Growing Business Fund Grant Panel Meeting Minutes (Confirmed)
Wednesday, 13 January 2021 | 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)
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
Stuart Ager (SA)
Amanda Castell (AC)
Neil Sargent (NS)
Welcome and Introductions
MB welcomed members to the meeting. Meeting quorate.
Not present on telecon call
Chris Dashper, New Anglia LEP
Not present on the call:
Roberta Willner, Norfolk County Council
Declarations of Interest and GDPR
Meeting Minutes: Panel Meeting held on Wednesday, 02 December 2020
Meeting notes approved, subject to minor amendment.
New Applications for Approval (3)
Supersips Limited - Agreed to support
£197,587 - GBER
19 new jobs to be created.
NS provided background information to the grant application and general discussion took place.
Panel raised queries on several aspects of the grant application. Options discussed as to the way
forward to progress the grant application. Panel agreed to approve the application, subject to the
a) planning permission change of use to be confirmed in writing
(b) have sight of a firm offer on the robotics machinery
The Panel agreed that a grant Offer could be issued, but that the grant should not be paid until
these two Conditions were fully met.
The Panel noted that if the company wished to go ahead and purchase the premises, then that
purchase will be for the company to do so, at their own risk.
NS to communicate Panel decision to company and manage client
The Panel noted the Fire Report submitted with the grant application was within date but due to
expire in April 2021.
: Company to send copy of the new updated Fire Report in due course,
DAB Civil Engineering Limited - Agreed to support
£98,295 - GBER
Eight full time jobs, one part time job and four apprentices to be created.
AC provided background information to the grant application and general discussion took place.
Panel discussed company funding and the need for the grant
The Panel agreed to support the
application but at 10% intervention, rather than 20%, as requested in the application.
A further application was discussed, but deferred to the next Panel meeting, pending
receipt of further information.
Application for ratification (1)
Application deferred to next Panel meeting, pending receipt of further information.
Small Grant Scheme (SGS) | Growth Through Innovation (GTI) Updates
Small Grant scheme
- JM provided update.
The Panel noted the award of five grants in the month of December 2020, totalling £52,607 (Grants
Awarded) and £263,047 (Total Project Cost) - see Annexe 1.
SGS is nearly fully committed and spent. 0f the £3.45m have defrayed £2.94m, which leaves approx.
£71k left in the pot. There is £56k with the due diligence stage, with a further £40k in the pipeline; the
combined total of which is more than is left in the scheme. If all the grants that have been approved are
claimed, we will have met our private sector match funding for SGS. Currently talking with MHCLG about
trying to get additional funding, post-November, and if successful, we will then have more monies for the
SGS. Noted will not wait until November to start spending on the additional funds and will proceed as
soon as possible.
Growth Through Innovation Fund (GTIF) -
JM provided update.
The Panel noted the award of three GTI grants in the month of December 2020, totalling £60,186 (Grant
Awarded) and £133,748 (Total Project Cost) - see Annexe 2.
Of the £2m, we have committed £356k, and have defrayed £102k, which leaves £1.5m unallocated. In
terms of the profile, JM acknowledged GTIF is behind in profile because of the late start and will be
submitting a Project Change Request (PCR) to MHCLG in a couple of months’ time when we know what
the full impact of the pandemic and EU Exit is on this scheme. Do not anticipate a problem with the GTIF
other than it will spend later in the programme with increased pressure towards the end as the throughput
of grants will be greater.
Panel noted the Business Growth Programme, Suffolk County Council and Growth Hub teams, have all
been working ‘flat out’ dealing with all the current grant schemes.
Funding, Updates and Jobs Creation
State Aid regulations
- BH provided update. Currently we are waiting for government to issue new State
Aid regulations. BH made observation that in the Trade Agreement there is a section about subsidies
generally, with inference that the De Minimus cap may go up, possibly doubled approx., but this is not in
the documentation, so as yet we do not know what the regulations will look like. Currently there is no
State Aid regulations. It is anticipated that this will not affect SGS and GTIF as they are European funded
so it is anticipated the same regulations will continue for these two programmes. With regards to the
BR&R this will need to be looked at as it is all De Minimus; this will need looking at carefully when the
new the new regulations are issued. We will also need to look at GBF too.
