European Regional Development Fund by 452fjT3

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									               European Regional Development Fund

       Priority 1 Call for project applications proposing:

                              Business Growth Hubs




ERDF Priority 1 Call Specification v4.0 (16/5/2012)   Page 1 of 32
                                                 Table of Contents


1. Executive Summary ................................................................................................ 3
2. Wider Policy Context and Need for Public Investment ............................................ 7
3. Aims and Eligibility ................................................................................................ 11
3.1 Eligible costs and expected activity ..................................................................... 11
3.2 Expected Outputs and Results ............................................................................ 18
3.3 Expected level of outputs and results .................................................................. 19
3.4 Funding ............................................................................................................... 19
3.5 Intervention Rate ................................................................................................. 19
3.6 Applicants and Partners ...................................................................................... 19
3.7 Match Funding..................................................................................................... 20
3.8 End Beneficiaries ................................................................................................ 20
3.9 Geographic Scope............................................................................................... 20
3.10 Sectoral Restrictions for Aftercare Support ....................................................... 21
3.11 Cross Cutting Themes; Equality and Sustainability ........................................... 21
3.12 State Aid ............................................................................................................ 22
3.13 Funding Agreement ........................................................................................... 22
4. Application Process ............................................................................................... 23
4.1 Application Stages............................................................................................... 23
4.2 Timetable ............................................................................................................ 27
4.3 Application Forms, Further Information and Support ........................................... 27
5. Reference Information ........................................................................................... 29




ERDF Priority 1 Call Specification v4.0 (16/5/2012)                                                Page 2 of 32
1. Executive Summary

The 2010 White Paper ‘Local growth: realising every place’s potential’1 confirmed
that the Government will lead action to promote enterprise, innovation, trade and
inward investment and support for venture capital schemes. It sets out plans to
make sure that Government support for business is much better targeted than in the
past by:

      providing support for business improvement through a national website and
       contact centre;
      supporting growth business through a network of growth hubs; and
      supporting innovation in key industry sectors through the Technology and
       Innovation Centres.

The White Paper calls for a joined up approach to improve the environment for
business and locally led action to enable every place and every individual to reach
their potential. This is articulated further through the Department for Business,
Innovation and Skills (BIS) Paper - Backing Small Business (Nov 2010)2 which
highlights the provision of targeted support to SMEs with growth potential.

The establishment of Growth hubs “will provide access to specialist strategic advice,
coaching and mentoring of firms with high growth potential as they go through
periods of rapid and dynamic change and bring a package of growth related services
into one place around the firm. Growth hubs will act as a catalyst for growth by
bringing together firms with high growth potential with finance and equity networks
and other professional and knowledge services. Growth hubs will work closely with
Technology and Innovation Centres as well as the majority of high growth potential
firms who are not technology based. In order to target firms that have the greatest
potential for growth, growth hubs will need to be delivered by specialist business
support providers operating a highly distributed model that reaches across the areas
covered by local enterprise partnerships” (Source Annex B: Summary of Future
Economic Development Delivery, 2010 White Paper ‘Local growth: realising every
place’s potential’1)

NESTA Research however, showed that around 20,000 high growth businesses
develop each year and such businesses are defined as growing at 20% or more for
three consecutive years. It showed that such businesses create around 50% of all
new jobs offering an attractive return of investment (ROI).

Following the NESTA research, BIS policy narrowed down the focus which
translated into the national Business Coaching for Growth (BCG) programme. The
new BCG programme is co-ordinated nationally but delivered at a local level, to
provide high quality coaching support for SMEs with high growth potential. The
programme provides coaches to work face to face with senior management teams,
to help them develop and implement their strategies and overcome the challenges
that businesses face on a range of issues such as sales, raising finance or exploiting
innovation.


1
    Local growth: realising every place’s potential 2010
2
    BIS Paper - Backing Small Business (Nov 2010)

ERDF Priority 1 Call Specification v4.0 (16/5/2012)                 Page 3 of 32
The national BCG programme is designed with the specific needs of a growing
business at its centre; the programme provides businesses with bespoke solutions to
their growth challenges. Along with the high quality coaching, the programme gives
growing SMEs a highly networked offer, and will connect the high growth potential
businesses to:

           External finance – Business Angel Networks, Venture Capitalists.
           Business Support Services – Trade (UK Trade and Investment), Innovation
            (Technology Strategy Board), Intellectual Property (Intellectual Property
            Office), Manufacturing (Manufacturing Advisory Service) as well as private
            sector delivered solutions.
           Access to Premises - science parks, universities, business incubators.

The national BCG programme will target established businesses and start ups with
the potential to achieve fast or high growth rates as defined by the criteria below3:

          SMEs with 10 or more employees with the potential to increase turnover or
           employment by an annual average rate of 20% over three years.
          SMEs with fewer than 10 employees that over three years have the potential to
           increase employment by at least 7 employees or annual turnover by £0.75m.
          Start-ups with potential to achieve turnover of £1m within three years of starting
           trading, or to have at least 10 employees within three years.
The programme will be delivered by the Coaching for Growth Consortium. The
consortium comprises Grant Thornton, Pera, Oxford Innovation, and Winning Pitch
along with seven other key delivery partners with connections to local support
providers across the country.

Within the North West region a market gap has been identified in the availability of
business support provision to support SMEs with growth potential and to:

          target SMEs potentially not eligible under BCG criteria; and
          enhance the national BCG programme to support local needs and priorities.

Funding Opportunity for the North West

The region’s Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) have endorsed the development
of Business Growth Hubs in the North West to support and accelerate business
growth; key to the creation of jobs and increased GVA.

Call preference will be for single projects covering each of the LEP areas detailed
below, these reflect the Rest of the North West regions (RONW) of the North West
Operational Programme (NWOP). However, if appropriate, it will encourage LEPs to
co-ordinate, align or submit pan LEP bids covering 2 or more areas:

1.      Cheshire and Warrington
2.      Cumbria
3.      Greater Manchester
4.      Lancashire

3
    http://www.bis.gov.uk/policies/economic-development/leps/lep-toolbox/helping-smes/coaching

ERDF Priority 1 Call Specification v4.0 (16/5/2012)                                              Page 4 of 32
Projects should demonstrate that they will develop LEP endorsed Business Growth
Hubs which:

     promote growth by encouraging companies to develop growth propositions;
     have effective mechanisms for identifying, recruiting and targeting companies
      that have the potential to grow;
     are able to diagnose companies’ barriers to growth;
     provide tailored advice on helping companies tackle their barriers to growth;
      and
     include effective growth programmes that enable companies to tackle barriers
      to growth.

