Growing Business Fund Grant Panel Meeting Minutes (Confirmed)
Wednesday, 02 September 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 Ltd
C-J Green (C-JG)
Jason Middleton (JM)
New Anglia LEP
Rose Joy (RJ)
New Anglia LEP
Barry Henson (BH)
Suffolk County Council
Amanda Castell (AC)
Stuart Ager (SA)
Neil Sargent (NS)
Actions outstanding | Updates from the meeting: Wednesday, 03 June 2020
Welcome and Introductions
MB welcomed members and roll call made for attendance purposes. Meeting quorate.
Not present on telecon call
Chris Dashper, New Anglia LEP; Roberta Willner, Norfolk County Council and Vimmi Hayes, Suffolk
Julie West, New Anglia LEP; and Jackie Potter, Micropress Limited
Declarations of Interest and GDPR
Declarations of Interest
- No Declarations of Interest declared.
Meeting Minutes: Panel Meeting held on Wednesday, 08 July 2020
- BH provided update.
- work has now started on the project, following increased grant award.
Pecksniffs Bespoke Fragrances & Cosmetics Ltd
- no further developments.
New Application for Approval (3)
Polar Systems Limited - Agreed to support
- £127,741 awarded under
Eleven full-time positions, two of which will be apprentice positions.
Query raised on whether the grant should be awarded under the temporary State Aid
rate or the standard
rate. General discussion took place.
business to be informed, in writing, that they have now reached their
€200,000 State Aid limit and that they will not be eligible for any further funding.
depending on the timescale of the project, if there is the suggestion of
a long lead time, then it would be advisable to steer the business towards paying a
significant deposit (say 20%) against the item to enable them to claim the grant.
(2) CTR Secure Services Limited - Agreed to support subject to PEP check.
Approved grant - £160,000
Eight full-time positions to be created.
Company within an Assisted Area - 20%
Query raised whether a Politically Exposed Person (PEP) check has been carried out on
the Directors and Shareholders in view of the nature of the business. General discussion
NS to carry out a PEP check prior to confirming grant award.
Query raised of the possible risk of cash flow problems if the common build on the split plot
with another business does not go ahead. NS to ascertain from the business what
contingency plans they have should the other build not take place and/or be completed.
- NS to seek assurance from the business that there will be no
significant risk to the project should the other build not take place and that the project will
be able to proceed prior to confirming grant award.
(3) Slic Sheet Metal Fabrications Limited - Agreed to support
Approved grant - £31,185
Three full-time positions to be created, one of which will be an apprentice position.
BH confirmed previous BR&RGS grant is complete.
It was noted the business is currently seeing a major uplift in sales due to the hand
sanitiser unit, and query raised over sustainability and over trading going forward, post
Covid-19 work. AC reassured the Panel that the business was realistically only taking on
work that they can achieve. General discussion took place.
Small Grant Scheme (SGS) / Growth Through Innovation (GTI) Updates
Small Grant Scheme
JM provided update.
The Panel noted the award of:
eight Small Grant Scheme grants in the month of June 2020, totalling £84,591 (Grants Awarded)
and £405,038 (Total Project Cost), the award of - see Annexe 1.
three Small Grant Scheme grants in the month of July 2020, totalling £12,182 (Grants awarded)
and £60,910 (Total Project cost) - see Annexe 1
two Small Grant Scheme grants in the month of August 2020, totalling £8,143 (Grants Awarded)
and £40,715 (Total Project Cost) - see Annexe 1.
Have seen a significant drop, both in terms of applications and in the number of claims coming forward.
Overall SGS has been impacted by Covid-19 because larger grant projects are now going through the
BR&R scheme as the business can get a higher intervention rate. This is understandable.
It is anticipated that there will be some SGS coming forward (one is currently going through Due
Diligence), but throughput will be significantly lower. Mindful that there will be a need to do a promotional
push to encourage more SGS applications as need the match funding to support Growth Hub/Start Up
provision which could potentially cause a financial issue if not resolved.
Query raised on the lifetime of the BR&R scheme. Noted that as nearly half of the BR&R funds are
already committed, the anticipation is that the scheme will probably run out of funding soon which will
negate the impact on SGS.
Growth Through Innovation (GTI) -
JM provided update.
The Panel noted the award of:
five GTI grants in the month of June 2020, totalling £95,591 (Grants Awarded) - see Annexe 2
five GTI grants in the month of July 2020, totalling £97,401 (Grants awarded) - see Annexe 2
eight GTI grants in the month of August 2020, totalling £94,841 (Grants Awarded) - see Annexe 2.
Seeing an increase in applications coming through and is on course to meet Programme commitment,
however the projects coming forward are longer projects than envisaged so this will mean the
Programme will be behind in spend profile. GTI is doing well.
