Isle of Wight Expansion Fund Guidance for Applicants September 2014: (info):

Isle of Wight Expansion Fund
Guidance for Applicants
September 2014

Contents
1 Introduction…………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 1
1.1 Challenges for the Solent Economy ………………………………………………………………… 1
1.2 The Regional Growth Fund (RGF) ………………………………………………………………….. 1
1.3 Regional Growth Funding in the Solent……………………………………………………………. 1
1.4 The Marine, Maritime and Advanced Manufacturing Sectors ………………………………. 2
2 The Partners……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 3
3 The Fund ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 5
3.1 Private Sector Growth …………………………………………………………………………………… 5
3.2 Match Funding …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 5
3.3 Job creation/safeguarding ……………………………………………………………………………… 5
3.4 Activities which can be supported …………………………………………………………………… 5
3.5 Activities and Sectors which can NOT be supported………………………………………….. 5
3.6 When to Apply……………………………………………………………………………………………… 6
3.7 Legal ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 7
4 Eligibility Criteria ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 8
4.1 Geographical Eligibility ………………………………………………………………………………….. 8
4.2 Start-Up Businesses …………………………………………………………………………………….. 8
4.3 Creation and/or Safeguarding of Private Sector Jobs ………………………………………… 8
4.4 Bid Thresholds …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 8
4.5 Private Sector Contribution ……………………………………………………………………………. 8
4.6 State Aid …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 9
5 Evaluation of Bids………………………………………………………………………………………………. 13
5.1 Investment Panel for Applications …………………………………………………………………. 13
6 How to apply……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 16
6.1 Full Proposal ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 16
7 Account Management ………………………………………………………………………………………… 17
8 Activity Timetable ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 18
9 Contact Information ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 19
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1 Introduction
1.1 Challenges for the Solent Economy
Enterprise is a key driver of productivity and economic growth. Currently, business start-up rates in South Hampshire and the Isle of Wight fall well below regional and national benchmarks. The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) recognises that SME’s hold the key to a successful, private sector led, economic recovery in the Solent area. The need to encourage growth, commerce and manufacturing, as part of a private sector led recovery is at the centre of our plans. The Isle of Wight has all the characteristics of towns and cities in the north of England, in terms of public sector dependency, low levels of educational attainment and areas of multiple deprivation. In fact, on most measurable scales including unemployment, deprivation and business growth, they are well behind some of the areas in the North.
In addition to the enduring economic challenges faced across the Solent area, the Isle of Wight has a fragile economy. It is characterised by low wages, low GDP, high levels of seasonality in terms of employment and unemployment and an economy that is constrained by its geographic isolation. Notwithstanding the real economic need the Island has a strong, modern manufacturing base and there is real potential to catalyse the area through additional support and investment. Rebalancing the economy and reducing its reliance on seasonal activity linked to tourism and agricultural sectors in favour of investing in manufacturing which has deep and locally based supply chains sits at the heart of our approach.
1.2 The Regional Growth Fund (RGF)
The Regional Growth Fund (RGF) is a £3.2bn fund operating across England from 2011 to
2017. It supports projects and programmes that lever private sector investment creating economic growth and sustainable employment. It aims particularly to help those areas and communities currently dependent on the public sector to make the transition to sustainable private sector-led growth and prosperity. Funding is allocated according to a competitive bidding process with a strong focus on leveraging private sector investment and private sector job creation in the evaluation process.
1.3 Regional Growth Funding in the Solent
The Solent LEP has been successful in achieving RGF funding to provide support that can be accessed by businesses at a local level. These include, The Bridging the Gap Funds Phase 1 and 2, an Enterprise Zone Expansion Fund, and the Solent Futures programme which supports the BAE SME supply chain linked to shipbuilding at Portsmouth Naval Base. The Solent LEP is also leading the development of an Enterprise Zone on the former HMS Daedalus site to become an employment site for aerospace and advanced manufacturing industries.
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The Isle of Wight Expansion Fund is a further programme supported through the Regional Growth Fund, and has been established to support private sector enterprises to start up new activities, expand or diversify. This Fund has a total of £2.46 million available to businesses on the Isle of Wight.
