Growing Business Fund Grant Panel Meeting Minutes (Confirmed)
Wednesday, 02 December 2020 | 10.00am - 12.30pm
Held via conference call on Microsoft Teams
Present - Panel:
Mike Burrows (MB)
Martin Ince (MI)
Martin Ince Communications
Paul Stewart (PS)
Dominic Keen (DK)
Daryl Griffiths (DG)
Burnett Barker Solicitors
Dr Sumathi Sundram (SS)
S&V Consultants Limited
Kathy Atkinson (KA)
Kettle Foods Limited
Julie West (JW)
New Anglia LEP
Jason Middleton (JM)
New Anglia LEP
Rose Joy (RJ)
New Anglia LEP
Barry Henson (BH)
Suffolk County Council
Amanda Castell (AC)
Neil Sargent (NS)
Welcome and Introductions
MB welcomed members to the meeting. Meeting quorate.
Not present on telecon call
Stuart Ager, Finance East, and Jackie Potter, Micropress Limited
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
- KA pointed out a potential conflict with Lifeline 24 Limited based on company
proximity to Kettle Foods Limited.
Meeting Minutes: Panel Meeting held on Wednesday, 04 November 2020
Meeting notes approved.
Project updates -
BH provided update on the following:
Olympic construction Limited
- with reference to the previous BR&R grant, BH confirmed that
this grant has now been paid and closed. This was an independent project and the new GBF
project is going ahead.
Pink office Limited
- this project is indirectly linked to the CTR Secure Services Limited project,
who had a grant approved in September 2020. BH confirmed notification had been received that
the land purchase for the two projects should take place in January 2021 which should enable
SCC to pay both grants in due course.
GBF Panel Dates
- the Panel noted the tentative dates for January 2021 are now the 13 January
and 20 January. JW to confirm which date in due course. Dates for February and March 2021
have been sent.
New Applications for Approval (5)
Lifeline 24 Ltd - Agreed to support
£476,450 - GBER
33 new jobs created
AC provided background to the grant application and general discussion took place. The Panel
noted the money for the development of the new premises, and purchase of additional equipment,
will be made available when a sister company repays an intercompany loan next year in April
2021 and that assurance had been given to this effect by the company.
The Panel acknowledged that there is market demand for this service and noted the company is
having to expand as a result of the increase in sales, the majority of which is from the public
sector, and not reliant on contract.
Projected annual salaries for the proposed new jobs queried. AC outlined company progression
pay scheme and reassurance given.
Brisko Scaffolding Ltd - Agreed to support
£200,000 - GBER
18 jobs to be created
NS provided background to the grant application. The Panel noted that Brisko Scaffolding Limited
have been the recipient of a previous GBF award, which has been successfully completed, and is
also the recipient of a CBIL loan.
Assessed as a Medium sized business but NS pointed out that if connected companies are taken
account of, through shareholder ownership, then the business becomes a Large sized business.
Panel discussed the overall size of the company and it was agreed that it should be regarded as a
Large company in an Assisted Area.
Assisted Area status
- BH pointed out that the Assisted Area status comes to an end on 31
December this year and the impact of this on the grant application. For the rules to apply, as they
stand, it would mean an extremely tight spend timescale for the company as they would need to
claim the £200k by the 15 December latest, to enable SCC payment prior to 31 December. On
reviewing the expenditure list, the site works are not expected to go ahead until January 2021
therefore the only expenditure that might be achievable is placing a deposit for the purchase of
vehicles, depending on lead time
The Panel discussed options as a way forward to progress the grant application. Panel agreed to
approve the grant application but conscious of the need to manage client expectation.
NS to communicate process around spend timescale.
HF Bond Limited
Agreed to support
£80,000 - GBER
Four jobs to be created.
AC provided background to the grant. Agreed this was a straightforward grant application with
good capital expenditure
Rossdales LLP - Agreed to support
£37,885 - GBER
Three jobs to be created.
NS provided background to the grant application. The Panel noted this is a high-profile business in
the local area, providing an important service that is committed to growth.
A further application was considered and declined by the Panel.
Small Grant Scheme (SGS) | Growth Through Innovation (GTI) Updates
Small Grant scheme
- JM provided update. Although SGS had slowed down last month, the scheme has
picked up considerably, and now about to commit all the money in the SGS grant scheme; an email has
gone out to this effect to the Growth Hub to manage client expectations. JM reported that there may be
over-commitment on the scheme due to some slippage, but this is being carefully monitored.
The Panel noted the award of 12 grants in the month of October 2020, totalling £79,717 (Grants
Awarded) and £ 398,600 (Total Project Cost) - see Annexe 1.
JW to circulate the November stats when available.
Growth Through Innovation (GTI) -
JM 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.
he scheme has slowed up but in terms of pipeline there is one currently going through Due
Diligence and three applications are with the Growth Hub totalling circa £90k.
Business Resilience & Recovery (BR&R) Consultancy
- JM provided update.
Scheme still going well
and as of Monday, 30 November, have approved 105 grants, totalling £4m, which leaves less than £2m
in the pot. This is proving to be a very successful scheme.
