Growing Business Fund
Terms of Reference
To ensure the allocation of funding to the Growing Business Fund programme is delivered
appropriately and in accordance with the Assurance Framework through the mechanism of the
Growing Business Fund and that the funding allocation supports the delivery of the Economic
Strategy through individual projects.
Consider applications requesting financial support from the Growing Business Fund and
reach an agreed decision to support or reject each application.
Provide support to applicants and partners to ensure that a quality standard of application
and subsequently project is achieved.
Support New Anglia LEP and the New Anglia Growth Hub and in the promotion and
publicity of the Growing Business Fund to improve and sustain the flow of quality
applications for funding.
Approve grants to individual applicants with values between £25k and £500k in accordance
with delegated decision making powers from the New Anglia LEP Investment Appraisal
Committee (IAC).
Approve financial interventions in accordance with guidance on State Aid for SMEs.
Consider applications in line with Growing Business Fund criteria and in accordance with
the New Anglia LEP Economic Strategy.
Approve contract variation to funding agreements after initial approval by the committee
only where necessary.
Membership and Appointment
The committee will comprise a minimum of seven voting members. All voting members will be from
the private sector including the independent Chair. At least two member of the panel will be private
sector LEP board members of which one is a member of the LEP’s Investment Appraisal Committee.
They will act as LEP board champions for the GBF programme. Each Panel Member will be expected
to sign a Declaration, in confirmation of their appointment to the Panel and acceptance of these
Terms of Reference. Substitute attendees are not permitted at GBF panel meetings.
Two panel members will take the roles of Chair and Deputy Chair of the Panel. The full Panel will
elect them on an annual basis, at its April meeting.
Membership of the Panel is undertaken on a voluntary basis and is for a period of twelve months,
renewable at the discretion of New Anglia LEP and confirmed at the March Panel meeting, unless a
Member’s appointment is terminated.
A Panel Member may terminate membership of the panel by giving at least three months’ notice in
writing to New Anglia. New Anglia may terminate the Panel Membership of any Member if they do
not act at all times in accordance with these Terms of Reference. Panel Membership will be
terminated if the GBF programme comes to an end.
Four members of the panel should be in attendance and in agreement for a decision to be made.
Those unable to attend can send electronic comments in advance by emailing the coordinator and
the chairman and these will be considered.
Budget Setting
The Investment Appraisal Committee will set the annual budget for the Growing Business Fund for
each forthcoming financial year and will agree any variance to the budget during the delivery year
should this be necessary.
Attendance of non-members at meetings
Officers from the LEP Executive will attend meetings and present reports but will not be entitled to
vote. Project applicants will not normally be entitled to attend meetings. Other attendees at the
meeting will include at least 1 representative of SCC (the accountable and delivery body) and at
least 1 representative of Finance East (the independent appraisers). In addition, 1 representative
from each of NCC and SCC’s Economic Development teams may attend to provide local knowledge
and context to the discussion. On occasion, a single representative from the Growth Hub may attend.
No-one other than the private sector voting members will have a vote on any of the applications.
The Growing Business Fund uses independent appraisers to conduct the due diligence on each
applicant to the programme. Adviser contracts will be compulsorily reviewed every 3 to 5 years.
Meeting Frequency
Panel meetings will be held monthly, with dates, times and locations determined at least three
months in advance. Meetings will be located evenly between venues in Norfolk and Suffolk, usually
Ipswich and Norwich and arranged and coordinated by New Anglia LEP.
Panel Members will be expected to attend at least eight meetings a year. Any apologies should be
advised at least one week before meetings are held. Panel Members unable to attend a meeting
may submit their comments by email in advance, with any further relevant comments on each grant
application to be considered at that meeting. In some instances it may be deemed more efficient to
ask the whole panel to provide their vote by email, particularly if there is only one application to
consider. This will be ratified at the next actual meeting.
Decision making process
Panel Members should not enter into any discussion on applications prior to a meeting, other than
to clarify matters of detail in relation to those applications. Opinions on the eligibility or quality of
applications should be reserved for Panel meetings. Questions on matters of detail should be
submitted to Finance East, who will respond to all interested parties to ensure consistency of
Declarations of Interest
If a Panel Member has a personal or professional pecuniary or non-pecuniary interest in any
organisation or project to be considered by the Panel, they should declare that interest at the
beginning of the meeting and leave the meeting before any discussion on that item commences. The
Panel Member will have no right to vote on that particular application.
In addition all panel members must complete the standard LEP register of interests form twice a year
and is responsible for ensuring this form is kept up to date. The form is published on the LEP website.
Delegated Authority including limits
The Panel will have a delegated responsibility from the Investment Appraisal Committee for financial
decisions up to £500k.
Authority is also delegated, through the GBF panel, to the ERDF funded Small Grant Scheme. The
SGS, an on-line panel will report decisions made to the GBF panel. The maximum award size under
SGS will be £25k.
Reporting procedures
The minutes of GBF meetings will be taken by a member of the New Anglia staff team and circulated
to all members of the LEP Board and will be published on the LEP website.
The minutes will not contain commercially sensitive information but will include the applicant name
and the amount awarded.
The GBF panel will also provide information on decisions taken for the IAC.
The minutes will include a record of decisions made by the Small Grant Scheme, which has
delegated financial approval from the Investment Appraisal Committee through the Growing
Business Fund panel. Minutes will be published ten days after meetings in accordance with LEP
governance arrangements. In accordance with new General Data Protection Regulations, panel
members will delete all emails relating to projects after meetings and destroy all papers.
Decisions taken by the GBF Panel and Small Grants Panel will also be included in the LEP’s Register
of Decisions which is published on the LEP website.
Meeting agendas will be circulated 5 working days before each meeting in accordance with LEP
governance arrangements. Agendas will include all appropriate papers required to support any
decisions to be made. Additional papers may be circulated by email between meetings as necessary.
Decisions will be communicated to applicants in advance of minutes being published.
The membership of Growing Business Fund panel will be reviewed annually. The Panel shall review
its own performance and terms of reference annually to ensure it is operating at maximum
effectiveness and recommend any changes it considers necessary to the LEP Board for approval.
Updated 13th March 2019 yet to be approved by LEP board
Updated: 27th February 2018 (Approved by LEP Chairman)
Approved by LEP Board: 21st February 2018 (Subject to amendments delegated to LEP Chairman)
Last updated 04 April 2019