Coast to Capital based businesses who are established and trading are able to apply. The business will need to have a proven sales track record but also have to demonstrate the potential to grow further with further investment.
Most sectors are eligible apart from the retail sector where the growth grant would potentially disadvantage a competitor.
In exceptional cases applications from earlier stage businesses with significant funding and potential will be considered but receiving panel approval will be more challenging for the applicant.
Also in exceptional circumstances projects providing social or environmental benefit, and meeting the requirements of the Coast to Capital Strategic Economic Plan will be considered. The case for this type of proposal will need to be compelling to receive panel approval.
Need for the funding
The need for the grant is required to be justified. The grant will either bridge a funding gap, bring forward a project or enable the project to be undertaken to required quality standards.
Applicants must have explored all other realistic funding options including their existing bank and other sources.
Applicants will be required to submit evidence that they have not been able to secure funding from their existing bank to cover the full costs of the project.
Types of Project that can be funded
The Coast to Capital Growth Grants are only provided towards capital cost items. The maximum percentage given is 40% of the project spend. Pease note that the company’s project costs can include capital and revenue items.
Software development projects may be able to be counted as capital.
Scale of Grants
Grants of between £40,000 and £170,000 (subject to de minimus State Aid rules) can be applied for.
Under the de minimus rules, public sector funding received over the last three years needs to be deducted from the maximum £170,000 funding that can be applied for.
Grants of up to £500,000 can be applied for under the general block exemption regulation - https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/31681/12-746-introduction-general-block-exemption-regulation.pdf
Grant applicants need to obtain written professional legal advice that confirms that general block exemption regulation applies
Project costs must not include recoverable VAT
Types of project that can be supported
The projects supported must directly increase productivity of the business measured in terms of turnover per employee.
The project needs to be able to be funded in the short term – as the grant is paid in arrears on completion of the project following monitoring and the return of claim documentation.
Applicants are invited to discuss their project with a Coast to Capital Account Manager.
It is strongly recommended that the applicant business considers undertaking a Growth Mapper Diagnostic which is fully funded by Coast to Capital at an early stage of the process.
The Growth Mapper Diagnostic is a structured review where your Account Manager is able to work with your senior team to identify key operational areas to address in order to realise your growth ambitions. Following the review the Growth Hub team may be able to fund one day of a specialist’s time to address a key area identified.
Following a discussion with an Account Manager the applicant will be invited to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) form. The EOI form will be considered for technical fit against the grant eligibility criteria. If approved, the applicant will be invited to submit a full application.
The full application needs to include an up to date and relevant business plan and projected and historic financial information. Fully funded help is available from Coast to Capital to assist with the business planning, financial projections and application form. The engaged financial specialists will be able to provide guidance in all areas and provide feedback in respect of your draft documentation.
Following receipt of the full application, Coast to Capital will commission a due diligence report from an approved provider of its choice. The due diligence reports will include a review of the business owners ability to fund the project without the need for public sector funding.
Following an internal Coast to Capital and accountable body review, the full grant applications grants are considered for approval by an independent panel of finance and business professionals. The panel takes into account the application, business plan, the diagnostic review, financial forecasts and due diligence report. The client is invited to present its project to the panel and answer questions the panellists may have.