1.4 The Marine, Maritime and Advanced Manufacturing Sectors
The marine sector is a key driver for future local economic growth for the Solent LEP and particularly the Isle of Wight. Across the area the sector is worth £3.6 billion supporting more than 48,000 jobs and over 3,000 businesses. Businesses and employment within this sector cover a wide range of activities from fisheries to port logistics, petro-chemical, boat-building to leisure activities and the cruise industry. Off-shore marine energy developments have the potential to really benefit the local economy with the proposed scheme for Navitus Bay Wind Park to the west and the Solent Ocean Energy Centre to the south of the Isle of Wight.
To support this continued growth there are several key development sites on the Island with-in the Medina valley including Venture Quays and Kingston Marine Park. More than 300 of the businesses within this sector are located on the Isle of Wight and the number of businesses has grown by over 20% in the 10 years to 2008.
In addition, the Aerospace sector supports over 1,600 employees across the area and seven out of the top ten aerospace businesses have a base in the South Hampshire and Isle of Wight area including GKN Aerospace, GE Aero-structures and Eaton. The 2009 BRES survey identified 100 business units in this sector within the area.
The Isle of Wight Expansion Fund will therefore principally be used to support businesses that operate in marine, maritime and advanced manufacturing sectors including those involved in composites engineering. Consideration will also be given to other key areas such as the Visitor Economy and Low Carbon sector
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2 The Partners
The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership
The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (Solent LEP) is a partnership organisation between the business community, the further and higher education sector, three unitary authorities, eight district councils and one county council, all of whom are actively working together to secure a more prosperous and sustainable future for the Solent area.
Transforming Solent is our Strategic Economic Plan. It sets out a plan for growth which will see us build on our strengths and plan towards a more ambitious future. We believe that this plan holds the key to successfully growing the Solent area in the period ahead, and will place us on a new growth trajectory. Transforming Solent recognises and builds on our current strengths, harnesses the drivers for growth and addresses the barriers, which if not addressed, could constrain growth.
Further information can be found at:
http://solentlep.org.uk/uploads/documents/Solent_Strategic_Economic_Plan.pdf
We have six strategic priorities:
 Supporting new businesses, enterprise and ensuring SME survival and growth.
 Enabling infrastructure priorities including land assets, transport and housing, reducing flood risk and improving access to superfast broadband.
 Establishing a single inward investment model to encourage companies to open new sites in the region, supported by effective marketing.
 Investing in skills to establish a sustainable pattern of growth, ensuring local residents are equipped to take up the jobs that are created and businesses can source local skills and labour to underpin growth.
 Developing strategic sectors and clusters (interconnected groups and businesses) of marine, aerospace and defence, advanced manufacturing, engineering, transport and logistics businesses, low carbon, digital and creative and the visitor economy – establishing
the area as a business gateway, at both local and international levels and developing local supply chains.
 Building on our substantial knowledge assets to support innovation and build innovative capacity in the Solent area to stimulate growth in Solent businesses and in new high
growth sectors, particularly linked to our HE excellence.
The funds outlined in this document fall within the Enterprise element of the Solent LEPs work. Further information on the Solent LEP and progress in other areas of work can be found at http://www.solentlep.org.uk
Isle of Wight Council
The unitary authority for the island is located in Newport, and provides a full range of local services across the island. The Isle of Wight Council’s vision is to see high quality public services provided cost effectively to the local taxpayer and in doing so, improve the quality of life enjoyed by all Island residents, now and in the future. It has developed a more strategic commissioning and enabling role, to ensure that the local authority provides strong overall
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community leadership and greater accountability for the delivery of services locally, through its democratic mandate.
Portsmouth City Council
Portsmouth City Council will act as the lead accountable body for the Marine Expansion Fund on behalf of the Solent LEP. All funding awards and associated contracts will be issued by the accountable body.
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3 The Fund
The Isle of Wight Expansion Fund (the Fund) has been established to support private sector enterprises to start up new activities, expand or diversify. This Fund has a total of £2.46 million available to businesses on the Isle of Wight. Funding is allocated through a competitive bidding process. Details of the Isle of Wight Expansion Fund are outlined below.
3.1 Private Sector Growth
Bidders to the Fund will be able to request support that will help to overcome barriers to growth within their business or facilitate business improvement, thereby creating or safeguarding jobs. Applicants will need to provide information about the full project or proposal for which they are bidding.
