The Manufacturing Growth Programme grant is available to Hertfordshire SME manufacturers to assist with the cost of bringing in external expertise to help the business. The programme website is http://www.manufacturinggrowthprogramme.co.uk/about-the-programme/. Projects can cover a wide range of business development activities, so please see the Projects in Scope document also attached for an idea – though bear in mind that this list is not exhaustive and Amanda Freeland would be happy to advise on the eligibility of other types of project (contact details are below).
The programme grant covers 30% of the cost of a project; typical project costs are between £2500 and £5000, and a typical grant is approximately £1000 to £1500. The minimum project size is currently £2000 and the maximum is £6000, but these limits can change from time to time, so please check with Amanda when considering a project.
Projects can last up to 3 months - Economic Growth Solutions (EGS) don’t get involved in setting the overall schedule for the project, but the grant must be claimed within 4 months of receiving the grant offer letter. Grant offers are made very quickly, usually within a week, and grant claims are paid promptly at the end of the month in which the grant claim is sent to EGS. When the grant is offered, the client must use the provider named in the offer letter, and must pay their invoices through the bank account of the business entity named in the offer letter.
Clients are welcome to use any provider they choose, and there is no Approved Register – the choice of specialist is up to the client and only one quotation is needed. ESG can help find suitable external experts, if the client doesn’t already have one in mind, to help with the strategy, planning and project work. The final choice about which specialist to use is entirely up to the client.
The grant doesn’t cover “business as usual” services such as general accountancy or outsourced IT support, but a one-off project could be supported with a grant. There is no cost to the SME manufacturer, nor to the provider of expertise, for using this service – it is paid for from European Regional Development funding.
The Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) criteria to be met by the business are:
- Under 250 staff
- Under €50 million turnover
- Under €43 million balance sheet assets value
- Not owning, nor owned, more than 25% of/by a larger company that would take the overall size of the group over the above 3 criteria limits
- Not having received more than €200,000 in State Aid (other public/grant funding) in the previous three years
- A manufacturer (which their Companies House listing can usually clarify).
If the above criteria are met, it is a simple process to apply and there are no lengthy forms to complete. The Manufacturing Growth Manager (Amanda Freeland for Hertfordshire) will need to visit the premises with the relevant paperwork (which she will prepare) to be signed by a Director of the company. ESG then complete the remaining paperwork, get confirmation by email from the provider about their quotation, and the grant offer will be confirmed in writing within just a few days. Claims are also paid promptly at the end of the project. Please see the process flowchart attached to this news article.
For more information contact Amanda Freeland, 07973 946529 or email [email protected] and she'll be happy to help.