Projects must be able to clearly demonstrate that they are highly integrated into their
local economies/existing business support structures and will be expected to clearly
articulate the gateway criteria of eligible SMEs (see sections 2 and 3) and, diagnosis
of SME requirements, and how they will refer SMEs to both private and public
provision.
The support is to assist NW SME businesses with growth potential (see section 2
and subject to sector eligibility - see section 3.10). This can include:

     Encourage interest in enterprise and business growth; improve access to
      information on business growth. This may include encouraging positive
      enterprise attitudes in individuals considering starting a business with growth
      potential and in the management/ employees of growing businesses.
     Client engagement activities including targeted growth events.
     Guidance – direct provision of support to the client, either in one-to-one format
      or one-to-many as part of a workshop session.
     Programme specific Growth groups.
     Growth mentoring by other business leaders; both one to one mentoring and
      group     mentoring     (including    proactive   matching     and    relationship
      monitoring/development).
     Growth and productivity programmes including delivery of intensive support to
      secure growth potential; this may be delivered in either in one-to-one format or
      one-to-many as part of a workshop session/action learning sets.
     Support for growth start ups (economic start ups with growth potential i.e. not
      self employed)
     Specialist support – delivery of business support elements specific to the
      growth objectives of the business e.g. Intellectual Property, Design, Legal,
      Financial, Technology etc.
     Coaching (for non Business Coaching for Growth eligible clients).
     Referral Links to national or other regional programmes e.g. Business Coaching
      for Growth, Manufacturing Advisory Service, UK Trade & Investment, NW
      Access to Finance and The NW Fund etc.

The ERDF programme cannot fund duplicate activity and all proposals will need to
show how they are additional and complementary to existing provision available at
local, sub-regional and national levels (in both the public and private sector). In
addition, project proposals will need to show they meet a market failure.



ERDF Priority 1 Call Specification v4.0 (16/5/2012)                   Page 5 of 32
The call will be competitive with up to £15m identified for the RONW region and the
minimum ERDF funding request should be for £1m. LEPs have identified a potential
upper limit for ERDF for their respective sub-regional Business Growth Hub activity:
1.   Cheshire and Warrington (ERDF upper limit - £3m)
2.   Cumbria (ERDF upper limit - £5m)
3.   Greater Manchester (ERDF upper limit - £5.5m)
4.   Lancashire (ERDF upper limit - £5m)
Applicants will need to have in place eligible match funding for the balance of costs,
this must be from a source other than the European Community.

It is expected that project activity will commence by September 2012, ending no later
than 30 June 2015.

The applications are subject to a two stage process, with a gateway criteria at Stage
1, and prioritisation criteria at Stage 2 to enable the programme to prioritise bids.
Applicants should note that there will be no opportunity to submit new information
during the assessment and approval process. Applicants will be expected to have
the capacity to put in place robust systems to ensure quality assurance of delivery
and that ERDF regulations are met.




ERDF Priority 1 Call Specification v4.0 (16/5/2012)                 Page 6 of 32
2. Wider Policy Context and Need for Public Investment
North West Operational Programme (NWOP)
The starting point for the NWOP is the policy context provided at a European level
for the use of Structural Funds. The Lisbon Agenda provides the overarching
motivation for the NWOP and is the main driver of the EU objectives in relation to
Cohesion Policy. The Lisbon Strategy, was launched with two broad aims:
generating stronger, sustainable economic growth – requiring significant increase in
emphasis on competitiveness, innovation and knowledge-intensive activities; and
creating more and better jobs – where a stronger economy would drive higher quality
job creation in the EU and policies that promote social inclusion would facilitate
faster economic growth by increasing the effective labour pool4.
The NWOP sets out the key factors which justifies public investment in Priority 1, the
focus of which is on change in the make-up of the North West’s business base and
aim to ensure the region has more successful businesses competing in higher value
markets.

This call supports the investment frameworks under the action areas of 1.1 and 1.2
as follows:

Investment Framework Action Area 1.1 specifically supports interventions to support
innovative high value start-ups to establish and then grow. In addition this
Investment Framework seeks to raise general awareness of interest in enterprise
across the region, especially amongst groups with the greatest prospect of leading to
high growth starts. Support under this Investment Framework will also be available to
social enterprises that meet the growth criteria, although in this case it will be the
ability to grow employment that will be the criterion.
This Investment Framework supports interventions to support growth start-ups to
establish and then grow. The emphasis is on businesses which will generate
additional GVA and create further job opportunities as part of their overall growth
objectives. The focus of the Investment Framework is on supporting entrepreneurs
with growth ambitions and business plans which show a reasonable potential to:
         Grow turnover (as detailed below* and according to LEP priorities); OR
         Grow employment (expand their staff base by 5 employees over a three year
          period)5.
*Whilst support will not be restricted to the following SMEs, the majority of LEPs’
objectives will be to target ERDF investment where it will have the most impact. The
following types of firms will therefore be prioritised, subject to LEP additional
requirements as identified under section 3.1:

•      SME’s with 10 or more employees with the potential to increase turnover or
       employment by an annual average rate between 5% and up to 20% over a 3
       year period

•      SMEs with fewer than 10 employees that over three years have the potential to
       increase employment by at least 3 employees or annual turnover by £0.25m.

4
    North West Competitiveness and Employment ERDF Operational Programme 2007-13
5
    Social enterprises would only need to meet this employment growth criterion

ERDF Priority 1 Call Specification v4.0 (16/5/2012)                                Page 7 of 32
•   Start-ups with potential to achieve turnover of £0.25m within three years of
    starting trading, or to have at least 5 employees within three years.

The new national Business Coaching for Growth (BCG) programme will provide an
element of support for potential high growth businesses and to be considered for
support, projects must target businesses with a growth orientation, as defined above.

This Investment Framework does not support:
   self-employment; and
   businesses without a clear orientation and capacity for growth

This call supports potential project activity under strands 1 and 2 of the investment
framework as follows:

Strand 1 - Expanding and deepening Growth Business Support
This Strand is intended to deliver dedicated support services to businesses
experiencing and adapting to growth and their owners / managers, for example:
   Guidance – direct provision of support to the client, either in one-to-one format or
    one-to-many as part of a workshop session.
   Coaching – delivery of intensive support to secure growth potential. The
    introduction and support from experienced senior executives matched to the
    business requirement.
   Specialist support – delivery of business support elements specific to the growth
    objectives of the business e.g. Intellectual Property, Design, Legal, Financial,
    Technology etc.
   Non Executive Director (NED) – matching of the business to an appropriate NED,
    where required, including supporting the non-exec through appropriate measures
    to reduce the barriers for engagement.
Businesses with growth ambitions often have a requirement for additional finance.
This Investment Framework will not offer grant or other financial incentives. The
proposed Business Growth Hubs should make referrals to ERDF supported projects
such as NW Access to Finance, North West Fund or other suitable public / private
funded initiatives which would apply to the SMEs’ requirements.

Strand 2 - Supporting enterprise promotion activity and enterprising behaviours
This Strand is intended to support activities which encourage interest in enterprise
and improve access to information on enterprise. As such, the activity is primarily
about encouraging new high growth start-ups. Note: there could be, potentially,
some linkages with the Investment Framework for Priority 4 and the objective of
Action Area 4.1 “Stimulate enterprise in disadvantaged communities and under-
represented groups”.
The activity supported may include, for example:
           enterprise promotion activities in education.