3.2 Match Funding
Businesses are expected to have already provided start up overheads and have existing working capital. A core aim of this fund is to lever private sector investment. Bidders to the Fund are therefore required to invest at least 80% of the capital requirement for the expansion project as a whole. The other 20% can be requested from the Fund, (subject to the proposal being compatible with EU State Aid regulations). Those bids that can demonstrate higher levels of private sector investment are likely to be favoured in the evaluation process.
3.3 Job creation/safeguarding
A further core aim of the Isle of Wight Expansion Fund is to enable the creation or safeguarding of private sector jobs across the island. Therefore, the proposal you are applying for support from the Fund will need to demonstrate that it either creates new, or safeguards existing jobs. For information purposes, the benchmark cost per job created across other LEP funds is an average of £10,000. However, those bids that can demonstrate a higher job creation or safeguarded ratio will be rated more favourably in the evaluation process.
3.4 Activities which can be supported
Please note that applications do not have to fit within a preferred set of activities. Funding may be sought for any purpose required to unlock business growth, thereby either creating or safeguarding jobs, as long as the funding contributes to an overall project which is eligible against the criteria in section 4 of this document.
Please note that the Fund is only open to businesses which are currently located and registered on the Isle of Wight, or will be located and registered on the Isle of Wight, by 31st March 2015. Any jobs created or safeguarded on the Isle of Wight must be sustained for at least a period of two years.
3.5 Activities and Sectors which can NOT be supported
Applications can only be made for new projects. As such, funding will not be provided to cover businesses existing working capital. For the purposes of the Expansion Fund, working capital is defined as the net of the business’s current assets and current liabilities. Current assets are short-term assets that are easily convertible into cash or ones that can be converted into cash
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within a year and examples include cash itself, debtors or receivables, inventory or stock, and raw materials used in production.
Please note that the following activities/sectors cannot be supported by the Isle of Wight
Expansion Fund:
 undertakings active in the fishery and aquaculture sectors;
 activity in the primary production of agricultural products;
 undertakings active in the processing and marketing of agricultural products when the amount of the aid is fixed on the basis of the price or quantity of such products
purchased from primary producers or put on the market by the undertakings concerned
or when the aid is conditional on being partly or entirely passed on to primary producers;
 aid to export-related activities towards third countries or Member States, namely aid directly linked to the quantities exported, to the establishment and operation of a distribution network or to other current expenditure linked to the export activity;
 aid contingent upon the use of domestic over imported goods;
 undertakings active in the coal sector;
 acquisition of road freight transport vehicles granted to undertakings performing road freight transport for hire or reward.
If you require any further information in relation to any of the above points please contact us using the contact information in section 9 of this document.
3.6 When to Apply
The Isle of Wight Expansion Fund is open for business all year round. The Investment Panel for this Fund (see section 5.1 for details) will meet regularly during the year to make its short listing and investment decisions.
Bidding rounds are set by the Investment Panel and applications received by the closing date published on the Solent LEP website will be considered. Any applications received after this time will be reviewed at the next available Panel meeting.
The Investment Panel will cease to meet as soon as all funding has been allocated. Therefore, applicants are advised to submit their applications at their earliest possible convenience in order to avoid disappointment.
Please note that the Isle of Wight Expansion Fund is designed to support as many businesses as possible. Therefore, individuals and organisations that are successful in securing support from the Fund will not be eligible for further support. Also, we can only deal with one application from each organisation or individual at any one time.
The process of securing funding from the Isle of Wight Expansion Fund has a single application form to be completed, (see section 6 for more information). The Panel will review applications and recommend for support those that most closely fit with its published investment criteria.
The Investment Panel will then make their recommendations to The Board of the Solent LEP, and the Board will make the final decision as to which proposals will receive support from the Isle of Wight Expansion Fund.
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3.7 Legal
If the EU or Government withdraws, varies or substantially amends the running of the Scheme or its financing then funds will not be available and neither the Solent LEP, nor Portsmouth City Council (acting as the Accountable Body for the scheme) will be liable for any costs associated with applications.
