European Regional Development Fund

ERDF projects are now delivering across the GCGP LEP area. This section provides a brief summary of each of them.

KEEP+

KEEP+ is about connecting SMEs to academic expertise and graduate talent. This new European Regional Development Fund-subsidised programme will help boost business through research and development support that will help launch new products and services.

Who is involved?

A 10-strong partnership led by Anglia Ruskin University with:

  • University of Brighton, University of East Anglia, University of Essex, University of Greenwich, University of Hertfordshire, University of Kent, University Campus Suffolk, Norwich University of the Arts, East of England Local Government Association

Eligibility

To qualify for KEEP+ funding applicants must be a small to medium sized enterprise (SME)

Aims

  • To achieve a step change in University-Business Collaboration and boost innovation activity in SMEs
  • To provide support for SMEs and universities to collaborate to produce new products and services through knowledge transfer and research and innovation partnerships

Funding

  • KEEP+ is a £19.8m three-year project running from January 2016
  • £9.4m of the project costs will be funded by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), with £9.9 being funded by SMEs

Where?

All eligible organisations must have their registered head office, as per its Companies House records, within the Programme’s qualifying geographical area (SELEP, GCGP, Hertfordshire and New Anglia LEP areas) OR have at least 75% of their economic activity occurring there.

Contact details

Knowledge Exchange Manager (Simon Daly): 01245 683173 – Email: simon.daly@anglia.ac.uk

Business Administration Manager (Tammy Au): 01223 695057 – Email: tammy.au@anglia.ac.uk

REACTOR

REACTOR is a regional development project led by Anglia Ruskin University and co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. It aims to solve human problems using applied games.

REACTOR will utilise European funding to enable connections between businesses, talent and expertise to initiate a new industry sector.

Who is involved?

Anglia Ruskin University have academic expertise and research knowledge in gaming but, importantly for REACTOR, also in healthcare and therapy, construction and housing, policing and crime, sports, culture and heritage, international law and business.

Eligibility

To qualify for funding from REACTOR applicants must be a small to medium sized enterprise (SME).

Aims

The project’s aim is to support the growth of an applied games sector in the Cambridgeshire / Peterborough region. It will do this by enabling connections between businesses and talent, providing expertise, facilities and grants.

Funding

A total of £1 million will be committed to help new and existing businesses in all sectors to use games technologies and user-based design in innovative products and services – creating applied games and, ultimately, a new applied games sector.

Where?

Located in the heart of Cambridge’s tech cluster, REACTOR is well-placed to help businesses connect to the best talent, academic experts, and specialist equipment and funding in order to produce new, innovative products.

Contact details

Project Director – Jan Storgårds. Telephone: 01245 493131 – E-mail: jan.storgards@anglia.ac.uk

SCORE

Supply Chain innovation for Offshore Renewable Energy (SCORE) is a £6million grant fund and support programme for small and medium sized companies that are developing new ways of working or innovative technologies in offshore renewable energy.

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Grants of up to £50,000 are available to help companies across England to develop new products, processes and ideas – from patenting a product to exploring concepts that offer new ways of solving problems and driving efficiency.

Eligibility

To qualify for SCORE funding the applicant must be a small to medium sized enterprise (SME) and either engaged in, or looking to engage in:

  • Research and development, including specialised consultancy.
  • Implementing findings of the planning process, such as in areas of new product development, manufacturing and design.
  • Collaborating with universities and colleges, and sourcing facilities, equipment and expertise to solve technical problems and develop further innovation.
  • Accessing expert services for Intellectual Property registration, including patents, designs and trademarks.
  • Accessing equipment or services that support a technology ‘step-change’ for the business.
  • Acquiring equipment or services to provide additional production capacity to exploit innovation.
  • Developing alternative uses and markets for waste products.
  • Investigating the technological and commercial viability of transforming innovative ideas into new products, processes and technologies.
  • Researching the development of new products or technologies, or significant improvements to existing ones.
  • Implementing the results of industrial research, including the creation of pre-production prototypes.
  • Assisting with the exploitation costs of new products or processes, including marketing, publicity and attendance at trade fairs.

Aims

The SCORE programme, which is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and delivered by OrbisEnergy, aims to help 200 innovative businesses and create 100 new jobs.

Where?

Economic benefit must be realised within Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk or Suffolk.

Contact details

Tel: 01502 563368
Email: SCORE@scoregrants.co.uk

BEECP

The Business Energy Efficiency Cambridge & Peterborough Programme (BEECP) aims to provide support and grants to small businesses to help catalyse investment in energy efficiency initiatives, to reduce carbon emissions and realise the associated business benefits including; reduced operating costs, increased competitiveness, business growth and resilience.

Who is involved ?beecp

The project brings together experienced organisations and energy efficiency practitioners led by Peterborough Environment City Trust, and delivered in partnership with NWES and Groundwork.