ERDF Priority 1 Call Specification v4.0 (16/5/2012)                   Page 8 of 32
           encouraging positive enterprise attitudes in individuals considering starting
            a high growth business and in the management/ employees of growing
            businesses.

Investment Framework for Action Area 1.2 is intended to provide tailored and highly
targeted support to businesses and supply chains in the higher value aspects of
significant sectors which meet LEP priorities, including:

       Biomedical: biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and medical devices
       Energy & Environmental Technologies
       Advanced Engineering & Materials: (notably Chemicals, Aerospace,
        Automotive and Advanced flexible materials)
       Food & Drink
       Digital & Creative
       Business & Professional Services

to increase their market share, extend their customer                 base    (especially
internationally) and to strengthen their competitive position.

This call supports potential project activity under strand 2 of the investment
framework as follows:

Strand 2 - Sector Programmes. This Strand will support interventions designed to
support the growth of businesses in the target sectors through collective action that
adds value over support for individual businesses. It will support, for example:
   Networking. Supporting collaboration between businesses with mutual interests
    or complementary expertise.
   Specialist brokerage to link groups of businesses with relevant specialist
    support.
   Leadership and Management. Support for improvement on management and
    leadership in the sector as part of a wider package of intervention (this cannot be
    part of a stand-alone skills-focused project).
   Skills Development. Support for development of specialist skills (capacity
    building) within the sector as part of a wider package of intervention (this cannot
    be part of a stand-alone skills-focused project).
   Career Promotion. Activities aimed at encouraging take-up of training/education
    linked to career opportunities in the sector and to direct career opportunities in
    the sector (including work placements with colleges etc.) as part of a wider
    package of intervention (this cannot be part of a stand-alone skills-focused
    project).
   Sector Marketing/Promotion. Activity to promote business opportunities for the
    sector (within the UK) with firms in the rest of the UK and indeed the North West
    itself.
   Supply Chain Development. Assisting groups of businesses to understand future
    market trends in the sector, exploiting emerging opportunities and implementing
    sector standards.
This strand of the Investment Framework will not support the following:
ERDF Priority 1 Call Specification v4.0 (16/5/2012)                    Page 9 of 32
   Direct financial support (covered by the programme-wide Investment Framework
    for VCLF).
   High growth business start-up activity (covered by the Investment Framework for
    Action Area 1.1).
Projects supported under these Investment Frameworks must consist of 100%
Lisbon compliant activity / expenditure and need to outline the proposed approach to
screening prospective beneficiaries for consistency with targeting.




ERDF Priority 1 Call Specification v4.0 (16/5/2012)              Page 10 of 32
3. Aims and Eligibility
The call aims to approve sub regional projects that, alongside existing provision,
deliver integrated support to NW SMEs with growth potential (see section 2, page 7).
It is intended that projects will run for approximately 3 years, starting in September
2012, with activity ending no later than 30 June 2015.
Proposals should take into account how they will work with LEPs and other local,
sectoral and regional stakeholder organisations.

3.1 Eligible costs and expected activity

Projects should demonstrate that they will develop LEP endorsed Growth Hubs
which:

     promote growth by encouraging companies to develop growth propositions;
     have effective mechanisms for identifying, recruiting and targeting companies
      that have the potential to grow;
     are able to diagnose companies’ barriers to growth;
     provide tailored advice on helping companies tackle their barriers to growth;
      and
     include effective growth programmes that enable companies to tackle barriers
      to growth.

Projects must be able to clearly demonstrate that they are highly integrated into their
local economies/existing business support structures and will be expected to clearly
articulate the gateway criteria of eligible SMEs, diagnosis of SME requirements, and
how they will refer SMEs to both private and public provision.
The support is to assist SME businesses which have a growth potential (subject to
sector eligibility - see section 3.10 and fit under relevant investment frameworks).
This can include:

     Encourage interest in enterprise and business growth; improve access to
      information on business growth. This may include encouraging positive
      enterprise attitudes in individuals considering starting a business with growth
      potential and in the management/ employees of growing businesses.
     Client engagement activities including targeted growth events.
     Guidance – direct provision of support to the client, either in one-to-one format
      or one-to-many as part of a workshop session.
     Programme specific Growth groups.
     Growth mentoring by other business leaders; both one to one mentoring and
      group     mentoring    (including    proactive   matching      and    relationship
      monitoring/development).
     Growth and productivity programmes including delivery of intensive support to
      secure growth potential; this may be delivered in either in one-to-one format or
      one-to-many as part of a workshop session/action learning sets.
     Support for growth start ups (economic start ups i.e. not self employment)


ERDF Priority 1 Call Specification v4.0 (16/5/2012)                  Page 11 of 32
     Specialist support – delivery of business support elements specific to the
      growth objectives of the business e.g. Intellectual Property, Design, Legal,
      Financial, Technology etc.
     Coaching (for non Business Coaching for Growth eligible clients).

Referral Links to national or other regional programmes e.g. Coaching for Growth,
Manufacturing Advisory Service, UK Trade & Investment, NW Access to Finance
and The NW Fund etc.

LEPs have identified sub regional and sectoral priorities relevant to Business Growth
Hub and associated business support activity as follows:

Cheshire & Warrington

Business Growth Hub Vision:

 To assist Cheshire and Warrington SMEs to grow and prosper to secure long term
  prosperity and employment opportunities.
 To maintain our competitive advantage and ensure we create the best possible
  environment and business support for our businesses investment and growth


Cheshire and Warrington LEP priorities include:
 Develop a robust supply chain capability in our key sectors
 Develop business support services for potential, high growth, start ups and
  existing SMEs
 Develop an integrated Network of Business Centres / Hubs
 Develop and deliver an Export support package
 Grow our mid-size business base


Specific business support activity to be delivered by the Growth Hub:

   Physical, face to face, virtual and by telephone.
   In the form of mentoring, networking, workshops and events.
   Diagnostic & brokerage services.
   Priority sectors for this activity are:
             - Biomedical: Biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and medical devices
             - Energy and Environmental Technologies
             - Advanced Engineering and Materials: Chemicals, Aerospace,
                Automotive and Advanced flexible materials
             - Food and Drink
             - Digital and Creative: IT and Communications
             - Business and Professional Services
             - Distribution and Logistics


Target Beneficiaries:



ERDF Priority 1 Call Specification v4.0 (16/5/2012)               Page 12 of 32
There is a need to create jobs not just in 'high growth potential' SMEs but in a much
larger group of local businesses who have growth potential as determined in section
2 but are not strictly 'high growth'.


