News & Views

ESIF calls for projects from across the South West

20/03/2017

Last Friday (17 March), saw 8 calls issued for projects in the South West to utilise European Structural Investment Funds.

Summary

The calls can be summarised as follows:

Title (call ref)

LEP area

Overview

Value

Closing date

SME Support

(OC37R17P 0496)

West of England

Call to run a project enhancing the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises in the West of England

 

£1.6m

13 May 2017

SME support - accessing new market opportunities

(OC16R17P 0492)

Heart of the South West

Call to run a project enhancing the competitiveness of small and medium sized enterprises in Heart of the South West 

 

£1m in the transition region

£450k in the more developed region

13 May 2017

SME support - inward investment (OC16R17P 0494)

Heart of the South West

Call to run a project enhancing the competitiveness of small and medium sized enterprises in Heart of the South West

 

£1.35m: £900k (T) and £450k (MD)

13 May 2017

Research and innovation

(OC37R17P 0491)

West of England

Call to run a project promoting research and innovation in West of England

 

£6m

13 May 2017

Research and Innovation

(OC09R17P 0490)

Dorset

Call to run a project promoting research and innovation in Dorset

 

£2.25m

13 May 2017

Low carbon

(OC09R17P 0497)

Dorset

Call to run a project supporting the shift to a low carbon economy in Dorset

£3.9m

31 October 2017

(assessment in batches: 30 April and 30 July until funds allocated)

SME support

(OC09R17P 0495)

 

Dorset

Call to run a project enhancing the competitiveness of small and medium sized enterprises in Dorset

£2m

13 May 2017

SME support -enterprise coaching

(OC16R17P 0493)

Heart of the South West

Call to run a project enhancing the competitiveness of small and medium sized enterprises in the Heart of the South West

 

£2m

13 May 2017

 

My initial assessment

To my initial reading, all but one (Low Carbon Call) of the above are aimed mainly at “intermediaries/business support agencies”, as opposed to direct applications from a business. A number of the calls do refer to grants and/or innovation vouchers as “indicative actions”, therefore one can anticipate that applicants may allocate part of the funding to grants and innovation vouchers that will be available to businesses.

I will re-read the Research and Innovation calls and speak to Technical Assistance in the LEP area(s) to see what scope there is a for a single business engaged in R&I to make an application.

The ‘Low Carbon’ call

The call which I feel is open for direct application from a business, is the Low Carbon one for the Dorset LEP area. This call includes the following statements:

“Where a project under Investment Priority 4a is supporting micro generation only, the project value can have a total of £500,000 instead of the standard £1 million as the nature of the project involves the delivery of small scale renewables which require a smaller project size.”

“While consortium, multi-activity applications for the full allocation of funding will be considered, it is anticipated that multiple contracts will result from this call.”

“Proposals should demonstrate alignment with local development need and priorities including:

  • progressing district heating proposals

  • improving small and medium sized enterprise’s energy efficiency

  • public building, including social housing, retrofit

  • progressing actions aligned with goal 2 ‘tackling climate change’ from the Local Transport Plan

  • research, development, innovation and knowledge transfer in low-carbon technologies”

There is more detail on which projects are being sought in the Call Specification itself and there is reference within this document to technical assistance available. I would recommend that anyone engaged in substantial Low Carbon projects to give this a read and make enquires of eligibility if they feel they have a project that fits.

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