Process & Timescales

Stage 1 – Expression of Interest

EOIs received are reviewed by the Programme Team and assessed against key criteria of the fund – this can take up to five days before a formal response is provided. If further information is required, the Programme Team will make early contact with applicants.

Based on this review, applicants are either invited to proceed to Stage 2 – full application – or advised that the project proposals do not meet the minimum requirements of the fund.  This does not preclude submission of a revised expression of interest where this is able to address the feedback provided by the Programme Team.

Stage 2 – Full Application

Once invited to submit a full application, applicants are required to present a sound case for investment, enabling them to test the soundness of their plans and ensure it makes a robust case for funding when submitted for formal appraisal.

Full applications must be supported by a current business plan, three year cashflow forecasts, financial statements (independently prepared) and any mandatory consents, permissions or licences related to the project proposal (e.g. planning permission). Depending on how well developed a proposal is this second stage can take anywhere between two to six weeks to complete.

Applicants are encouraged to engage the support of their Business Incubation/ Centre Manager at any stage of this process. Equally, the Grow on Growth Fund Programme Team reserves the right to contact the Business Incubation/ Centre managers at any stage.

Stage 2 – Check List:

  • Full application form
  • Independently prepared financial statements
  • Business plan covering a period of at least 3 years post-investment
  • 3 year cashflow forecasts
  • Quotes in relation to profiled expenditure
  • Any mandatory consents, permissions or licences related to the project (e.g. planning permission)
  • Any other formal documentation required to deliver the project

Stage 3 – Formal Appraisal

Full applications undergo rigorous review by an independent Investment Appraisal Panel (IAP) which undertakes a formal appraisal of the application and supporting documentation, making the final decision as whether to award grant funding. The areas that will be considered when appraising full applications are:

  • Impact of the investment – relating to the number and quality of jobs created and/or safeguarded
  • Deliverability of the project – based on the proposals presented, associated risks and underlying financial health of the business
  • Sustainability – including the credibility of applicant’s financial forecasts and any market analysis, in turn linked to the sustainability of the employment created and/or safeguarded
  • Value for money – in terms of the cost per job against grant awarded and extent of levered investment generated

Subject to the decision of the Investment Appraisal Panel, a due diligence assessment of the company will be required.

Stage 4 – Due Diligence and Grant Offer

Following the appraisal and in principle approval by the IAP, an independent due diligence assessment will be carried on out each applicant business in order to ensure that they have the ability to deliver against the terms under which they will be contracted.

Where any further information or detail is required in order to complete this, the appointed due diligence provider will make direct contact with applicants.

A fee will be levied for due diligence, as below:

Grant Award Fee
(exclusive of and subject to VAT)
£20,000 to £40,000 £750
£41,000 to £60,000 £1,250
£61,000 to £100,000 £2,500

Subject to a satisfactory due diligence report a formal grant offer letter will be issued.  In all instances fees will be payable by applicants regardless of the outcome of the due diligence assessment and in any event must be paid before a formal grant offer letter is issued.