East Devon area, I was very interested to hear about the Innovation and Resilience Fund (IRF) which launched this week (14 September) through which businesses and organisations can apply for grants of:

  • Up to £50,000 per individual business or organisation
  • Up to £150,000 per collaborative bid (multiple businesses and organisations)

“The purpose of this scheme is to provide project grants to businesses and organisations in East Devon to help secure the area’s economic recovery. Project funding will be allocated to projects which help businesses innovate to improve competitiveness and strengthen resilience by adapting to a green and inclusive post-COVID economy” – see further below.

The total scheme allocation is circa £2m.

Key details

Key details as follows:

Eligible applicants must (with some limited exemptions):
  • Have been trading before 1 January 2021
  • Primarily operate and trade within East Devon
  • Not be in administration, insolvent or has been struck off the Companies House register
  • Not have exceeded the permitted subsidy control threshold
  • Delivered within 18 months of when the project funding is awarded
Eligible projects/ costs:
  • Equipment that will allow the business to diversify or create a new innovative product
  • Specialist training to allow the business to expand into new markets
  • Equipment that will enable the business to expand and create new higher paid jobs
  • Technologies that will allow the business to become carbon neutral or negative
  • All goods and services fully or partially purchased using IRF funds must be utilised in East Devon
Grant thresholds – see above, with caveats:
  • Requests above these amounts will be considered where applicants can demonstrate that their proposed project will lead to exceptional positive benefits for the local economy
  • The minimum funding request is £2,500
Council objectives i.e., desired projects sought that achieve:
  • Employment: promote new higher wage employment or safeguard existing high value employment under threat
  • Diversify: allow the business to diversify, develop a new product or innovation, enter new markets or adapt to new market conditions or working practises
  • Green: enable significant carbon reductions, energy efficiencies or promote biodiversity
  • Inclusive: provides sustainable opportunities to low-income/disadvantaged individuals, local graduates or helps to alleviate poverty

Applications

The IRF will close to new expressions of interest either on 18 February 2022 or when the total scheme allocation has been consumed, whichever is soonest.

Two stage application process which starts with an expression of interest (which apparently takes 15 – 20 minutes to complete).

More details

More details on the scheme can be found here, which contains links to FAQs and Policy Documents, the latter of which includes:

  • some details of how applications will be assessed (section 7)
  • priority groups (section 9)

PKF Francis Clark

We certainly think this scheme may be of interest to several of our clients and given the nature of the application process would highly recommend those interested look to complete an expression of interest at the earliest opportunity (after reading through the scheme guidance).

Anyone wishing to chat through a potential project can contact me or their usual point of contact at PKF Francis Clark.

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