Who is this fund targeted at?

This fund is specifically targeted at early stage businesses (i.e. micro businesses and young established SMEs) located within business incubators and which are about to successfully ‘exit’/ leave their environment.

What is a business incubation environment?

Business incubation environments are designed to accelerate the successful development of entrepreneurial firms through an array of business support resources and services, developed or orchestrated by the Incubation Manager, and offered both internally and/or externally through the business incubation environment’s network of contacts. The main goal of any business incubation environment is to generate a steady flow of successful firms that will leave the programme financially viable and freestanding. These can be resident, non-resident or affiliated to the business incubation environment.

What is the regional growth fund?

The Regional Growth Fund (RGF) is a national Government fund which provides grant support to projects and programmes that help businesses to grow, levering in private sector investment, creating economic growth and sustainable employment. It aims particularly to help those areas currently dependent on the public sector to make the transition to sustainable private sector led growth and prosperity.

How much can I apply for?

You can apply for grant funding in the range of £20,000 to £100,000. All eligible expenditure must be complete within 12 months from the start of the grant and no extension can be permitted. Those projects awarded after March 2016 must have a delivery timeline that ends by March 2017 – when the fund will close.

How much match funding do I need?

Applications will only be considered if an applicant can demonstrate that the project is investment ready or are in the final stages of discussions with financial providers to secure match funding. Match funding must be at least 60% of the total project costs. The scheme will not approve any application until all required match funding has been secured. Consideration will only be given to match funding identified from the outset which is a financial contribution – anticipated turnover or income generation is ineligible.

What sources of match funding can I use?

Only private sector sources of match funding are acceptable. These can include the applicant’s own resources, banks, investors, etc. Anticipated income and profit from forecasted turnover will not be considered.

What can funding from the Grow on Growth Fund be used for (examples of eligible costs and non-eligible costs)?

The Grow on Growth Fund helps tenant companies at the end of their tenancy period prepare their exit and next stage of growth. Below are examples of the type of costs that are covered (and not covered) by the fund.

Examples of eligible costs Examples of non-eligible costs
  • Capital investment in land and premises
  • Commercial rents
  • Refurbishment to owned or leased premises
  • Machinery and equipment
  • IT and new technology equipment
  • Job creation related costs (e.g. recruitment and training)
  • Operational costs – including business rates, utilities and salary costs
  • In kind contribution
  • Interest charges
  • Input VAT (if reclaimable)
  • Dividends, shares, bonuses
  • Stock purchases
  • Interest charges
  • RGF Due diligence costs
  • Vehicle purchase


What are the criteria for selection?

Applications to the fund will be selected based on a number of criteria including: job creation (number, quality and wider impacts); deliverability (matched funding, project plan); sustainability (compelling evidence that jobs will be sustained); and value for money (cost/job and amount of match funding).

Is the fund targeted at a specific sector?

Applications from the following sectors are unlikely to be approved for a grant. Sectors include: Retail; Tourism (including hotels & leisure facilities); Passenger Transport; Construction; Warehousing; Education; Health Service (including medical services & residential care); Public Sector; Infrastructure; Franchise Operations; Ministry of Defence funded contracts; Energy Generation; Property development & investment; and Primary Agriculture.

What conditions are attached to the grant?

The conditions of the grant will be set out in the grant offer letter – issued when the award of funding is confirmed. Conditions relate to both the levered investment and the job creation outputs, as set out in the formal application the Fund. Failure to fulfil these contractual obligations will result in claw back of all or part of the grant.

What do you intend by 'Safeguarded' job?

A safeguarded job is one which the Beneficiary has confirmed in writing would be lost within 12 months from the date which the Beneficiary would first receive funds under a Beneficiary Agreement, without the provision of such funds.

What is the definition of a full time equivalent (FTE) job?

An FTE job is a paid work of 30 hours or more per week. You can convert part time jobs to FTE either:

  • on a pro rata basis based on hours worked; or
  • 2 part time jobs = 1 FTE, where no other information available

Can I apply for funding if my project has already started?

No. Any funding included as part of the total project value, including grant, must not have occurred or been committed (i.e. order placed with suppliers) prior to written notification of a positive decision by the investment panel.

What do you mean by 'project'?

In this instance, the project is what the Grow on Growth Fund will finance through the grant, i.e. what you are describing in your EOI and full application.

What are the state aid rules?

All offers of funding will be subject to State aid rules. Full details of State aid cover applicable to the project will be included in any offer of support – where it is the responsibility of the grant beneficiary to discharge its duties and responsibilities under those rules.