Cumbria

Business Growth Hub Vision

Cumbria LEP provides a strategic lead in all activities contributing to the growth and
vibrancy of the county’s economy. It aims to drive enterprise, innovation and growth,
delivering real long-term growth in the most efficient and effective ways possible
through both our rural and urban based businesses. To do this the LEP is
committed to ensuring focused and appropriate support for business start-up,
innovation and expansion through a combination of private and public sector activity,
encouraging and facilitating new and existing businesses to make more use of the
available private sector support and networks and facilitating access to funding. The
LEP is committed to supporting sector/supply chain development opportunities and
diversification.

Cumbria LEP’s vision for its Growth Hub is for a hub which helps to unleash the
potential of Cumbria’s businesses. It should act as a focal point for businesses that
wish to be sustainable, increase their competitiveness and grow, driving activity,
providing a focus for access to support and providing relevant support and
programmes which complements what currently exists. In the current economy
though it is important to recognise that sustainability must be the immediate priority,
with an aspiration to grow when conditions allow.

Any bids for Cumbria must clearly show how they support and provide additionality
to this vision.

Specific business support activity to be delivered by the Growth Hub

Cumbria’s growth hub should provide a service, through a virtual and physical hubs,
a combination of internet, telephone and face-to-face activity:
 Identifying of businesses with the aspiration/potential to grow including
   development/enhancement of a referral network which supports this

   Stimulating business growth by encouraging interest in enterprise and business
    growth, raising aspirations and improving access to information on business
    growth through, for example, online tools and information, physical and virtual
    networks, events and seminars

   Developing networks and communities through client activities which develop
    communities of likeminded businesses and service providers, including sector
    specific communities

   Developing the network of service providers and intermediaries




ERDF Priority 1 Call Specification v4.0 (16/5/2012)                  Page 13 of 32
   Assessing growth potential and aspiration and barriers to growth, with
    development/enhancement with impartial reviews and provision of tools to assess
    growth potential and opportunities to increase competitiveness and identify
    barriers

   Providing referrals/signposting to relevant support, advice and other services

   Offering advice and guidance to clients, including tailored growth and
    competitiveness programmes - promoting existing public/private support and
    providing new support where appropriate through one-to-one and one-to-many
    support, advice and training encompassing the range of business and specialist
    skills and topics

   Encouraging take up of paid for advice and support and facilitating effective
    usage

   Implementing growth groups, supporting businesses to work together to solve
    business issues on a structured, facilitated and confidential basis

   Offering mentoring by other businesses, both one-to-one and group mentoring ,
    including proactive matching and relationship monitoring/development

   Supporting growth start-ups (economic start-ups)

   Supporting key priority sectors

   Supporting development of supply chains and joint working

Alongside the above, within physical hubs, the growth hub should provide
employment sites and workspaces for growth businesses.

Bids must clearly show how they will build on existing support and Cumbria’s Growth
Hub must align with its Rural Growth Networks pilot.

Target Beneficiaries

Key sectors identified for support by Cumbria LEP include specialist manufacturing,
food & drink, digital & creative, the visitor economy, expansion and diversification of
the nuclear industry, the low carbon economy and land and sea based industries.
While these are priority sectors Cumbria LEP would not wish to see support
restricted to these sectors.

Cumbria LEP wants its growth hub to work with SMEs with an aspiration to grow
which reflect growth potential identified under section 2, even if current economic
circumstances restrict its opportunities to do so. It should support SMEs looking to
increase its competitiveness. Some programmes may be targeted at specific sectors
or at businesses with more growth potential, targeting ERDF investment where it will
have most impact and prioritising SMEs aiming to create jobs (minimum requirement
is at least one job) and/or increase GVA by at least 5% pa.


ERDF Priority 1 Call Specification v4.0 (16/5/2012)                  Page 14 of 32
Greater Manchester

Business Growth Hub Vision:

Greater Manchester LEP agreed in early 2011 to the establishment of a strategic
board for business growth, trade and investment. The role of this strategic board is
to oversee the development of a Business Growth Hub and a range of associated
programmes. The Hub has been established to play a major role in the drive for
strong, sustainable business growth across Greater Manchester. It acts as the focal
point for businesses that wish to grow, providing coordinated and cohesive growth
programmes, business networks, growth groups, growth programmes and links to
specialist information, advice and services.

The Business Growth Hub has been established to:
   - foster a vibrant growth-led transformation of our local economy which unlocks,
      expands and accelerates the growth potential of businesses
   - become a core partner of all businesses with a strong focus on those existing
      and future businesses that are key to employment and GVA growth
   - brings together and develops a community of like minded companies and
      growth support providers.

 Any bids for Greater Manchester must clearly show how they support and provide
additionality to this vision.

Specific business support activity to be delivered by the Growth Hub:

1. Identification of growth companies: Development/enhancement of a referral
   network that collectively helps to identify companies with growth potential. This
   will include a range of private e.g. BFS firms, Chamber of Commerce and public
   partners/programmes e.g. Las, AGMA, UKTI, MAS, A2F etc
2. Stimulating business growth: Encourage interest in enterprise and business
   growth across all districts within Greater Manchester and improve access to
   information on business growth through on-line tools, social networks, events and
   seminars.
3. Developing growth networks/community: client engagement activities that
   develop a community of like minded growth companies and growth service
   providers.
4. Assessing growth potential and barriers to growth:
   development/enhancement of tools to assess growth potential, identify barriers to
   growth
5. Growth advice: provide clients with advice and guidance and tailored growth
   programmes drawn from a portfolio of public and private growth solutions.
6. Growth groups: support for businesses to work together to solve business
   issues in a structured, facilitated and confidential basis
7. Growth mentoring by other businesses; both one to one mentoring and group
   mentoring (including proactive matching and relationship
   monitoring/development).
8. Growth and productivity programmes including delivery of intensive support to
   secure growth potential; this may be delivered in either in one-to-one format or


ERDF Priority 1 Call Specification v4.0 (16/5/2012)               Page 15 of 32
    one-to-many as part of a workshop session. This may include coaching for non
    Business Coaching for Growth eligible clients, taught/structured programmes.
9. Support for growth start ups (economic start ups)
10. Specialist support – delivery of business support elements specific to the
    growth objectives of the business including Intellectual Property, Design, Legal,
    Financial, Technology take up and exploitation (e.g. using new online capabilities
    to target new markets/develop new services and products) etc.
11. Referral Links to national or other regional programmes including Coaching for
    Growth, UKTI and MAS

Bids must clearly show how they will build on existing locally developed growth
support structures.

Target Beneficiaries:

Evidence shows that there are growth potential businesses in all Greater Manchester
districts across a range of sectors and bidders must clearly show how they will
ensure they are able to identify and work across all sectors. Whilst Greater
Manchester does not want to restrict the Hub from working with only a small range of
sectors it will be particularly interested in projects that will work proactively with key
sectors identified in the Greater Manchester Strategy and its associated supporting
research (e.g. MIER and New Economy Working Papers) e.g. advanced
manufacturing, digital and creative, life sciences, materials (e.g. graphene), etc.
Bidders must also clearly demonstrate how they will work with existing and future
growth nodes e.g. science parks, clusters of growth businesses such as the Sharp
Project, major developing locations such as MediaCity and Manchester Airport City
(enterprise zone).

