Business Development Funding
Following engagement with the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) and local authorities (LAs) across Wales, Welsh Government has announced a commitment of £35m to strengthen regional economic development to allow LAs to further boost their business support grant activity during financial year 2021/22.
The funding will allow LAs to deliver additional regular grant activity where this is already in place and will also target investment directly aligned to the priorities in Welsh Government’s Programme for Government commitments to support a greener, fairer and sustainable economy, focussed on place, skills and the citizen.
The enhanced package of support will be aligned to 4 key areas;
- A focus on decarbonisation and the climate emergency that will help Wales meet its legally binding net zero carbon emission target by 2050.
- Progressing the ambitions in the Economic Resilience and Reconstruction Mission for Wales (including fair work, skills, industry / services of the future, apprenticeships and collaboration with universities and business to maintain graduate talent in Wales).
- Helping businesses to work co-operatively to support local supply chains, including local delivery and logistics services.
- In addition the fund seeks to provide support to the Covid response in terms of well-ventilated work spaces and the ability to work smartly.
In recognition of the defined window for delivery, local authority partners have been asked to use existing grant schemes or to bring back into operation recently inactive schemes to help realise this ambition.
The funding has been made available to create and safeguard jobs. Welsh Government have stated that the maximum award possibly available for eligible applications is £50,000, that grant requests much be match funded on a 50/50 basis and that there is a 80/20 split between capital and revenue funding available.
Welsh Government have also stated that expenditure of this funding needs to occur within the financial year 2021/22, i.e. by the 31st March 2022. To achieve this applications must be submitted, assessed and approved, potential offers made and funded projects completed prior to 31 March 2022 with grant defrayed.
Welsh Government have asked each LA to undertake post-completion monitoring of activity on their awards to ensure that public funds have been spent against the criteria of the award letter and in-line with the individual grant scheme criteria.
It has been recommended that this take place at the 12 month point from award date.
To identify level of demand for these funds BCBC will be issuing an Expression of Interest in early December 2021.
Those businesses then considered to be eligible will be invited to full application stage early January 2022.