GTI case studies
- no case studies done yet, as none have been paid. Will look to develop case studies
in due course.
Funding, Updates and Jobs Creation
Small Grant Scheme
The overall Programme total is now 302 grants paid, total paid out is £2.82m, with another 36 approved
but unclaimed grants totalling £346k. Due to withdrawals and some claims being lower than expected,
the amount of uncommitted funds has increased to £295k.
Growing Business Fund
Only a further £10k has been paid out, making £724k for the year to date. With today’s approvals,
commitments now stand at £1.06m which still leaves £1m left in the pot. There is quite a bit in the GBF
pipeline, so we need to prioritise the projects in the pipeline that can spend and claim before the 31
March 2021 deadline.
Growth Through Innovation Fund
No claims due yet, with the first due at the end of September.
Business Resilience & Recovery Grant Scheme
Since first grant approval on 07 May, there have been 63 grants awarded, totalling £2.4m, of which 50
have had an up-front first stage payment. There are another six applications with the Panel for
consideration, totalling £250k, and so far with those initial upfront payments have paid out £944k. Have
four final claims which is another £86k, so in total have paid out just over £1m and allocated nearly £2.5m
of the £7m pot. If the scheme continues at its current run rate run, it will not last beyond January/February
next year in terms of funding.
Acknowledged there are some ‘grey areas’ in the criteria as to what is ‘growth’ and ‘diversification’, so
one or two projects have been rejected and or re-directed to SGS or GTI as a more appropriate fit. All
the projects are looked at critically by the LEP and in some cases are not necessarily getting the full 50%
but the overall wish is to support as many businesses as possible, therefore the affordability criteria is
put into place when making the decision.
Noted that SCC team are struggling to keep up with the demand created by the BR&R scheme which is
on top of the other projects that also need to be claimed and paid.
Only another two more confirmed since the last meeting. Total for GBF and ‘old’ SGS is now 2,355. SGS
figure remains unchanged from last meeting of 138.5 and looks to stay this way for the foreseeable
future. This is not surprising given the current climate and SCC have made a ‘semi-conscious’ decision
to park job creation for the time being and will look at undertaking an exercise in the New Year to pick up
more jobs at that stage. BH outlined job criteria and general discussion took place on job creation under
the current climate.
BR&R and jobs saved by intervention - looking to conduct a one-off evaluation of BR&R scheme towards
the end of the Programme to ascertain whether business saved any jobs, created any jobs, and overall
GBF Applications ‘Pipeline’
There are three applications being prepared at present for submission to the GBF Panel on 07 October,
which if approved, will make a big dent in the unallocated funds.
It was noted that due diligence for the BR&R scheme is now with Finance East who will have to look
carefully at priorities to ensure GBF projects are dealt with as the main priority.
PR and Marketing
Launched two new schemes, the Visitor Economy Grant (VEG) and Wider Economy Grant (WEG) which
are bolt-ons to the Business Growth Programme and linked to SGS. Details can be found on the LEP
website. Grants will be £1k - £3k with no match funding for businesses impacted by Covid-19. Approx.
195 grants in total. Have had 160 enquiries so far and the LEP newsletter only went out last week to the
promote the scheme.
LEP Comms team are sending out on a regular basis Covid newsletter using the CRM database of
businesses who have signed up (approx. 10,000 on the distribution list) which gives a high penetration
rate of businesses across Norfolk and Suffolk. The newsletter gives information on the various schemes
available and by tailoring content we can influence take up.
Will continue to use newsletters and social media to promote and push schemes out in order of priority.
Any Other Business
The meeting closed at 11.25am
Next Meeting via conference call on Microsoft Teams
Wednesday, 07 October 2020 |10.00am - 12.30pm
New Anglia Small Grant Scheme projects approved in June 2020
CMI Print Services Ltd
Smart Offices Ltd
Total Site Services
Spa Pavilion Ltd
Brief Media Ltd.
Rob Sambrook Photography
New Anglia Small Grant Scheme projects approved in July 2020
Norfolk Bluebell Wood Ltd
Tosier Chocolate Ltd (2)
Newmans Cleaning Services Ltd
New Anglia Small Grant Scheme projects approved in August 2020
Gutter Force Ltd (2)
Jake Austin Window Cleaning Services
Growth Through Innovation (GTI) Fund
Grant Approvals April 2020 to date
Offshore Digital Engineering Ltd
MBASO Ltd t/as Supapass
Spark EV Technology
Showbiz Software Ltd
Developing Experts Ltd
Siametric Systems Ltd
Purple Line Ltd
G-Lok Systems Ltd
Coracle Online Ltd
James White Drinks Ltd
Captain Fawcett Ltd
Ensemble Architecture Limited
Evans (Instruments) Limited
RATS Marine Limited
Just Another Label Ltd
Total GTI scheme