Greater Manchester wants its growth hub to be able to work with any businesses
that has an ambition and ability to grow. However, the level of intensity of support
will be dependent on both the ability to grow, the complexity of barriers to growth the
firms faces and its ability to implement a growth programme. Whilst support will not
be restricted to the SMEs as determined in section 2 Greater Manchester’s
objectives are to target ERDF investment where it will have the most impact.

Lancashire

Business Growth Hub Vision:

The Lancashire LEP Vision for the Business Growth Hub is:

       To better present, and increase the effectiveness of an increasingly complex
        and disparate business support offer within the Lancashire LEP area.
       To provide assessment services to support businesses in defining the issues
        they need to address in order to grow.
       To provide an enhanced service offer to businesses within key growth
        sectors, who lie beyond the scope of the Business Coaching for Growth
        Programme
       To provide awareness of (and access) to appropriate business support from
        the full spectrum of providers be they private, publicly-funded or from Higher
        Education.

ERDF Priority 1 Call Specification v4.0 (16/5/2012)                   Page 16 of 32
Lancashire LEP Business Support Priorities include:

   developing and championing sound business propositions;
   lobbying for the removal of major barriers and bottlenecks preventing business
    growth;
   supporting supply chain development in key sectors;
   reviewing business support provision and deciding future priorities;

Specific business support activity to be delivered by the Growth Hub:

   Awareness raising with business community
   A co-ordinated programme business events, master-classes and networking
    which develop the capacity of businesses within the LEP area
   Business assessment provision to inform and guide the choice of relevant
    business support
   Growth start-up support across the LEP geography
   Sector growth programmes for businesses in Lancashire's priority sectors
   Mentoring support to enable business growth

Priority sectors for this activity are:

   Aerospace
   Advanced Manufacturing
   Creative and Digital
   Energy and Environment
   Financial and Professional Services

Target Beneficiaries:

   Businesses with growth potential as determined in section 2.

The call is for revenue type projects and eligible costs types within this call are:
•   Salaries – i.e. project management costs for the overall project, to include quality
    assurance, finance and output monitoring, evaluation and communication with
    delivery partners
•   Fees – i.e. contractual delivery costs, externally procured third party costs,
    project interim and final evaluation costs
•   Premises – i.e. additional and appropriately apportioned office costs
•   Overheads - i.e. additional and appropriately apportioned costs
•   Other Revenue – i.e. marketing, travel/room hire/subsistence expenses costs,
    subsidy for bespoke SME support


Ineligible costs: for the avoidance of doubt the applicants should refer to ERDF
guidance on eligible activities and costs (ERDF National Eligibility Rules:
http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/regeneration/doc/2118713.doc).


ERDF Priority 1 Call Specification v4.0 (16/5/2012)                   Page 17 of 32
Only the actual costs of activities directly related to delivery of the project will be
eligible. This means that applicants and any partners must work on an “at-cost” basis
and any other resources must be properly procured to demonstrate fairness and best
value.

3.2 Expected Outputs and Results
The table below shows the performance indicators for projects funded under the call.
The overall aim of this call is to approve projects which as a minimum deliver
assistance to businesses to improve their performance as a result improving
performance of businesses and creating / safeguarding jobs.
Table 1: Priority 1 Indicators

 Output
 Businesses assisted to improve their performance (Number)
 Individuals assisted to start a business (Number)
 Individuals assisted to start a business – male (Number)
 Individuals assisted to start a business – female (Number)
 Private (and Public) sector investment levered (£m)
 No of people assisted in their skills development (Number)
 Result
 Businesses with improved performance (GVA) or new / improved
 products, processes or services (Number)
 No of businesses created (Number)
 Gross jobs created (Number)
 *Gross jobs created - filled by men (Number)
 *Gross jobs created - filled by women (Number)
 Gross jobs safeguarded (Number)
 *Gross jobs safeguarded - filled by men (Number)
 *Gross jobs safeguarded - filled by women (Number)
 CO2 emissions from Programme interventions (tonnes) (Number)


Applications will be required to show in detail how they will deliver the outputs,
results and impacts committed to within the application at project level (as per the
output tables) and also reflect these at sub-regional levels. In addition, applications
should specify:
(i) the number of businesses assisted against the anticipated levels of assistance
    (e.g. enquiries, brokerage, referrals, attendance at workshops / events,
    diagnostic reviews, subsidised support etc) which will be provided through the
    client journey;
(ii) the ratio of businesses assisted which meet the minimum requirements for those
     assisted to improve performance and those which will require further intensive
     support i.e. more than the 2 days consultancy (12 hours min.); and
(iii) forecast potential impact on GVA.
The ERDF guidance note, ERDF User Manual – Chapter 11 Combined Indicators
Technical Note for ERDF Programmes 2007 – 2013, provides clarification on the

ERDF Priority 1 Call Specification v4.0 (16/5/2012)                 Page 18 of 32
definition of outputs and results and how these should be monitored and reported
(https://support.erdf.communities.gov.uk/User%20Manual/Forms/AllItems.aspx).
Applicants will need to ensure robust systems are in place to capture and record
outputs and results along with the relevant beneficiary characteristics detailed in the
link below.
Outputs and results will be measured using data collected from funded projects. All
projects will be required to collect this data, and report on progress on a claim-by-
claim basis. There must be a fully evidenced audit trail for all contracted indicators.
Information on impact indicators does not need to be collected at project level, but
will be analysed during independent evaluations of the programme.


3.3 Expected level of outputs and results
Based on evidence and targets achieved by previous business support provision, it
is anticipated that this call would generate the following conversions of outputs to
results:
   jobs created / safeguarded - conversion rate of 1 business assisted to a minimum
    of 1.5 jobs created / safeguarded
   business assisted leading to circa 70% of those with improved performance.
   Individuals assisted to start a business leading to circa 70% of those becoming
    businesses created

(Cost Benchmarks of previous business support activity: £5k per business assist).



3.4 Funding

ERDF funding requests should be for £1m (as a minimum) of ERDF revenue type
funding, with up to a further equivalent match. Projects will be assessed on their
impact and value for money as measured largely through the indicators described,
so projects that invest solely in outputs which produce a low turnover of results (i.e.
businesses with improved performance and jobs created/safeguarded) are unlikely
to be competitive.

3.5 Intervention Rate

The maximum ERDF intervention rate for projects is 50 per cent. This means that
ERDF can contribute up to 50 per cent of the ‘total eligible’ project costs. The
remaining 50 per cent or more must come from other sources.

3.6 Applicants and Partners
Applicant organisations must be legally constituted and be able to enter into a legally
binding contract. The applicant will be the organisation that, if the application is
successful, enters into a contract for ERDF and therefore carries the liability for
ensuring that the terms of the ERDF grant agreement are met. ERDF is not paid in
advance and expenditure must be defrayed prior to submission of claims. ERDF
claims are submitted on a quarterly basis.