Eligibility

The project is offering assistance to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

Businesses must be able to meet eligibility criteria. The project is unable to support businesses from certain sectors including (but not limited to):

Fisheries or aquaculture; Agriculture or the processing of agricultural products; Synthetic fibres; Banking and insurance; Healthcare; School age education.

Retail businesses can benefit from an energy review, but are ineligible for a capital grant.

Aims

The project offers two strands of support to help businesses improve resource efficiency;

Energy Reviews – A fully funded on-site review to help identify, prioritise and quantify opportunities for cost and carbon savings for the business. Additional support will be available to help businesses identify specific solutions and products, with detailed feasibility studies as required.

Capital Grants – Qualifying businesses may be able to apply for a capital grant – up to a maximum of 25% or £20,000, whichever is the lower – to help catalyse investment in products and solution.

Where?

The project covers the GCGP (LEP) area.

Contact details

General Enquiries – Clare Watters (Project Support Officer) – 01733 882549 or info@beecp.co.uk
Energy Reviews – Warren Pope (Senior Advisor) – 07900 951384 or warren@beecp.co.uk
Grant Applications – Sam Bosson (Grants Broker) – 07715 372336 or sam@beecp.co.uk
Grant Claims – Emma Taylor (Financial Claims Manager) – 07734 768315 or emma@beecp.co.uk

Serious Impact

 

Serious Impact provides a range of fresi_logorow_v4be programmes to support and energise entrepreneurs to develop and grow impact ventures. The support available can be accessed through a single day workshop, amplified with an intensive 3-month long programme of workshops, talks and training, or scaled with 9-months of incubation space and one-on-one mentoring, all supported by state-of-the-art facilities and tools.

Who is involved?

Allia is a charity that supports impact entrepreneurs and ventures – in other words, people and organisations that are dedicated to making a positive impact on people, planet or place. They provide business support, work space and finance solutions to help ventures start up, grow and create social benefit.

Eligibility

Serious impact is designed to help everyone, from an individual with just a germ of an idea, through to established SME’s with innovation or business growth challenges.

Aims

The project aims to help all applicants succeed and grow via a series of:

Where?

Individuals or businesses based Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough and New Anglia LEP areas.

Contact details
Phone: 0845 456 2431
Email: seriousimpact@allia.org.uk

Innovate2Succeed

Innovate2Succeed is a fully-funded programme designed to support ambitious SMEs that recognise the integral role of innovation in their growth plans. It offers up to 7 days tailored support from an Innovation Adviser and can support a business’ senior team to address important areas of innovation management.

Who is involved?

The project is delivered by Exemplas, part of the University of Hertfordshire. Exemplas has experience of delivering quality business support services to over half a million SMEs. The programme is jointly funded by Innovate UK and ERDF.

Eligibility

The project is for owners and managers of established SMEs to help them move from start up to sustainability.

Aims

Innovate2Succeed aims to increase the effectiveness in generating and commercially exploiting ideas of high growth, innovative SMEs, as well as those showing innovation potential but facing barriers to innovative performance.

Delivered through a tailored four step programme, the Innovate2Succeed programme provides eligible organisations with support from experienced innovation specialists.

Step 1: A review of the business is carried out by a specialist Innovation Adviser to identify innovation strengths, weaknesses and gaps. Some of the areas covered include: strategy,  management, finance, leadership, performance and culture

Step 2: An action plan will be agreed between the business and the Innovation Adviser, based on the outcomes of the review, to develop the culture and framework for a legacy to support future innovation.

Step 3: Businesses will receive tailored coaching and mentoring from an Innovation Adviser to support them to deliver the outcomes in their action plan.

Step 4: A final review takes place to measure the impact the programme has had on the business.

Where?

GCGP and Hertfordshire LEP areas.

Contact details

0845 600 9130

Innovation Bridge

Innovation Bridge is a new three-year £4 million economic development project, running until summer 2019, offering:

  • Free support to help businesses innovate and grow
  • Access to specialist university expertise and a grant programme to support the implementation of a growth plan

Who is involved?

University of Bedfordshire, Anglia Ruskin University and University of Suffolk.

Eligibility

  • Individuals, start-ups and existing businesses with fewer than 250 employees
  • Businesses looking to grow and develop a new product or service with experts at the cutting edge of research.

Aims

An initial free business review is followed up with the support of a university academic to develop an innovation action plan to support the growth of the business. Following the action plan, there is a grant programme which can offer up to 30% of the costs of the implementation of elements of the plan.

What will be available?

  • An initial assessment, either face-to-face or over the phone
  • Specialist academic support and expertise to develop an action plan for developing a new product or service
  • Access to a grant programme (between £1,000 and £15,000), covering up to 30% of the investment.

Where?

  • Businesses based in the GCGP, South  East Midlands and New Anglia LEP areas

Contact details

Email: innovationbridge@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk
Telephone: 0300 300 8582

Connecting Cambridgeshire

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Connecting Cambridgeshire is rolling out superfast broadband to thousands of homes and businesses across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough that would not otherwise be able to receive it.