Visitor Economy Grant/Wider Economy Grant
schemes (VEG/WEG) - JM provided update. These two
small grant schemes sit under the Small Grant Scheme and, like BR&R, are a response to Covid-19 and
designed by Government (grants between £1-3k). As of Monday, 30 November have approved 90
projects within those two schemes, totalling £250k, which leaves £70k left. The scheme runs to the end
of February so going to do another push over the next few weeks to spend the remaining money. The
grants are going quickly.
Funding, Updates and Jobs Creation
Growing Business Fund
- BH provided update. In November/December have paid out £484k so that
has made good progress with payments. Total paid out is £1.322m, and with today’s approvals, another
£1.559m approved, leaves us with just under £900k still to be allocated which actually means in practice,
that all of this year’s original allocation of £2.79m has either been paid out, or committed, and we have
just ‘dipped’ about £100k into the additional £1m that the LEP provisionally allocated. On this basis, there
is a good chance of committing all the monies by 31 March 2021. There are a couple of claims currently
in progress to pay out this month, so the figures will increase further by Xmas.
Small Grant Scheme
- BH provided update. There have been two more pay outs since the last Panel
meeting, so overall Programme total is now 313 grants paid, total paid out is £2.9m, with another 48
committed, but not yet claimed, totaling £440k; leaving £122k in the pot but there are a couple of grant
applications with the Panel of approx. £40k so with the others in the pipeline the SGS monies is almost
gone. BH reiterated the scheme may slightly over commit but as mentioned earlier there may be some
underclaim(s) or withdrawal(s) which will have the effect of putting monies back in the pot.
Growth Through Innovation Fund (GTI)
- BH provided update. Have made the first three payments on
this scheme since the last Panel meeting, so money is now starting to go out, with another 22 grants,
totalling £358k: so, some progress on the GTIF
Business Resilience & Recovery Grant Scheme - BH provided update.
105 grants have been
approved, totalling just over £4m, leaving just over £2m still available. Out of the 105 grants, 29 projects
have been completed and closed, so there is still a lot of activity in terms of claims and SCC have quite a
number to get through by the end of December to meet the State Aid regulations when the Assisted Area
status comes to an end on 31 December so pretty hectic at SCC
- jobs are still being created so since the last Panel, another five jobs have been confirmed
for GBF and ‘old’ SGS and another two for SGS, so totals stand at 2384 and 147.5, respectively.
GBF Applications ‘Pipeline’
- Finance East have five potential cases to bring to the Panel in January 2021.
General discussion took place on a grant application that was deemed urgent in view of the nature of the
business in the Covid-19 supply chain. The Panel agreed to holding a one-off Extraordinary Panel
meeting on Wednesday, 17 December 2020 to accommodate this grant application submission.
General discussion took place on the pipeline. The Panel noted JW to meet with Chris Dashper, Head of
Programmes, this afternoon to discuss the GBF pipeline going forward.
PR and Marketing
JM provided update. Still continuing to prioritise and promote grants where there are funds available i.e.
Business Resilience & Recovery, Visitor Economy Grant/Wider Economy Grant, and growth Through
Innovation Fund. In terms of the VEG/WEG grants, the scheme was closed for new applicants because
there was a large pipeline, however, some of the these businesses have not come forward with their
application and now had over two months to apply so as the scheme is on ‘ a first come, first served’
basis, as of today the scheme has been re-opened on the LEP website and will be promoted through the
local tourism teams, the Economic Development Officers and other partners; the promotion will be done
in a controlled way so that client expectation is managed. The Panel noted that all the money must be
spent and claimed by the end of February 2021.
Comment made that the landscape for support is currently quite complicated and confusing with all the
grants and schemes on offer and query made how the message was being sent out to SMEs in the
- JM reported that the Business Script, outlining all the different schemes, produced by
the LEP Comms Team, is produced weekly and goes out to the LEP, Growth Hub, Local Authorities, and
all business support partners. The Business Script includes all the Local authority discretionary grants
and schemes run by the Business Rates team and this information is constantly being updated. In
addition to the standard Business Script there also an EU Exit version; the content of which is increasing
in size. Expecting to receive a script from Government within the next two weeks outlining EU exit
guidance which will be incorporated.
Observation made that we should anticipate a deluge of enquiries in January from businesses on EU Exit
queries. Noted that the message from Government is that if you import/export or do business with the EU
your business will be affected, but if there is a No Deal Exit from the EU it will not matter which country
you are trading with, the business will be impacted because of EU Trade Agreements.
EU Exit support
- JM reported that in the process of obtaining some monies from BEIS to pro-actively
contact businesses, as well as get specialist support and advice, for businesses.
JM reported that, overall, we are all coping well, with the LEP, Growth Hub and Local Authorities all
working together, to provide a coherent and consistent message across to all partners.
Any Other Business
The meeting closed at 11.38.
Extraordinary Meeting via conference call on Microsoft Teams
Wednesday, 17 December 2021 |3.00pm - 4.00pm
New Anglia Small Grant Scheme projects
Approved in October 2020
October projects 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
October projects 2020
1 Merxin Ltd
2 Exo Environmental Ltd
3 Blue Novation Ltd
Total - October 2020