ERDF Priority 1 Call Specification v4.0 (16/5/2012)                 Page 19 of 32
Applications must be submitted by a single organisation which will be ultimately
accountable for the grant and liable for any breach in ERDF regulations or contract
conditions. Project activity can be delivered by a partnership (delivery partners), or
through procured services, but liability will remain with the lead applicant. Draft
copies of the proposed Service Level Agreements with delivery partners will be
requested at Stage 2.


3.7 Match Funding

Match funding is money used to match the ERDF grant. Match funding can come
from a wide range of sources, either public or private. It may be the applicant
organisation’s money (for example, expenditure on salaries), or the applicant may
have secured a grant offer towards the project costs from another funding
programme. Applicants may also have funding from a range of trusts and charities
or from the private sector.
Match funding must directly relate to the activity of the project and contribute towards
delivery of the project targets, e.g. every £1 ERDF must be matched with £1 public
or private money spent on ERDF eligible activity. For this call applicant must have
match funding in place when the proposal is submitted.
In-kind match funding is not eligible for ERDF.

3.8 End Beneficiaries
Proposals will support SMEs from the eligible sectors. An SME (Small and Medium
Enterprise) has: an annual work unit of up to 250 persons; annual turnover up to €50
million; annual balance sheet total up to €43 million. However, ownership of or by
other businesses has a significant bearing on this definition and therefore
businesses’ eligibility for support. Applicants should consider the full definition
before6.
Applicants should set out in their proposals how they will work with the SMEs and
how they will maximise the benefits which potentially can be gained through growth
business support type activities.

3.9 Geographic Scope

Call preference will be for single projects covering each of the LEP areas in the Rest
of the North West (RONW) region of the NWOP. However, where appropriate, it will
encourage LEPs to co-ordinate, align or submit pan LEP bids covering 2 or more
areas:

1.      Cheshire and Warrington
2.      Cumbria
3.      Greater Manchester
4.      Lancashire



6
    http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/sme/facts-figures-analysis/sme-definition/index_en.htm




ERDF Priority 1 Call Specification v4.0 (16/5/2012)                                                  Page 20 of 32
3.10 Sectoral Restrictions
Business support (‘businesses assisted to improve performance’) has some sectoral
restrictions due to the existence of particular State Aid and other regimes, or
because Aid would distort competition. Companies covered by EC Sectoral
restrictions are subject to specific rules, dependant on the State Aid regime under
which they are being supported. The demarcation requirements of the ERDF
programmes also restrict some sectors which are otherwise supported through the
EAFRD or EFF.
The following sectors are ineligible for ERDF support: fishery and aquaculture,
primary production sector, processing and marketing of agricultural products, the
coal, steel and shipbuilding sectors, the synthetic fibres sector, banking and
insurance, establishments providing generalised education (LA’s statutory duty),
local social welfare, retail (please see ERDF National Eligibility Guidance at
    http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/regeneration/doc/2118713.doc)

3.11 Cross Cutting Themes; Equality and Sustainability
All applications for funding under the call should demonstrate how cross cutting
themes have been addressed in project design and development. They should also
give details at stage 2 of how the projects will implement the themes effectively.
Environmental Sustainability – One of the requirements of ERDF is to ensure that
environmental sustainability is embedded into the delivery and management of
projects supported by ERDF. In delivering the project it is expected that applicants
will:
     have in place a Green Travel Plan that demonstrates how the organisation will
      minimise the carbon impact of travel.
     have in place a Sustainable Procurement Plan,
     complete the Carbon Calculator during the course of the project.
     show in the application what processes will be put in place to support SMEs to:
      -   Understand the risks & opportunities of climate change to their business;
      -   Minimise energy & waste;
      -   Maximise new market opportunities that exist within the growing low carbon
          and environmental technology sector7.
      -   Maximise their environmental credentials and when this may need to address
          these to meet new supply chain requirements.
 Equality and Diversity – In responding to equality and diversity questions in the
application, applicants should provide evidence of their past experience and describe
how they intend to engage with the target groups, supporting the description with
suitable evidence. Priority will be given to projects containing tangible proposals for
targeting and supporting:
     female entrepreneurs.


7
 Further information is provided within the following reports: Low Carbon and Environmental Goods Analysis: Update for
2008/2009, http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/business-sectors/docs/10-795-low-carbon-environmental-goods-analysis-
update-08-09 and; Towards a Low Carbon Economy – economic analysis and evidence for a low carbon strategy (BIS 2009),
BIS Economics Paper No 1, http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http://www.bis.gov.uk/files/file52165.pdf

ERDF Priority 1 Call Specification v4.0 (16/5/2012)                                          Page 21 of 32
   entrepreneurs from an ethnic minority background.
   disabled entrepreneurs.
   other under-represented and / or disadvantaged groups.

3.12 State Aid
Public sector investment that will benefit business, the provision of support to
businesses and potentially any funding provided to applicants themselves will be
subject to European State Aid rules. Applicants will be required to provide evidence
of compliance and independent state aid advice and / or approval (if appropriate)
when submitting an application for appraisal.
The Department of Communities and Local Government’s (DCLG) North West
Programme Delivery Team (NW PDT) are not able to give detailed legal advice on
State Aid. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure the project is state aid
compliant and applicants will be required to provide evidence of this compliance
within the full application.

3.13 Funding Agreement
The application pack includes the ERDF standard funding agreement; any
successful applicant will be subject to the terms of this agreement. Applicants should
particularly note the requirement relating to procurement regulation, publicity and
document retention. Failure to meet any of the conditions of the agreement or the
commitments within the application may result in clawback of the ERDF grant. All
applicants should ensure they are fully aware and understand the requirements of
ERDF funding, before submitting an application.




ERDF Priority 1 Call Specification v4.0 (16/5/2012)                 Page 22 of 32
4. Application Process
  4.1 Application Stages

  There are two stages to the ERDF application process: Stage 1 (Outline Application)
  and Stage 2 (Full Application) which will be submitted separately. Stage 1 provides
  some basic information about the proposal, and importantly enables the DCLG’s NW
  PDT to consider if stage 1 basic criteria have been met. At stage 1, to enable
  progression to the stage 2, proposals will need to meet the Stage 1 criteria listed
  below.
  Stage 2 provides detailed information about the proposal. If successful, stage 2 will
  form part of the ERDF grant funding agreement. Criteria stage 2 ranking will use the
  detailed information provided in stage 2 application forms. If having reviewed stage 2
  information it becomes clear that stage 1 criteria have not been met, the project can
  be rejected. Applicants must ensure that information provided in stage 1 and 2 is
  consistent. Applicants that successfully reach stage 2 may be asked for some limited
  points of clarification on their application.
  Applicants must submit completed Stage 1 (Outline Application Forms) by the
  deadline provided in section 4.2 (Timetable). To ensure the content remains
  unaltered and it is in its final version the proposal should be emailed in a signed and
  scanned PDF format to NW.ERDFEnquiries@communities.gsi.gov.uk (please do not
  send the application to individuals).
  This is a competitive process and so completed Application forms not e-mailed by
  the deadline will not be considered. Any applications which are not fully completed
  will be excluded.
  Email acknowledgement of outline application receipt will be sent by 5pm on closing
  date. If not received, it will remain the applicant’s responsibility to call DCLG’s NW
  ERDF Enquiries on 0303 444 6498 to confirm receipt.

