RDPE Growth Programme takes centre stage at breakfast briefing on grant funding - PKF Francis Clark
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RDPE Growth Programme takes centre stage at breakfast briefing on grant funding

This week, I hosted my 12th breakfast briefing of the year.  This one was on the topic of grant funding and specifically the recently launched round 3 of the RDPE Growth Programme.

The presentations

Speaking to a crowd of around 40 business people, I gave an overview of the RDPE Growth Programme and then shared my (the team’s) top tips for making a grant application.  I was joined on the stage by Tim Lane of Stephens Scown who likewise did two slots – one on legal issues he is often asked to consider in the context of EU funding and the second on ensuring, as far as one can, that issues that may derail a business project post a successful grant application are considered up front.

Copies of the event slides can be found at link.

The event also heard from David Rodda MBE, who picked up on a few points made by Andrew and Tim and gave additional detail – some of the detail having been gleaned from attendance at Rural Payments Agency (RPA) workshop the previous day – see further below.

Event takeaways

My main takeaways from this morning’s event:

  • There is a great deal of interest in the scheme (judging both my the number of businesses in attendance and the engagement of those businesses in the question and answer and networking sessions)
  • Do not wait until 16 February 2020 to submit your Expression of Interest (EOI). EOIs will be assessed as they come in (and a response given within 30 working days)
  • There is a scoring matrix used by RPA so for example:
    • A project which creates no jobs may obtain funding if very strong on other aspects (e.g., business growth, export etc.)
    • Emphasis is on creating high value jobs (salaries above £19k per annum for Cornwall & Isles of Scilly)
  • There is a pot of funding of £5m ring fenced for Cornwall and Isles of Scilly (National pot is c £32m)

RPA workshop

The RPA workshop roadshow carries on into 2020 with the next (and possibly last) one in Cornwall on 6 January 2020.  I shall be booking myself onto this one and expect to see a few of you there… More details and to book a place please see link.

(I note there a couple of RPA workshops in Exeter which I shall be bringing to the attention of my colleagues based in Devon and Somerset).

I have been forwarded copies of the slides from a recent RPA workshop.  If anyone is interested in receiving these, please email me.

What next?

I am dealing with a few provisional enquiries following the event and anticipate more of this work coming my way over the next few weeks.  I would encourage any business interested in reading more to have a look at my blog as a starting point and then, if you feel you have a project that fits with the schemes criteria, doing some more background reading by looking at the relevant handbook.

If at any time during the process you would like to speak to someone about a potential project, there are RPA contact details in the handbooks or of course you can contact me.

Breakfast events and thank you

I am working on a schedule of breakfast events for 2020 and will share the details in due course.  The first one of 2020 may be on another grant scheme we hear is to (re) launched…

Before I sign off, I would like to thank my colleagues Brian, Dave, Linda and Devon for making this event happen and making it run as smoothly as it did.  Also, a big thank you to Cath (Old Bakery Studios) and Michael (the Kitchen) for housing us today – as we needed to find a bigger venue than our boardroom to accommodate the level of interest in the event/ subject matter.  Thank you to all.

One final thing – I believe that we have had over 250 attendees at our breakfast briefings this year.  Thank you to all who have attended.

By Andrew James

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