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Cornwall Marine Network

Major New Funding Opportunity for CMN Members

Last chance to apply to the Cornwall Marine Capital Fund

- What is the Fund?
What is the marine sector in the context of this fund?
- Who can apply?
- How much?
- Match funding

- How to apply? 

- When to apply?

 

Open for the Final Round

  • £198,364 grant remaining to allocate to the final round

  • Pre-application: The online self-assessment questionnaire is open.  Complete as soon as possible

  • Full applications will be developed with support from CMN’s business advisor until the deadline

Deadline for full applications:  11 January 2016 

 

What is the Fund?

The Cornwall Marine Capital Fund is a £1.85m ‘delegated’ fund which is funded by the Regional Growth Fund and is operated by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.

 

The key aim of this fund is to support capital project led activities enabling job creation and supporting the sustainable and long term growth of the marine sector by ensuring the regeneration and expansion of its capital infrastructure network.

 

What is the marine sector in the context of this fund?

CMN is interested in applications from the following types of businesses:  ‘If the applicant’s end product or service enables their customers to use the sea or waterways, or products from the sea/waterways in some way, then they are part of the marine industry’.* see exclusions below.

What will be funded?

  • Capital investment to bring back existing buildings into use
  • Capital investment to modernise buildings and facilities
  • Capital investment to fit out new and existing buildings
  • Modernisation of equipment
  • Marine renewable technology development
  • Building new premises

 

Regardless of the activity you want to fund, your project needs to prove that it is making an ‘initial investment’ into an activity that will enable your company to grow and create jobs.  Projects which cannot match the RGF funding with significant private sector funds or do not create sufficient direct jobs and those that cannot attribute their activity and jobs to the marine sector will not be successful.

 

*  Exclusions:  Due to European State Aid restrictions, unfortunately the programme cannot support projects seeking investment for  activities related to the production, processing and marketing of fishery or aquaculture products.  Additional exclusions include (not an exhaustive list):

 

  • commercial fishing vessels,
  • transport projects including ferries, water taxis.

 

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list and always check if you are unsure.

 

Who can apply?

The fund is primarily for SME (small to medium enterprises up to 250 employees) marine sector businesses in the Southwest, but large enterprises in Cornwall only are permitted to apply too if they can offer exceptional projects that contribute towards the growth of the marine industry in the Southwest.  Businesses operating in the Southwest are eligible but with lower grant intervention rates.  See the table below.

 

How much?

Grants are available from £20,000 up to £200,000.


The amount of funding any business would eventually be awarded depends on 2 key factors: State Aid public spending thresholds and the number of direct jobs created as a result of the public investment in a project.

 

1. State Aid Funding Thresholds. 

State Aid regulations determine maximum percentages of public funding support (aid intensity) allowed for different sizes of business in assisted and non‐assisted areas. State Aid Schemes vary. Cornwall a designated ‘category ‘a’ assisted area’ and is able to receive higher rates of public funding.  

 

Here is the quick guide to the aid intensity thresholds for different areas of the Southwest: 

 

table1 

These aid intensities relate to the total amount of funding from public sources a business can access for any one project.  Cornwall and Devon % figures are based on the scheme called: ‘regional aid exemption’. If not an in an Assisted Area, regional aid is not available, but the ‘SME investment aid exemption’ could be used.

 

If this all sounds complicated, it is and we will always advise applicants to seek independent state aid advice before they sign any offer letter for public funding.

 

2. Direct Job Creation.

1 FTE (Full Time Equivalent) is defined as 1 job offering more than 30 hours per week for at least 3 years duration (5 years for large businesses).  The number of direct jobs the project commits to creating if they receive support from the fund will determine how much funding can be offered.  CMN has negotiated a benchmark of £10,000 investment per job created.

 

Note: We include apprenticeships as FTE jobs.

 

Regardless of the State aid position of your company and how many jobs you create, Round 4 is only able to offer around 25% support to your project.

Example 1:  Company X wants a piece of equipment that if purchased, would increase his/her orders resulting in 2 jobs created.  The new equipment costs £80,000.  25% of the project cost is £20,000.  Investment for 2 jobs is 2 x £10,000 investment per job = maximum £20,000 grant.

Example 2:  Company Y wants to extend its premises and buy more equipment to enable larger vessels to be built and serviced.  (Eligible as long as the vessels are no bigger than 100 tonnes).  The cost of the project is £300,000 and the improvements will enable the company to employ seven new staff.  The grant would be no more than 45% at £135,000 but because only 7 jobs are created, the maximum amount of grant awarded would be £70,000.


Match funding

RGF requires businesses to match this public funding with their own private sector resources and/or commercial lending (e.g. banks, SWIG loan www.swigfinance.co.uk). You could even match it with crowd funding, see http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk

 

Applicants who plan to match with other public money (UK government or European) will not be successful under this scheme.

 

How to apply?

diagram1  

A 2 stage application process will be used – pre-application (online survey) and full application (form and guidance).

 

  • Step 1. Check the information on the Cornwall Marine Network webpage dedicated to the Marine Capital Fund.
    Any further enquiries after reading this information should be directed by email to: marinecapitalfund@cornwallmarine.net
  • Step 2. Pre-application: Complete the Self Assessment Eligibility Form:
    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CMCFRound3
    Complete this form as soon as you can, then alert the Business support advisor on the above email that you have done this.  She will make an initial eligibility check on your project idea.  If you pass this initial eligibility test, our Business Support Advisor will contact you for more information.  You will be advised on whether or not this is the right fund for you to approach with your proposal. If not, you will be directed to other opportunities.  If it is, you will receive:
  • Step 3: Support to prepare your full application:  If your proposal is passed to full-application stage, the CMCF Business Support Advisor will support you to prepare your application.  You will need to do most of the work for this, with advice and guidance. You will be sent a zipped folder which contains all the documents you need to make an application.
  • Step 4: Submit your full application by 11 January 2016.
  • Step 5: Application Appraisals:  An appraisal team independent of CMN and the marine sector, will assess your application and pass a report to the Independent Panel for final decisions.
  • Step 6: Panel Selection:  An independent panel will make a decision on which projects are supported in each funding round.
  • Step 7: Applicant notification: All applicants will be notified within three weeks of the Panel’s decisions.
  • Step 8: Post offer conditions:  Some applicants may have to satisfy a number of conditions prior to an offer letter being issued. The Business Support Advisor will assist with this process.
  • Step 9: Offer Letter.  Once the offer letter has been signed, the project can start.


When to apply?

Round 1

  • Closed for appraisal of projects submitted
  • Applications were judged by an independent panel of experts on 19th November 2014
  • The first round of grants worth a total of £501,433 was awarded in December 2014

 

Round 2

  • Closed for appraisal of projects submitted
  • Applications were judged by an independent panel of experts on 8 July 2015
  • The second round of grants worth a total of £660,644 was awarded in July 2015

Round 3

  • Closed for appraisal of projects submitted
  • Applications were judged by an independent panel of experts on 1 December 2015
  • The second round of grants worth a total of £280,522 was awarded in December 2015

  

Round 4

  • £198,364 grant remaining to allocate to the final round.
  • Pre-application: The online self-assessment questionnaire is open. Complete as soon as possible.
  • Full applications will be developed with support from CMN’s business advisor until the deadline
  • Deadline for full applications:  11 January 2016 but submissions are welcomed before that date
  • The programme finishes – all grant payments must be made by March 2017 and all jobs created by April 2018 (counted until April 2021).

 

 

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