The project is working to ensure businesses, residents and public services can make the most of opportunities offered by a fast-changing digital world. It is delivering a co-ordinated approach to drive economic growth, help rural communities to thrive, improve health and well-being, and make it easier for people to get online and access public services.

Who is involved?

The Connecting Cambridgeshire partnership is led by Cambridgeshire County Council, working with other local authorities in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, BT, the Government’s Broadband Delivery programme (BDUK) and partners in business, health and education to achieve the aim of becoming the best-connected county in the country.

Eligibility

The Connecting Cambridgeshire programme is based on Cambridgeshire postcodes and does not depend on whether the serving exchange is within the county. Both business premises and homes are eligible.

Aims

This ambitious programme aims to improve Cambridgeshire’s broadband, mobile and Wi-Fi coverage, whilst supporting online skills, business growth and technological innovation to meet future digital challenges.

The Connecting Cambridgeshire programme has been set up to ensure that as many homes and businesses as possible can access superfast broadband. The first phase of the roll-out has been completed. The second phase of the roll-out to extend coverage is due to be delivered between spring 2016 and summer 2017, and detailed planning is now underway for a third phase to reach more challenging areas.

Funding

Funding is being provided by BDUK, Cambridge County Council and ERDF

Where?

All Cambridgeshire postcodes.

Please check the Connecting Cambridgeshire website for details of which services will be available to which specific postcodes and when these services will be available.

Contact details

Connecting Cambridgeshire
SH1004
Shire Hall
Cambridge
CB3 0AP
Tel: 01223 703293

Email: contact@connectingcambridgeshire.co.uk

Better Off in Business

This programme helps unemployed (or working less than 16 hours per week) young people aged 18-30 to explore and test their business ideas, write business plans and start their own businesses or achieve alternative goals in education, training or work.

The project offers:

  • Advice on employment options
  • Business skills training
  • Business planning support
  • Start-up loan funding (subject to assessment and availability)
  • Ongoing support from a volunteer business mentor
  • Access to specialist support, including free legal helpline supported by DLA Piper
  • And, if participants start a business, access to a wide range of free and discounted products and services.

Who is involved?

The Princes Trust

Eligibility

To access the programme, customers must be unemployed (or working less than 16 hours per week) and aged 18-30.

Gap year students, recent graduates (those who graduated less than six months ago) and those with a post graduate degree (e.g. a Masters) or a professional qualification are not eligible to access the programme.

Participation in the programme does not guarantee an award of start-up funding. Applications for start-up funding are assessed in relation to a number of factors including perceived risk, business viability and individual need.

Aims

The training offered within this programme aims to give applicants a taste of what they need to know and do to start their own business as well as one-to-one support to help applicants to explore and test their ideas, and turn them into a business plan. It also offers support to apply for a low interest loan of up to £4,000 for a sole trader and up to £5,000 for a partnership to help applicants to start a business (dependent on funding available). Mentoring is offered, to help develop a business or access other opportunities in education, training, work or volunteering.

Funding

The Princes Trust and ERDF

Where?

Black Country, D2N2, SEMLEP, GCGP, South East, GLLEP, and Stoke and Staffordshire LEP areas.

Contact details

Trudy Roberts, John Holliday & Pam Willows Chamberlain

Address:
The Prince’s Trust, East Midlands Regional Office, Unit 6
Faraday Court, Conduit Street
Leicester
LE2 0JN

Telephone numbers:
01522 808518 – Trudy Roberts
07808717468 – Trudy Roberts

Email:
Website:
http://www.princes-trust.org.uk/need_help/enterprise_programme.aspx

Signpost 2 Grow

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Signpost 2 Grow is Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership’s Growth Hub.

Signpost 2 Grow is a free service, and will give local businesses access to a wide range of business support, advice, grants and events, aimed at helping businesses to grow and develop.

Signpost 2 Grow is led by the GCGP LEP in partnership with local public and private sector partners.

Who is involved?

GCGP LEP and NWES

Eligibility

All businesses and potential businesses within the GCGP LEP area.

Aims

Signpost 2 Grow provides businesses of all sizes with advice, support and information on a range of topics relevant to business owners in our area, including grant funding.

Signpost 2 Grow is available to connect businesses to the help, support and funding they need to grow. If entrepreneurs have an idea, but aren’t sure where to start Signpost 2 Grow can help.

Equally if a business has been trading for a while and is thinking of taking on their first staff member, or need funding support to purchase an asset to expand production capacity – Signpost 2 Grow can point them in the right direction.

Funding

UK government Growth Deal and ERDF

Where?

Cambridgeshire, Peterborough, Rutland, West Norfolk, West Suffolk, North Hertfordshire, South Holland and Uttlesford in Essex.

Contact details

01480 277180

hello@signpost2grow.co.uk.