The third round of Regional Growth Funding is set to open soon, and Deloitte are encouraging businesses who are considering applying to consider their bids very carefully to ensure success.
In the first two rounds North East businesses have so far been very successful, attracting more than £93 million of investment. However, as RGF awareness rises, it is becoming increasingly difficult to secure funding.
John Spurr, Director at Deloitte in the North East said: “The two previous rounds of RGF have been heavily oversubscribed, but with significant funding available to business in North East, taking the time to prepare and submit a quality bid is worthwhile.”
Mr Spurr is now encouraging businesses to take active steps to help ensure their bid is successful. Firms looking to apply should ensure they have a credible business plan with a strong investment case. They should also look to professionals for advice on the proposals to ensure they are robust enough to withstand analysis.
Businesses should also ensure they understand RGF bidding criteria. While the minimum bidding threshold of £1 million may dissuade smaller businesses from applying, it is possible for firms to collaborate and submit a package of projects to meet the minimum amount.
David Wilkinson, Partner at Deloitte in the North East said “As with any significant project, it is essential that senior management buy into the proposal at an early stage. RGF grant funding to date has not been repayable.
“Senior management should compare the effort and resource put into submitting an RGF application to the effort and resource devoted to improving the profitability of their business to deliver the same financial outcome.
“In doing so, perhaps they would attach a higher priority to the RGF application process.”
This is expected to be the single largest grant funding route available to businesses in 2012.
John Spurr added: “Plan your project now, assess its merits and recognise it weaknesses. A well thought through bid, carefully planned and impartially reviewed, will boost your chance of success.”