  Call Criteria:

   Basic Criteria Stage 1
   Match Funding: North West PDT will only allow bids that have secured match
   funding and can provide evidence of it to progress to stage 2

   Readiness to Start and Project Lifetime: Bids will progress to stage 2 if they provide
   a viable timeline allowing delivery to start no later than September 2012 and
   delivery activity to be completed no later than June 2015.
   Organisational Capacity: All bids will need to confirm the lead applicant, delivery
   partners and proposed procured business support services (with overview of roles /
   area(s) of specialist support to be provided to the project). They will need to show
   that project applicants have in place the necessary management and monitoring
   systems, the ability to manage complex projects with multiple delivery partners, the
   financial capacity and the experience required in terms of a positive track record, to
   run an ERDF project, and to meet ERDF regulations and eligibility criteria.


  ERDF Priority 1 Call Specification v4.0 (16/5/2012)                 Page 23 of 32
Financial Viability: DCLG’s NW PDT will exclude all applicants whose Financial Vet
uncovers risk to the Programme.
LEP Priorities: Bids must be on a sub regional basis. However, if appropriate, it is
encouraged that LEPs to co-ordinate, align or submit pan LEP bids covering 2 or
more areas. Project applicants will need to engage with LEPs from the outset
and secure LEP initial approval for their proposal at Stage 1. This will be
obtained by DCLG’s NW PDT through the LEP review forms. Proposed activities
must be aligned against LEP priorities.
Cost Benchmark: All bids will be required to demonstrate how the project will
deliver against benchmarks established by previous project delivery and evaluation.
Operational Fit with Existing Provision and Initiatives: Project applications must
demonstrate understanding of the existing business support and knowledge
transfer services; the local requirements of a Growth Hub and associated growth
business support activities; and indicate proposed collaboration / referrals at local,
sub-regional, regional and national levels. Project applications will need to
demonstrate that they are additional to existing provision in the private and public
sector.
Prioritisation Criteria Stage 2
Scale of Bids: The call will prioritise bids that offer comprehensive support to SMEs
across the respective sub-regions and respond to sub regional LEPs’ priorities

Engagement Strategy: Project applicants will be required to submit an inclusive
engagement strategy which will review: how they will engage with SMEs (their
target client base); their fit with existing (national, regional and sub regional
programmes / projects) and emerging business support and knowledge transfer
initiatives (including: HEIs, Cluster Organisations, Low Carbon and Resource
Efficiency projects); proposed referral mechanisms with existing projects and
initiatives as well as to relevant skills provision (including Sector Skills Councils,
higher level skills) (which they will be required to monitor/ report); and proposed
working / reporting arrangements with stakeholders (e.g. LEPs / LAs / Business
Growth Co-ordination / HEIs / Chamber of Commerce / Cluster Organisations etc.).
Effectiveness: Bids will be assessed on impact to local growth and return on
investment in terms of jobs created and GVA
Value for Money: Bids will be assessed against cost per target and the ratio of
number of businesses supported to improve performance, number of people
assisted in their skills development and individuals assisted to start a business,
resulting in businesses with improved performance, businesses created, jobs
created and jobs safeguarded.
Additional Benefits: If two bids provide similar amounts of support and value for
money, the DCLG’s NW PDT will consider additional benefits that either project
may provide.



ERDF Priority 1 Call Specification v4.0 (16/5/2012)                Page 24 of 32
Quality of project management and quality assurance: based on details provided in
response to requirements in section 3.1.


All applications will need to fully satisfy the ERDF technical appraisal and where total
public funding is £10m or above (sum of ERDF grant requested and public sector
match) projects will need to submit an independent Green Book Appraisal
(commissioned by the Applicant) alongside the application pack.




ERDF Priority 1 Call Specification v4.0 (16/5/2012)                  Page 25 of 32
Document Checklist:
In addition to Stage 1 & 2 application forms the following paperwork is required:
Stage 1:
1. Match funding confirmation letter(s) from the match funder(s) [template provided]
2. Financial Report to be completed by the project applicant
3. Independent State Aid Advice
4. LEP Review Form (DCLG’s NW PDT will submit a copy of the outline applications
   to LEPs which meet Stage 1 criteria along with a LEP Review Form which will be
   completed by the LEPs. It is included for reference).

Stage 2:
1. Expenditure Breakdown Tables (including any apportionment methodologies)
   [template provided]
2. Job/Role Descriptions
3. Draft service level of agreements of proposed delivery partners
4. Engagement Strategy
5. LEP Letter of Support
6. Green Travel Plan
7. Sustainable Procurement Plan (or Environment Action Plan)
8. Equality Action Plan
9. Green Book Appraisal (if total £10m public funding threshold is met / exceeded)

Also provided in the application is a copy of the grant funding agreement This is for
information only, any details should be discussed with the DCLG’s NW PDT Senior
Solicitor.
The following outcomes are possible:
1. Proposal rejected – due to not meeting the call criteria or not ranking sufficiently
   high in comparison to other bids.
2. Deferred – this will only happen under exceptional circumstances and at the
   discretion of the DCLG’s NW PDT. There will be limited cases where a proposal
   is eligible, fully meets Stage 1 criteria, ranks highly with stage 2 criteria, but
   where more information is required before a final decision to approve/reject the
   bid is taken.
3. Proposal recommended for approval – this can be subject to conditions.




ERDF Priority 1 Call Specification v4.0 (16/5/2012)                 Page 26 of 32
4.2 Timetable
Please note these important dates and deadlines.

17/05/2012                 Launch of Call advertised on ERDF section of the DCLG
                           website www.communities.gov.uk

18/06/2012                 Electronic Stage 1 signed application forms in PDF format
                           with relevant annexes must be submitted by noon to
                           NW.ERDFEnquiries@communities.gsi.gov.uk

28/06/2012                 Review against Basic Criteria Stage 1. Those which meet the
                           criteria will proceed to review by LEPs (to ensure strategic fit
                           with priorities) and ERDF eligibility check. (Please note that
                           project applicants will need to liaise with LEP representatives
                           at the earliest opportunity.)