Currently not sure if the UK government will continue with the same business size definitions, therefore
as we stand, there is no GBER, and no official De Minimus cap and therefore SCC cannot put detail in
any Offer Letters. Panel noted that it is important that Finance East and the Growth Hub Advisers go back
to companies/potential new applicants and make clear that everything is subject to the content of the
regulations as and when they are issued.
Informally, anticipate that the regulations will not be tighter. Guidance promised by Government by the
end of last week/beginning of this, but as yet, nothing has been published.
- SCC up to date with only one outstanding Offer Letter for a BR&R grant, which was
recently approved plus the Offer Letter s for todays approved applications.
Growing Business Fund (GBF) -
BH provided update.
Was a bumper month for pay outs in December and paid out £943k in total, which included Briskow
Scaffolding Limited, which makes a total of £2.2m in this financial year thus far and a much better position
than we have been in previous years at this point in time. If one application, anticipated for completion
this month, goes through then a further £476k will be paid out, which will mean we are close to having
paid out all the original allocation of £2.79m by the end of January. This will be a very good position from
the LEPs perspective and a anything else paid out between then and end of March will come out of the
additional £1m allocated.
In summary, if consider what has already been paid out, previously committed but not yet paid out and
allowing for today’s spend, we are at £3.87m altogether, which takes us approx. £80k into next year’s
allocation. Financially GBF is in very good shape.
Small Grant Scheme
(SGS) - BH provided update.
There have been three more pay outs since the last Panel meeting, so overall Programme total is 316
grants paid. Total paid out is £2.94m, with another 50 grants committed, but not yet claimed, totalling
£446k, leaving £71k left in the pot.
Growth Through Innovation Fund (GTIF)
- BH provided update.
Have made seven payments to date, totalling £102k, with another 22 grants committed totalling £356k so
total allocated is £458k. GTIF beginning to pick up anow and now not far short of £500k.
Business Resilience & Recovery (BR&R)
- BH provided update.
113 grants have been approved, totalling £4.36m, leaving £1.75m uncommitted currently. Out of the 113
grants, 41 have been completed and closed so far, with 15 claims in progress, and another 24 claims due
this month. Really hectic from SCC point of view
Job creation -
SGS remains unchanged 147.5 but have logged a further 13 jobs for GBF and ‘old’ SGS
bringing total to 2397.
Further general discussion took place on possible De Minimus increase. Noted the LEP would still be
able to set percentage intervention rates on a local basis.
- GBF have been allocated a further £2.5m. JM reported LEP proposing to
change the upper limit from £500k to £250k going forward. £25k will remain the minimum. This reduction
in the upper cap limit is to ensure monies go to as far as possible to spread the money a bit further. GH
will be briefed accordingly so that they can manage client expectations accordingly.
GBF Due Diligence
- Panel noted the need to re-tender for GBF Due Diligence as the three -years is
now up. The procurement process will start in the next couple of weeks.
GBF Applications ‘Pipeline’
- Finance East have no potential cases to bring to the Panel.
JW confirmed applicants had been put on hold by GH Advisers until additional money for GBF had been
confirmed so the GH advisers will now progress these.
PR and Marketing
JM provided update.
Ongoing and continuing to promote the fact that there is business support available. Current Priority is
support around the pandemic and the end of EU Exit transition period which businesses need to be
thinking about. Not much has happened around this yet in terms of number of enquiries but gathering
evidence and anticipate EU exit will create issues with supply chains going forward.
To help support businesses with EU Exit have appointed a company called V4 Services to deliver a
programme Brexit for Business. V4 Services have been delivering similar programme in Cambridgeshire
for several months. Propose to pro-actively contact 10,000 businesses in our patch, starting with
manufacturing, companies to establish if they are EU Exit ready and hoping to get a report on numbers
soon. The contract is to run from Monday this week to end of March 2021.and will use this programme to
share and feed intel into gov, partners etc. Going forward we will fit the grant programmes and support
round this activity.
Any Other Business
The meeting closed at 11.50am.
Meeting via conference call on Microsoft Teams
Wednesday, 03 February 2021 | 10.00am - 12.30pm
New Anglia Small Grant Scheme projects
Approved in December 2020
New Anglia Growth Through Innovation Scheme projects
Approved in December 2020