Please note that the Solent LEP and Portsmouth City Council accept no liability for any costs incurred in the submission of Expressions of Interest (EOI) or full Application Forms in relation to The Fund under any circumstances.
Please note that payments from The Fund can only be made to business accounts – not direct to the accounts of any individual. For the purpose of the Fund, SMEs are defined under the “SME” definition in Annex I of Commission Regulation (EC) No 800/2008651/2014 of 6 August
2008/17 June 2014 declaring certain categories of aid compatible with the common market in application of Articles 87 107 and 88 108 of the Treaty (the “General block exemption Regulation”). The category of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is made up of enterprises which employ fewer than 250 persons and which have an annual turnover not
exceeding 50 million euro, and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding 43 million euro.
– Extract of Article 2 of the Annex of Recommendation 2003/361/EC
The definitions of SMEs are summarised in the table below. In addition to the staff headcount ceiling, an enterprise qualifies as an SME if it meets either the turnover ceiling or the balance sheet ceiling, but not necessarily both.
Enterprise category
Headcount
Turnover
or
Balance sheet total
Medium-Sized
< 250
≤ € 50 million
≤ € 43 million
Small
< 50
≤ € 10 million
≤ € 10 million
Micro
< 10
≤ € 2 million
≤ € 2 million
Further information is available from the following web link:
http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/sme/files/sme_definition/sme_user_guide_en.pdf
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4 Eligibility Criteria
4.1 Geographical Eligibility
The Isle of Wight Expansion Fund supports proposals from established businesses based on or seeking to locate and operate from the Isle of Wight only.
4.2 Start-Up Businesses
If you are seeking to apply for funding to start up a new business, please refer to the Bridging the Gap Phase 2 fund, details of which can be found on the Solent LEP website (www.solentlep.org.uk).
4.3 Creation and/or Safeguarding of Private Sector Jobs
Bids will need to demonstrate the creation and/or safeguarding of sustainable private sector jobs. A minimum of one job is required to be created and/or safeguarded per successful bid. However, bids which demonstrate that they create and/or safeguard more than one job will be stronger. Safeguarding jobs relates to existing or current jobs within a business that will be continued and supported by a new business development. Jobs created and / or safeguarded would need to be retained for a minimum of 1 year after the project is completed.
Please note that, for new Start-Up applicants, the job created can be your own position as the self-employed director of the new business.
Applicants may also wish to note that the Investment Panel will look closely at the cost per job as part of their consideration of each application. In other funds the LEP supports, the average cost per job has been in the region of £10,000.
4.4 Bid Thresholds
Bids are invited seeking support of between £100,000 – £500,000.
If you are bidding on behalf of an existing business, the Investment Panel may consider bids above the £500,000 limit in exceptional circumstances where significant job creation and/or private sector investment can be leveraged. For state aid purposes, the amount requested from the Fund must constitute no more than 20% of the total project value.
Companies seeking funding awards lower than £100,000 should consider applying to our Bridging the Gap programme which is available on the Isle of Wight and focussed on smaller scale funding awards. Further information on the Bridging the Gap fund can be found at: http://www.solentlep.org.uk/regional_growth_fund
4.5 Private Sector Contribution
The amount sought from any of these funds must contribute to a project alongside private sector investment. Match funding leveraged in as private sector investment needs to demonstrate a real stake in the outcome of the project or programme. The expectation will be clear, demonstrable, leverage.
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Bidders to the Fund are required to be able to invest at least 80% of the overall capital requirement for the project. The remaining 20% can be requested from the Fund
Please note that the 80% private sector contribution outlined above is a minimum level to ensure your bid is eligible. Bids which demonstrate that they can leverage more private sector investment will be stronger.
Some contributions of services donated in-kind could qualify as private sector contribution. However, contributions in-kind, while legitimate, will need to prove additionality, i.e. that the in- kind contribution would not materialise without support from the Fund to the project or programme.
For state aid purposes, private sector leverage is defined by the eligible costs of the exemption under which you are applying (training, R&D or SME). For competitive purposes, this will be judged by the panel. For example, if two projects were in all other ways similar and one had a cash contribution and the other had a contribution labelled as labour and expertise and not monetized, the former would be favoured.