29/06/2012                 Confirmation of Stage 1 outcome

30/07/2012                 Stage 2 (Full Application) submission deadline

24/08/2012                 Subject to PMSC endorsement, Stage 2 initial outcome
                           advised to applicants

September 2012             For planning purposes only this is a contracting stage and
                           activity start date for successful applicants

30/6/2015                  Project activities end date


4.3 Application Forms, Further Information and Support

For application packs and any further information about this call please contact
Rachel Shwe (Rachel.Shwe@communities.gsi.gov.uk - 0303 444 6516).
Alternatively       use       our         general        enquiry        address
(NW.ERDFEnquiries@communities.gsi.gov.uk)

Additionally, the ERDF Programme provides funding to a range of local
organisations enabling them to directly support organisations in developing bids and
applying for ERDF funding. Contacts are as follows:

•   For        projects       in             Cheshire         and     Warrington:
     jane.baker@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk
•   For projects in Cumbria: eleanor@rstcumbria.org.uk
•   For projects in Greater Manchester: gmerdf@manchester.gov.uk
•   For projects covering Lancashire: sean.mcgrath@lancashire.gov.uk
•   For Applicants in the Higher Education Sector: nclatworthy@nwua.ac.uk



ERDF Priority 1 Call Specification v4.0 (16/5/2012)                     Page 27 of 32
LEPs and sub-regional partners are also working to co-ordinate delivery partnerships
at local levels. Please contact the following people to request further information
regarding LEP engagement (e.g to brief LEP on project proposals / arrange
meetings with LEP representatives), priorities and securing the LEP Letter of
Support (required at Stage 2 Full Application):
•   For        projects      in              Cheshire       and      Warrington:
     jane.baker@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk
•   For projects covering Cumbria: kevin@rstcumbria.org.uk
•   For projects covering Greater Manchester: gmerdf@manchester.gov.uk
•   For projects covering Lancashire: sean.mcgrath@lancashire.gov.uk




ERDF Priority 1 Call Specification v4.0 (16/5/2012)              Page 28 of 32
Northwest ERDF Competitiveness Programme Guidance
Key documents including the ERDF Operational Programme and substantial
additional guidance can be found at8:

    Key Programme            http://www.communities.gov.uk/regeneration/regenerationfundin
    Documents                g/europeanregionaldevelopment/northwest/
    (NWOP)

    Indicators               ERDF User Manual – Chapter 11 Combined Technical Note
    Definition and           Indicators for ERDF Programmes 2007 – 2013
    evidence
                             https://support.erdf.communities.gov.uk/User%20Manual/Forms/
                             AllItems.aspx

    National ERDF            http://www.communities.gov.uk/regeneration/regenerationfundin
    User Manual              g/europeanregionaldevelopment/nationalguidance/nationalhand
                             book/

    Procurement              ERDF National Procurement Guidance:
    Guidance                 http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/regeneration/doc/21
                             18726.doc
                             EU Procurement Guidance:
                             http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/publicprocurement/index_en
                             .htm

    BIS State aid            http://www.bis.gov.uk/policies/europe/state-aid
    guidance

It is essential that this call specification is read in conjunction with the above
guidance.

5. Reference Information
Priority 1 Policy Context:
     Local Growth: Realising Every Place’s Potential 2010 (BIS 2010)
     Supporting Local Growth (DCLG, BIS 2011)
     The path to strong, sustainable and balanced growth (HM Treasury, BIS 2010)
     Backing Small Business (BIS, 2010)
     Understanding Local Growth (BIS, 201)
Additional Information:
     UK Business: Activity, Size and Location (2011, ONS)

8
 Please note that guidance is currently being revised / updated. The hyperlinks are correct as of 14.5.2012 and are subject to
being updated / refreshed.
http://www.communities.gov.uk/regeneration/regenerationfunding/europeanregionaldevelopment/nationalguidance/

ERDF Priority 1 Call Specification v4.0 (16/5/2012)                                                Page 29 of 32
   Barriers to Growth, Research Summary (2011, NESTA)




ERDF Priority 1 Call Specification v4.0 (16/5/2012)      Page 30 of 32
APPENDIX A

Successful applications will need to demonstrate that they have the capacity to put in place
systems, processes and teams to deliver the project effectively, with the emphasis on the
client journey, financial and performance management systems, and an embedded culture
of quality assurance, as well as continued improvement in delivering excellent and
responsive service. The following provides an overview of what is required as a minimum
and should be fully described in the application.

Client Journey
    o   Description of how the project applicant will engage and identify eligible clients with
        growth potential
    o   Description of the applicant’s approach to client support, tailored to their
        requirements and delivered by providers at a local level
    o   Support should also include signposting to other appropriate providers, including
        loans and other finance options.
Effective Project Management and Central Control Systems
    o The application will need to show how the project will monitor / report targets and
        collect supporting documentation / materials relevant to audits and evaluation. As a
        minimum it is expected that projects will monitor service provision by sub region,
        client journey stage, sector and type of intervention. Applicants will also need to
        report on marketing and promotional activity.
    o   To ensure that the programme is able to monitor performance across approved
        projects, successful projects will need to have consistent client management systems
        and data collection practices.
    o   Applicants will also need to consider other performance measures such as customer
        satisfaction surveys and feedback, mystery shopping, providers’ feedback,
        monitoring of general queries and complaints, compliance with accreditation and
        delivery standards.
    o   It is possible that applications may include a number of delivery partners. Proposals
        will need to clearly roles and responsibilities, how they will monitor performance
        across providers ensuring consistent levels of compliance, and effective
        communication and performance management.
    o   Applicants will also need to show they have in place risk management and mitigation
        controls, to assure overall project expenditure is in line with spend profiles and that
        outputs are delivered.
Communication and Working with Local Partners and Existing Providers
    o   Applicants will need to show how they will ensure non-duplication during delivery of
        the project, how the project will work with existing and emerging business support
        structures/initiatives, through referral and intelligence sharing, and how they will
        collaborate in delivery across sub-regional areas. This needs to be clearly
        articulated within an inclusive / comprehensive Engagement Strategy which is
        required as part of Stage 2 – Full Application submission.
Payment and Cost Model
    o   Applicants will need to provide details of their project’s payment and cost model.
        This should include cost assumptions for delivery. Where projects are delivered by
        procured deliverers / delivery partners, description of payment stages by level of
        beneficiary assistance and evidence required triggering payment by results should
        also be detailed.

ERDF Priority 1 Call Specification v4.0 (16/5/2012)                       Page 31 of 32
Quality Assurance
    o   Successful projects are expected to put in place systems and processes that ensure
        quality of delivery is monitored and that the service is subject to continuous scrutiny
        and improvement.
    o   Applicants are required to explain how they will be responsive to local changes in
        demand for the service; how they will consider the skills development and capacity of
        advisors; how they will approach the facilitation and sharing of innovative solutions
        and best practice at internal and external levels and how they will address
        performance management and information dissemination to deliver a compliant,
        responsive and excellent service.




ERDF Priority 1 Call Specification v4.0 (16/5/2012)                       Page 32 of 32

								
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