GRANT FUNDING FOR BUSINESS GROWTH 2016-2020
The team at Granted Consultancy have analysed the impact of the 2016 Autumn Statement on businesses in the UK, specifically with regard to grant funding for business growth. In the lead up to the Autumn Statement there was speculation about the Local Growth Fund, what “industrial strategy” actually means for funding and whether there would be new grant funding for business announced. We have done our research so read on if you are a business owner/director/advisor to find out about business growth grant funding opportunities to 2021.
£1.8bn Local Growth Fund in 2017/18
Speculation over the Local Growth Fund and the role of LEP’s in allocating business growth funding in the regions was answered with a commitment of £1.8bn of grant funding in 2017/18. This represents a reduction of £200m (10%) in grant funding allocating in 2015/16 but does back the approach of the Local Growth Fund based on LEP priorities. We have extrapolated the regional allocation of funds based on 2015/16 figures and the figures announced in the Autumn Statement and produced the following table to give you an idea of funding amounts in your region. (Figures are given in £m)
At this stage it is unclear whether this £1.8bn is only available in 2017/18 or indeed if there will be future rounds of the Local Growth Fund.
Regional Growth Fund or Local Growth Fund?
The Local Growth Fund has spent £7.3bn to date and this new allocation of funding will bring the total to £9.1bn by the end of 2018. A March 2016 report by the Comptroller and Auditor General indicated the total investment of grant funding through Local Growth Fund will reach £12bn by 2020/21.
In the same period of time the Coalition’s Regional Growth Fund invested £3.2bn in business growth grants. The priorities and requirements of both funds are broadly similar and for an in-depth analysis of how business growth funding was allocated from 2010 – 2015 see our Grant Report (LINK).
What does it mean for my business?
It appears that the Conservatives under Theresa May and Philip Hammond are committed to the continued use of Government funds to support business growth through the allocation of grant funding. It is highly likely applications will need to be made through LEP’s for funding amounts ranging from £50k to £5m. Grant funding will need to be matched with private sector investment in accordance with State Aid Laws (between 10 – 50% grant funding per project). Funding is likely to be awarded for capital items and training costs. If you are interested to understand the likelihood of securing grant funding for your business, you can download our grant report that sets out the profile of success grant applicants.
Check our website regularly for updates on the new rounds of the Local Growth Fund, sign up to our grant alert service and get in touch with your LEP.