4.6 State Aid
This section summarises some key aspects of the regional aid rules which will be in force for aid awarded on or after 1 July 2014. For further information, please consult the guidelines which can be found on the UK Government website at
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/325465/bis-14-
943-state-aid-general-block-exemption-guidance.pdf
It is also important that you consult European Commission’s website at: http://eur-lex.europa.eu
Public funding from The RGF Fund will only be available where it is compatible with EU State aid regulations and applicants should be aware that their proposal will be scrutinised accordingly. Potential applicants should take account of this when considering the development of proposals.
The objective of regional aid is to promote the development of the less-favoured regions mainly by supporting initial investment, or in exceptional cases, by providing operating aid.
The Regional Growth fund is Aid that can be block exempted or awarded as part of a notified scheme and therefore the following considerations apply:
AID TO SMEs
Overview:
The Commission recognises the key role that SMEs play in the economy, but that they suffer from a number of market failures. SMEs often have difficulties in obtaining capital or loans, given the risk averse nature of certain financial markets and the limited collateral that they may be able to offer. Their limited resources may also restrict their access to information, notably regarding new technology and potential markets. To facilitate the development of the economic activities of SMEs, the Regulation therefore exempts certain categories of aid
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when they are granted in favour of SMEs. These include SME investment aid and SME
participation in fairs.
Aid that can be block exempted:
 Article 17 – Investment aid to SMEs – up to €7.5m
Aid can be provides for up to 20% for small enterprises and 10% for medium enterprises for the costs of investments in tangible and intangible assets and the estimated wage costs of employment directly caused by the investment over two years.
 Article 18 – Aid for consultancy in favour of SMEs – up to €2m
Aid can be provided for up to 50% for the costs of consultancy services provided by external consultants.
 Article 19 – Aid to SMEs for participation in fairs – up to €2m
Aid can be provided for up to 50% of the costs of renting/setting-up and running a stand at a fair or exhibition.
 Article 20 – Aid for co-operation costs incurred by SMEs in European Territorial
Cooperation projects – up to €2m
Aid can be provided for up to 50% of the costs for organisational cooperation including the cost of staff and offices to the extent that it is linked to the cooperation project; and costs of advisory and support services linked to cooperation and delivered by external consultants and service providers.
Aid for initial investment
For SMEs in all assisted areas and non-SMEs in 107(3)(a) areas, regional aid given for ‘Initial investment’ is block exempted.
Initial investment means capital spending relating to:
 the setting up of a new establishment;
 the extension of an existing establishment; or
 the starting up of an activity involving the production of products not previously produced in the establishment; or
 a fundamental change in the production process of an existing establishment; or
 Acquisition of assets belonging to an establishment which closed or would have closed had it not have been purchased.
Aid for initial investment in favour of new economic activities
For non-SMEs in 107(3)(c) areas For non-SMEs in 107(3)(c) areas (which in the Solent comprise Portsmouth Harbour (incorporating some wards in Gosport and Portsmouth and the
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Isle of Wight (incorporating some wards on the Isle of Wight)1 , the block exemption for regional
aid applies only to ‘Initial investment in favour of new economic activities’.
This is Investment in capital costs relating to:
 The setting up of a new establishment; or
 The diversification of the activity of an existing establishment into a new activity; or
 Acquisition of assets belonging to an establishment which closed or would have closed had it not have been purchased, provided that the assets are used for a new activity.
Rules for investment aid in all assisted areas:
 The investment / jobs created by the aid must be maintained in the region concerned for 5 years (3 years for SMEs) after the completion of the investment project.
 At least 25% of the financial contribution must come from sources free from public subsidy.
 The Company needs to provide written confirmation that they (at group level) have not made closures in that sector in the past two years and do not have concrete plans for closures within two years following the completion of the investment project.
Operating aid
Operating aid may only be granted without notification in sparsely populated areas (as accepted by the Commission on regional aid maps) to compensate for additional transportation costs of goods which have been produced in the area:
 The beneficiaries must have their production activities in the area
 The aid must be quantified in advance on the basis of a fixed sum or per ton/kilometre or other relevant unit
 The costs are calculated for the journey from point of origin to point of destination within the UK using the cheapest means of transport possible, taking into account environmental costs.
