Growing Business Fund Grant Panel Meeting Minutes (Confirmed)
Wednesday, 04 November 2020 | 10.00am - 12.30pm
Held via conference call on Microsoft Teams
Present - Panel:
Mike Burrows (MB)
Martin Ince (MI)
Martin Ince Communications
Jackie Potter (JP)
Dominic Keen (DK)
Daryl Griffiths (DG)
Burnett Barker Solicitors
Kathy Atkinson (KA)
Kettle Foods Ltd
Julie West (JW)
New Anglia LEP
Jason Middleton (JM)
New Anglia LEP
Rose Joy (RJ)
New Anglia LEP
Barry Henson (BH)
Suffolk County Council
Stuart Ager (SA)
Neil Sargent (NS)
Welcome and Introductions
MB welcomed members to the meeting. Meeting quorate.
Not present on telecon call
Amanda Castell, Finance East; Dr Sumathi Sundram, S&V Consultants Ltd and
Paul Stewart, Center Parcs
Not present on the call:
Chris Dashper, New Anglia LEP; Vimmi Hayes, Suffolk County Council and
Roberta Willner, Norfolk County Council
Declarations of Interest and GDPR
Declarations of Interest
- No Declarations of Interest declared.
Meeting Minutes: Panel Meeting held on Wednesday, 07 October 2020
BH provided update on the specific recommendations for last month’s two approvals.
AKS Skip Hire Services Limited
- Recommendation for SCC to cross-check payroll lists to ensure no
overlap between the two companies has been accepted by the Company.
- Recommendation that spend should be recorded in the name of Amultra Limited on
balance sheet fixed assets has been agreed. SCC has included these points in the Offer Letter.
New Applications for Approval (3)
Olympic Construction Limited
Agreed to support
Two full-time positions to be created.
NS gave background information on the grant submission. BH confirmed status of current
Business Resilience and Recovery (BR&R) grant awarded. This being for a single item
purchase, a straightforward claim, and SCC anticipate signing this off, subject to the
paperwork being in order, this week. Noted that this is an independent project and does
not cut across the proposed GBF grant application.
Noted that the BR&R intervention rate has changed from 50% to 40%. General discussion
took place on the project.
Wrightform Limited - Agreed to support
Approved grant -
Three full-time positions to be created.
General discussion took place on the financial analysis. Noted the business is being
‘cautious’ and this is reflected in the figures.
Noted have only got an agreement in principle for the CBIL Asset Finance.
: SCC to request confirmation of CBIL Asset Finance in Offer Letter.
Wrightform Limited to be regarded as a Medium sized business not Small.
NS clarified that both companies (Wrightform Limited and the sister company,
Wrightfield Limited) operate out of, and alongside of each other, in the same premises and
whilst there is some inter-company trading between them, there is a clear demarcation for
the two companies within the building.
Pink Office Limited - Agreed to support
Four full-time positions to be created.
Noted Pink Office Limited’s project is the ‘other half’ to CTR Secure Services Limited’s
project, who had a grant approved two months ago.
NS had received assurance from Pink Office Limited that once the land purchase goes
through it is immediately split so that both companies will have their own Deeds and that
the build costs will be invoiced separately so the grant payment can be made against the
Query raised on the dividend policy and general discussion took place.
Noted the business responded to the demand for PPE and diversified successfully to
introduce a new service to their core business which remains their primary market.
Small Grant Scheme (SGS) / Growth Through Innovation (GTI) Updates
Small Grant Scheme
JW provided update. The Panel noted the award of:
• Twelve Small Grant Scheme grants in the month of October 2020, totalling £79,717 (Grants
Awarded) and £398,000 (Total Project Cost) - see Annexe 1.
Growth Through Innovation (GTI) -
JW provided update. The Panel noted the award of:
• three GTI grants in the month of October 2020, totalling £50,255 (Grant Awarded) and £105,462
(Total Project Cost) - see Annexe 2
Business Resilience & Recovery (BR&R) Consultancy
- JW provided update. Have had six go
through and the scheme is now beginning to take off.
JM reported that there had been a slowing down of SGS applications coming through and in Claims
payments; however, talking to Alan Herbert and the Growth Hub team on Monday, it appears there is
renewed interest in the SGS and are expecting a few larger SGS applications to come through over the
next month, which will probably take a substantial chunk out of the remaining funds.
GTI is still slow, partly because businesses are seeing that it is easier to access funding through the other
schemes, and are going down that route first, but as the scheme has almost another two years to allocate
the GTI funds, the LEP is not worried at this stage.
Funding, Updates and Jobs Creation
Growing Business Fund
Yesterday, SCC paid out Polar Systems Limited grant of £127,741, thus giving a total so far paid out of
£967k, and with today’s three approvals, commitments now stand at £1.124m. Having added the extra
£1m to GBF, as mentioned at the last meeting, this leaves £1.7m still available; albeit £1m can be rolled
into the next financial year, therefore, there is still plenty of money available for GBF applications.
Noted the government line for defrayal is 31 March 2021 but that said, in recent years there has been the
ability to roll monies over, provided it is committed and legally contracted; therefore GBF needs to get the
£700k at least committed before end of March 2021, if not actually paid out
Small Grant Scheme
There have been six more pay outs since the last Panel meeting, so overall Programme total is now 311
grants paid, total paid out is £2.88m, with another 46 committed, but not yet claimed, totaling £404k,
leaving £173k in the pot. JM referred to some larger grants potentially coming through so therefore the
£173k is only seven grants at the full £25k, but at the historic average (£9k) is more like 18 grants so still
some scope for SGS albeit the money is running down now. It has been slow in terms of Claims and the
average approval recently has not been high, however, SGS is on target and due to finish November next
Growth Through Innovation Fund (GTI)
Three more approvals, giving a total of 23 approvals to date, totaling £376k and now have the first Claim
in. SCC hope to make the first payment on the GTI scheme this month.
