We are currently fielding a number of enquires from clients about potential RDPE applications, following my earlier blog post, so I thought I would share a few points of interest:
- Location Location Location
As those two people who are always on Channel 4 would say – location really is important.
Two enquires that we have had from potential RDPE Growth Programme applicants were found to be right on boundary of a ‘rural area’.
One of these on (very) detailed inspection unfortunately fell the ‘wrong side’ of the rural line and no flexibility is given by the Rural Payment Agency (RPA).
- EOIs will be looked at when they are submitted
A colleague had assumed initially that no response would be received for an ‘expression of interest’ (EOI) until after the closing date for receipt of EOIs had passed.
Fortunately, we double checked this presumption and I can report that RPA undertake to give feedback on an EOI within 30 days of receipt.
Further if invited to apply, applicants should, we understand get a response to a full application within 60 days of receipt by RPA.
A pleasantly speedy timetable (in the context of some EU programmes)… and an encouragement to submit EOI as soon as you are happy with them.
- Size is important: “Linked” businesses
Elements of this RDPE programme are targeted not only at a particular business location (i.e. rural), but also at particular business sizes (micro or small businesses), so it is maybe not surprising that a number of the queries I have been dealing with are to do with definitions of business size and specifically the impact of ‘linked businesses’.
As defined by the EU regulations, ‘small’ is having fewer than 50 employees and annual turnover or net balance sheet total lower than £8.5 million.
If you are ‘linked’ to other businesses, you will have to consider these other businesses in your size calculation. The term ‘linked’ is a complex area as the definition(s) extend beyond group companies to include ‘Enterprises’ exerting control and/ or influence over another entity. Enterprises can include self-employed people, family businesses, and partnerships or associations. We will be looking for a friendly solicitor to cover this area during our breakfast event (see further below).
Did I mention a breakfast…
The above and other areas will be covered at our forthcoming breakfast seminar, hosted by me and colleagues based out of our Truro office.
I am pleased to say that we will be joined by others in delivering the presentational element of this breakfast event, and one of these will be Tim Lane of Stephens Scown. Tim be touching on the perennial favourite State Aid as well as ‘linked’ businesses.
Even prior to announcing Tim’s appearance, we were looking to move location for the breakfast event due to booking numbers threatening to breach our Truro office boardroom capacity. On anticipation of a further surge in bookings, we have relocated the event to the Old Bakery Studios. (This venue is not far from the office and those who have booked already should get an email advising them of the change and related matters in the next couple of days).
If you have not booked on yet and would like more details and/ or wish to book a place please click here.
Grants to help potential applicants prepare EOI and/ or full application
And finally, a reminder that businesses in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly are potentially eligible for subsidy against professional costs of assistance with EOI and/ or full application from Access to Finance – Financial Readiness Grant.
Any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact me.
By Andrew James