Oven ready projects and other key ingredients for food and drink businesses seeking funding in 2022 - PKF Francis Clark
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Oven ready projects and other key ingredients for food and drink businesses seeking funding in 2022

As we exit 2021 and the pre-eminence of Covid-19 related funding, what is next for food and drink businesses looking for external funding?

Below are some key themes for businesses in the sector to consider:

Regional funding initiatives

We have produced several factsheets which summarise our understanding of the main (non-bank, non-hire purchase/finance lease) sources of funding potentially available to businesses in a specific geographic region as of November 2021.

Click on the links below to find out the funding potentially available in your area:

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly (CIOS)

Heart of the South West LEP area (Devon and most of Somerset)

Dorset

Equity to the fore?

I have looked ahead to every year for the last decade as the year the UK, and in particular the South West, sees a significant increase in equity investment in businesses. But surely 2022 will be a step change year if the £200m South West Fund (announced by the government in the Autumn budget) comes into play as well as other government initiatives to improve access to equity for businesses in the South West.

Low Carbon

2021 saw the re-emergence of some funds (grants and debt) targeted at investment / projects for businesses looking to reduce their carbon emissions. As Net Zero continues to be an aspiration for many in the food and drink sector in 2022, we hope to see a further increase in funding available for businesses looking to invest in energy saving equipment and / or other projects to make them more sustainable.

Innovation

Another key theme underpinning a lot of the grant monies currently available is innovation. In addition to monies being administered by Innovate UK on a UK wide basis, we have seen regional funding initiatives also being targeted towards innovative projects. I expect that the emphasis on innovation will continue through to 2022 (and beyond) as part of the Government’s agenda to create higher wage employment and a realisation that technological advances can assist with a business’ flexibility to respond to crisis.

Research and Development (R&D) tax credits could also be a source of funding for businesses conducing qualifying development work. With many companies in the food and drink sector embracing technological advancements and seeking out scientific and technical improvements, they could be eligible to claim R&D tax credits.

We have a team of experts who can help identify whether your business qualifies and help process the claim. Click here to get in touch.

Shared Prosperity Fund (SPF)

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (SPF), which is being introduced to replace current EU funding is expected to launch in April 2022.

It would appear that projects falling outside the realms of ‘adding value’, as defined by The Farming Transformation Fund will be funded via the SPF. We await details…

Shop around – particularly if you are looking for debt funding, there are a number of alternative funders in addition to high street banks.

‘Here’s one we prepared earlier’

In terms of maximising the opportunities available, specifically grants, if you have projects you would like to undertake, now would be the time to scope them out, detailing:

  • Project costs
  • Impact on turnover and profit
  • Return on investment
  • Job creation

Using this information, you can speak to your accountant and local Growth Hub about potential funding available now as well as future additional funding sources. If there is nothing available now, the project summary can be re-shared later and used as the basis for Expression of Interest etc when an applicable grant fund opens.

Should you require further information or guidance, please get in touch.

FEATURING: Richard Wadman
Richard qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG in 1993. Since 2006 he has worked in Corporate Finance, firstly with the predecessor firm in Truro… read more
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