 100% of the eligible additional costs may be aided
Aid amount
Maximum Regional Aid Intensities The maximum percentage of the eligible costs which can be paid in a given area under the regional aid rules is known as the aid intensity.
Large
Enterprise
Medium enterprise
Small enterprise
Article 107(3)(a) region < 75% GDP
25%
35%
45%
Article 107(3)(c) region (pre- defined)
15%
25%
35%
1 An interactive map where you can search for Assisted Areas is found at http://www.ukassistedareasmap.com. Government’s response to the Stage 2 consultation remains available from: http://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/assisted-areas-map-2014-to-2020-stage-2.
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Large
Enterprise
Medium
enterprise
Small enterprise
Article 107(3)(c) region (not pre- defined)
10%
20%
30%
Large investment projects are subject to a sliding scale for maximum aid intensity. The maximum aid amount for a large investment project should be adjusted according to this formula:
R x (50 + 0.5 x B + 0.34 x C)
Where R is the maximum aid intensity for the area (excluding any increase in aid intensity available for SMEs); B is the part of the eligible costs between €50m and €100m and C is the part of the eligible costs exceeding €100m.
Large Investment projects are not eligible for increased aid intensity for SMEs.
Cumulation
Aid intensity ceilings specified in the tables above apply to total aid given.
 Regional aid to an undertaking (at group level) within a NUTS 3 area is added together over a three year period.
 If the cumulated amount of eligible costs is more than E100m, any further aid will be notifiable. Eligible costs over E50m will be subject to tapering.
 This also applies where assistance is granted under several regional aid schemes and whether the aid comes from local, regional, national or Community sources (except Community sources not directed by UK authorities).
 Where expenditure eligible for regional aid is eligible for aid for other purposes (e.g. R&D), it will be subject to the most favourable ceiling under the schemes in question.
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5 Evaluation of Bids
The Fund will be allocated on a competitive basis. Only the best bids will be successful. In line with the aims of the central RGF fund, the following key measures will be used to assess bids in relation to one another:
 Private sector job creation and/or safeguarding;
 Sustainability of private sector jobs created;
 Amount of private sector funding contributed.
Final decisions on the bids to be supported by the Fund will be made by the board of the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership and the Accountable body for the scheme, Portsmouth City Council. Short biographies of the Solent LEP board members are available at the following link: http://www.solentlep.org.uk/team
Full Applications will be evaluated by an Investment Panel established for the Fund. The Panel will make recommendations to the LEP board to inform their decision making process in respect of individual bids.
Please note that decisions taken by the Investment Panel in relation to which projects to recommend for support are final and there will be no right of appeal.
5.1 Investment Panel for Applications
The Investment Panel consists of the following individuals:
Councillor Shirley Smart – Cabinet Member for Tourism and Economy, Isle of Wight
Council (Investment Panel Chair)
Shirley Smart has served many years as a local councillor on the Isle of Wight, as a member of the former Medina Borough Council and as member of the Isle of Wight Council where she was chairman of the development control committee for five years and was the Leader of the Council from 2000 to 2005. Shirley is also a prominent and active member of Newport Parish Council and is keenly aware of the pressures facing business as the joint owner of a local retail enterprise.
Robin Freeman – Chief Executive, Isle of Wight County Press Group
Robin Freeman has significant experience in the printing and publishing industry both on the mainland and the Island. He began his career at Waterman Press Ltd where, after studying for an MA in Management Studies at the then Thames Polytechnic he achieved the position of Deputy Works Director before joining the Isle of Wight County Press as General Manager in
1981. He has been the Isle of Wight County Press Group Chief Executive in since 1993.
Robin is a non-executive director of Crossprint Ltd, a commercial printing company in Newport, Isle of Wight and of Baylis Media Ltd, newspaper and online publishers in Maidenhead and Slough. He is a Council member of the Newspaper Society and a Member Weekly Independent Newspaper Association. Robin is also involved with local community work and projects as a member of the Isle of Wight Community Fund committee and an advocate with the Isle of Wight Advocacy Trust.
