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Berkshire Business Growth Hub

http://www.berkshirebusinesshub.co.uk/

The place to start for information and advice on growing your business. Strategic support and training for ambitious enterprises, delivered by experienced advisors to help you scale up, access finance for growth and find new ways of working. Businesses can access a wealth of information, advice and useful links through the Growth Hub website and receive regular updates on news and events. Businesses can search for funding available, both locally and nationally, and if you're an ambitious high growth business, you can complete a client application form to receive the help you need to reach the next level.  

ConnectTVT

Raising the profile of tech innovators and accelerating the growth of digital businesses in the Thames Valley by lobbying, promoting and connecting start-ups, investors, employers, educators and mentors connecttvt.co.uk

 

European Structural and Investment Funds

The 2014 to 2020 European Structural and Investment Funds GrowthProgramme was launched at the end of March 2015. Thames Valley Berkshire LEP has an advisory role to the government on how these funds are invested and we have identified key objectives:

  • accelerate the development of the first Science Park in Thames Valley Berkshire
  • support a low carbon economy
  • protect our environment and promote resource efficiency
  • promote employment and support labour mobility
  • increase significantly the supply of people with STEM skills
  • promote social inclusion via the European Social Fund
National Funding

The Business Support Helpline offers advice and guidance to new and existing businesses. It has information on national and local schemes, grants and loans to help businesses start and grow.
Telephone: 0300 456 3565
enquiries@businesssupporthelpline.org
Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm

LEP Funding

There are two main sources of funding that Thames Valley Berkshire LEP has control over:

Local Growth Funds (LGF)

The LEP has thus far secured £107m of LGF through the submission of a Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) for Thames Valley Berkshire; this led to two ‘Growth Deals’, which stipulate those capital projects the £107m will fund over a six-year profile. In May 2015, a series of forward planning workshops identified a pipeline of projects that will contribute to the delivery of the SEP. This led to a Growth Deal proposal being submitted to government in July 2016. The guiding principles that determine which projects qualify for submission as part of Growth Deal negotiations are set out in the LEP’s Assurance Framework and summarised here:  

Strategic impact – is there a clearly evidenced rationale for the investment and how the scheme contributes to the Strategic Economic Plan?

Value for money – do the benefits exceed the costs; why is public money needed?

Deliverability – have any risks been appropriately considered; is the proposal feasible?

A third Growth Deal for Thames Valley Berkshire LEP is due to be announced by government in January 2017.

 

Growing Places Fund

The basic objective of the GPF is to stimulate economic activity by addressing infrastructure and site constraints, and promoting the delivery of jobs and housing. The £15m awarded to Thames Valley Berkshire LEP in 2012 is designed as a revolving capital loan fund. Legitimate requests for GPF loans can be categorised as follows:
  • SMEs with high growth potential are referred to the FSE Group as the Funding Escalator is designed for these types of applicants
  • Proposals to address infrastructure and site constraints, and promote the delivery of housing are referred to the Growing Places Fund guidance.      

Legitimacy is a judgement call made only after detailed discussions with the applicant. The guiding principles for these discussions are set out in the LEP’s 
Assurance Framework:

  1. Strategic impact – is there a clearly evidenced rationale for the investment and how the scheme contributes to the Strategic Economic Plan?
  2. Value for money – do the benefits exceed the costs; why is public money needed
  3. Deliverability – have any risks been appropriately considered; is the proposal feasible?

and more generally based on the key sections within the GPF application:

  • Total amount sought and other sources of funds
  • Stage of project
  • Payback mechanism
  • Why other/conventional funding is not being used; why is GPF the solution

If you think the Growing Places Fund can help your scheme, please contact Abby Lacey for an application form and other files.In December 2016, £3.5m was available to lend.