Business Resilience & Recovery Grant Scheme
In terms of volume, this scheme continues to move forward very quickly. So far there have been 95
grants awarded, totaling £3.7m, with the first £3.5m tranche of money fully committed and have now
started on the second tranche (£2.6m). Of the 95 grants, 83 have had up-front first stage payment, and
18 have been signed off and their final Claims paid. Since the first approval under the scheme on 07 May
have paid out £1.9m in total. Noted that Claims are now coming in at a fast rate.
Query raised as to publicity of this LEP scheme. BH reported SCC is doing their best to ensure that there
is publicity being gained from each of the awarded grants under the BR&R scheme by holding back on
the final payment until some form of publicity evidence has been seen i.e. item(s) on company websites,
on social media, Twitter, Facebook etc. In some cases, with approval, the business has done their own
newspaper article, or other publicity as well. Noted the LEP will do proper case studies in due course.
- SA gave formal thanks to NS, AC and their work colleague Francis Kenealy, for the
huge amount of work and effort gone into handling the BR&R applications and so far have dealt with 44
applications since the beginning of September, with another 7-8 in the pipeline; this work is on top of the
GBF work. Appreciation given by the Panel.
BR&R intervention rate
- the criteria for BR&R has been slightly revised and the intervention rate is
now 40% instead of 50% although the BR&R Panel do have the discretion, in individual cases, to change
the intervention rate, if justified. Also intended that there will be more focus on diversification and an
emphasis on the impact of Covid-19 on these grants as we go forward to committing the second part of
- jobs are still being created even under the current climate as GBF and SGS remain
growth grants. Ten jobs have been confirmed since the last meeting for GBF and ‘old’ SGS and another
4.5 for SGS so totals respectively are 2,379 and 145.5.
GBF Applications ‘Pipeline’
General discussion took place on pipeline with the GBF programme due to finish on 31 March 2021.
Noted JW has started a pipeline for next year 2021/22 in the anticipation of monies being carried over.
- there is £1.3m of projects in progress with the Growth Hub Advisers and £1.9m
sitting with Finance east
- Finance East have eight potential applications being prepared for submission to
the GBF Panel on Wednesday, 02 December 2020 although being realistic only five may go forward.
PR and Marketing
JW provided update. LEP continues to promote, chasing up case studies and if there are any case
studies will send through to panel for information. Noted there is a lot going on with all the different LEP
Query raised on Growth Hub capacity. Noted the Growth Hub Advisers are extremely busy with the work
created by all the LEP schemes, as well as the ongoing business support, and going forward issues
arising from lockdown. It is a challenging time.
Any Other Business
Assisted Area status
- JW reported that this comes to an end on 31 December, so GBF Panel may see
one application next month within an Assisted Area. Growth Hub Advisers have taken Assisted Area
status out of the equation and the enhanced rate of grant is no longer available; this has made a
difference but going forward the Panel noted that it will not be able to entertain Large businesses only
Medium and Small. BH provided further information on Assisted Area Status. General discussion took
place on viability of holding short MS Teams call, to approve and ratify a grant application, prior to end
date if justified.
GBF Panel Dates
- JW will put three dates (January to March) in the diary for next year and as in
previous years, will put two tentative dates in for January - 06 January and 13 January 2021.
Update on Growth Hub
- JM reported that he has an MS Teams meeting every afternoon with Richard
Glinn, Growth Hub Manager, to keep a close watch on numbers; as well as doing a CRM run every week
on the different types of enquiries, to look at peaks and troughs. Holding a special meeting with the
Norfolk and Suffolk Economic Development Officers to look at wider capacity, working with delivery
partners MENTA and Nwes and the Local authorities. Attention drawn to the Business Support Script
produced by the LEP which outlines all the business support available. In addition to this script, there is
now an EU Exit script.
As part of the meeting tomorrow JM will explore the possibility of automating the referral process. JM
outlined current process. Now looking at the process of developing an electronic referral system so that
the relevant Local Authority rings the client. This is about customer service and the need to provide the
best possible service to clients.
As previously mentioned, the Growth Hub are massively stretched. The Growth Hub team currently have
88 grants they are supporting in the development stage: with a further 130 grants in the pipeline in
progress. The Growth Hub are on top of the work and coping but only just.
The meeting closed at 10.55am.
Next Meeting via conference call on Microsoft Teams
Wednesday, 02 December 2020 |10.00am - 12.30pm
New Anglia Small Grant Scheme projects
Approved October 2020
1 Kiezebrink UK Ltd (3)
2 TGA Trading Ltd (2)
3 A&T Optimus Ltd
4 Bacons Firewood
5 Banqueting Hire Service Ltd
6 Gammax Independent Inspection Services Ltd
7 Smart Bookkeeping & Accounts Ltd
8 JHW Business Services Ltd
9 Felgains Ltd
10 STC Solutions Ltd
11 Cubiqdesign Ltd
12 Norfolk Coffee Co
Total - October 2020
New Anglia Growth Through Innovation Scheme projects
Approved in October 2020
1 Merxin Ltd
2 Exo Environmental Ltd
3 Blue Novation Ltd
Total - October 2020