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John Metcalfe – Deputy Director Economy and Environment, Isle of Wight Council
John Metcalfe has over 25 years’ experience in Local Government the mostly in senior management positions. He has worked for the Isle of Wight Council since 1997 having relocated from his native County Durham. John has extensive recent experience of working to support the Island’s visitor economy which is characterised by a large number of SMEs; in
2008 this role was expanded to include economic development across all business sectors. As part of his responsibilities for the Council’s property portfolio John has led on the successful outsourcing of leisure pools, theatres and community buildings delivering investment into the facilities and securing their long term availability to the community.
Anne-Marie Mountifield – Chief Executive, Solent LEP (Solent LEP Board Member)
Anne-Marie Mountifield is the Chief Executive of the Solent LEP. She has been providing lead executive support to the Solent LEP, including support for the Board, which came together in May 2011, the development of economic strategy for the Solent area and on the development of a range of funding schemes and programmes including the Growing Places Fund, the Regional Growth Fund and the Enterprise Zone Skills Fund.
Previously she was the Executive Director of the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire (PUSH), which is a partnership of ten local authorities including unitary authorities of Portsmouth and Southampton; Hampshire County Council and the district authorities of Eastleigh, East Hampshire, Fareham, Gosport, Havant, Test Valley and Winchester. She held this position since February 2010, having previously worked as a Partnership Director in the Learning and Skills Council, leading on capital and infrastructure and employment and skills.
Kevin Smith – Chief Executive, Isle of Wight Chamber Group
Kevin is Chief Executive of the Isle of Wight Chamber Group which has a membership of over
1000 Island Businesses and includes the Isle of Wight Education Business Partnership, Isle of Wight Lottery, Healthy Business Partnership, Cowes Marine Cluster and International Trade. Kevin plays an active role both within the South East of England and British Chambers of Commerce network.
Kevin is also Chief Executive of Young Chamber UK and founder of the Young Chamber of Commerce concept providing a direct connection with school children aged 11 – 19 with the world of work. Young Chamber supports the requirements of the national curriculum relating to work-related learning.
He has worked throughout the UK and his background includes extensive Senior Management experience within the retail industry as well as working for a Training & Enterprise Council, an Economic Partnership and latterly since 2001 as Chief Executive of the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce Group. Kevin holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management Studies, a Master of Science Degree in Training from the University of Leicester and is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.
Geoff Underwood – Managing Director, Inflight Peripherals
Geoff is founder and MD of IFPL, an electronics company that designs and manufactures equipment for Inflight Entertainment Systems. Born on Isle of Wight, he was apprenticed to Plessey Radar, and then studied Mechanical Engineering at Portsmouth Polytechnic. Geoff has
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worked in the UK and USA on Military Avionics and Missile Systems, until taking the role of Chief Mechanical Engineer at GEC Marconi Inflight Systems, Portsmouth in 1993. When GEC Marconi pulled-out from the market in 1997 Geoff established IFPL as a design consultancy, working from home. The company, currently based in Calbourne, began manufacturing its own products in c.2000 and since then has seen year on year growth. IFPL currently employs 43 people.
Geoff is Vice President of Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce and is Chairman of the Isle of Wight Technology Group. IFPL is proud to have recently been awarded The Queen’s Award for Enterprise for the second time. Outside of IFPL, Geoff is co-owner of The Wightlink Raiders Ice Hockey team, based in Ryde.
Chris Ward – Chief Financial Officer, Portsmouth City Council
Chris Ward is Portsmouth City Council’s statutory Chief Financial Officer. He has a duty to secure the proper administration of the Council’s financial affairs in all of its dealings as well as holding a fiduciary responsibility to local taxpayers and a duty to act in the public interest at all times. Chris is responsible for the Council’s overall financial strategy and for overseeing the Council’s £700m budget. He has worked for the Council for 15 years, rising to his current position in September 2011. Before this, Chris spent 10 years with responsibility for Corporate Finance, Accountancy, Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable and throughout that period has been involved in, or been the financial lead, in almost every major project of the City Council. He is also a Director of MMD Limited, a fruit importing business which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the City Council.
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6 How to apply
There is a two stage application process for all Bridging the Gap Funds. This is outlined below. However it is strongly recommended that, before submitting an Expression of Interest form, you ensure that your proposed bid is eligible for the relevant fund against the criteria included in section 4 of this document.
6.1 Expression of Interest (EOI)
This stage is not mandatory, but is strongly recommended by the Solent LEP in order to help ensure that your project is eligible for consideration.
This form can be found online at the following link: http://solentlep.org.uk/regional_growth_fund
The Expression of Interest form will require you to provide an executive summary of your proposed bid. The information you provide in stage 1 will be used to identify bids that do not meet the eligibility criteria or are for projects that are highly unlikely to be supported.
Once completed, you will need to submit your Expression of Interest form electronically to rgf@solentlep.org.uk. Solent LEP will be in touch within five working days to book you a feedback slot with the LEP team at our next available briefing event. The meeting itself will focus on the eligibility and viability of your project and request for funding, based on the information provided in this form. Should you be invited to make a full application, you can use the information on this form as the basis of your full application.
Applicants seeking wider business / financial advice on their proposal are advised that support may be available through the Solent Growth hub at: http://www.solentgrowthhub.co.uk/.
Applicants are advised to contact the hub directly for further information.
6.2 Full Proposal
After ensuring that your proposed bid is eligible, you should submit an application form. This form is available online: http://www.solentlep.org.uk/downloads. The application form will require you to provide the full details about your proposed bid. The information you provide will be used to determine whether your bid is eligible for consideration and the business case will be assessed by the Investment Panel. Once you have completed the form, you will need to submit it electronically to:
iowexpansion@solentlep.org.uk
There will be published closing dates for the submission of applications, and applicants should note that the Investment Panel will cease to meet when all funding is allocated and so it is recommended that bids are submitted as early as possible.
Please note that, if absolutely necessary, the Solent LEP can accept hard copy submissions at both EOI and full bid stage. These can be sent to Solent LEP Office, Ground Floor, 1000
Lakeside, Western Road, Portsmouth, PO6 3EZ. Please note that the Investment Panel will not be obliged to consider applications received after the relevant deadline for a meeting and delays in receiving applications due to the postal service will not be taken into consideration.
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7 Account Management
Successful applicants will be made a conditional offer of funding once a proposal has been recommended for Marine Expansion Fund support by the Investment Panel and endorsed by the Solent LEP Board and Portsmouth City Council.
In addition, each successful applicant will then be allocated a designated LEP account manager, who will act as a single point of contact for any Fund or LEP related enquiries. The account manager will then ensure that due diligence is completed on the bid before applicants are provided with final notification that their bid has been successful.
Successful applicants will be required to provide progress updates to their account manager via a monitoring spread sheet tool on a quarterly basis.
Payment of support will be made quarterly to an agreed funding profile. Up to 85 % of any grant awarded to successful applicants can be claimed and paid on a quarterly basis. This claim must be accompanied by a monitoring report. The monitoring report will ask beneficiaries to give a short description of progress made on activities that the grant is supporting and progress against agreed outputs. At least once a year, all claims by a beneficiary must be verified by a qualified accountant independent of the beneficiary business, the project and its promoters.
For all successful applicants, the final 15% of their grant will be withheld and be payable on the production of a final report and an independent accountants report.
All grants must be drawn down in full by 31st March 2015.
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8 Activity Timetable
Activity Timeframe / Deadline
Fund re launch
5 August 2014
Deadline for submission of Full Applications
As published on Solent LEP Website. Please note that for the next round one, the deadline is 19th September2014
Outcome of Full Application notified to applicants
Within 5 working days of next available Investment Panel meeting. For the round closing on 19 September the panel are scheduled to meet week commencing 20
October 2014.
Recommendations made to main Solent LEP Board for approval
Next available Solent LEP Board meeting. For the round closing on 19 September this will be
21 November 2014
Contracting between beneficiary and the
Accountable Body
November 2014 – March2015,
Progress reports to be made on a quarterly basis until the final report deadline
Quarterly
Final claim deadline and deadline for submission of final report and independent accountants report
31st March 2015
(Please note that the Solent LEP will be under no obligation to make payment against claims received after this date)
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9 Contact Information
Should you have any general enquiries on any of the information included in this document, please contact the Solent LEP team using the below contact information:
In writing:
Solent LEP
Ground Floor, Building 1000
Lakeside North Harbour
Western Road Portsmouth PO6 3EZ
By email: info@solentlep.org.uk
By telephone: 02392 688924
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