News: Hot House Business Support Programme

Posted on 16th July 2020

The Business Hot House Business Support Programme is potentially a very important scheme and source of additional grant funding and support to local business.

Its aim is to address gaps in the Business Support provision across the Coast to Capital (C2C) region. It is funded through £5.5m of EU European Regional Development Funds through the C2C allocation.

Additional match funding is provided by local authorities in the region, including a combined contribution from the West Sussex local authorities; the Greater Brighton Economic Board; delivery partners plus SME match funding to the grant fund strand. Overall the Programme has a value of £11 million.

More information is available via various Social media channels:

  • Twitter: @bizhothouse
  • Facebook: Business Hot House
  • Linkedin: The Business Hot House
  • Instagram:
  • Emailer: Sign up for all the latest information and workshops

The programme brings together a consortium of 7 delivery partners across six strands of support and there are 6 strands to the support:

  1. Grant Programme
  2. Productivity and Growth
  3. Access to Finance
  4. Monetisation of Innovation
  5. Leadership and Management Development
  6. Start Up Support

It is expected that a number of businesses will benefit from support through more than one strand.

There are three ways to refer to the Business Hot House Programme:

  1. Direct to University of Chichester – who will ascertain the most appropriate ‘strand’ for support and refer on.
  2. Direct to a delivery partner – they will then refer on if it is not suitable for their ‘strand’
  3. Via the C2C Growth Hub

While all six strands are of real potential value, the Grant element of the programme is the obvious headline component for most BHBPA members.

The target beneficiaries for grants is SME businesses and pre-starts. Eligibility criteria may apply in some case, e.g. retail cannot generally be supported, but may be available for innovation and productivity development. Agricultural businesses cannot be supported. Grants may be suitable for capital and revenue elements of a project. The grant fund is available for all businesses and start-ups. Each strand has a minimum allocation of funding that links with associated outcomes.

There are 3 levels of grant available:

  • Pre-start grants – £2,000 to £5,000
  • Small grant for established business – £2,000 to £5,000
  • Large grants for established businesses – £5,000 to approx. £170,000 (EU limits apply)

Interestingly, grants can be used for revenue and capital expenditure but will be subject to ERDF eligibility rules on expenditure and procurement regulations.

Grants must be matched on a 2:3 ratio (i.e. 40% grant fund intervention rate – reducing to 30% later in the programme), e.g. a £10,000 project to increase growth requires £6,000 match funding from the business to access a £4,000 grant. All grant projects MUST comply with EU eligibility criteria and procurement regulations

The plan is to invite Gareth Sear, Programme Manager, to talk to BHBPA members in the coming weeks – so look out for that event. In the meantime review the attachments for more information.

  1. Summary
  2. Detail

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"“We have been members of BHBPA from its inception, and seen the organisation steadily grow and expand into the dynamic entity it is today, bringing positive benefits to all its members.""

Peter Hook, Manager
(Computer Systems Engineers)

"I am delighted to have a long-standing relationship with the BHBPA. Since its foundation the Association has gone from strength to strength and there is no doubt that it has brought huge benefits to its members and the business community as a whole through the partnerships it has formed with the local authorities, Sussex Police and local organisations. It is paramount that Burgess Hill businesses have an effective collective voice."

The Hon Nicholas Soames MP

"“Sutton Winson have been members of the BHBPA for around 7 years. We have found it a great way to keep in touch with Burgess Hill businesses and to meet with likeminded people. It’s not just another “networking” group, as it tackles the real issues and gets things done”"

Bruce Millington, Manager
(Sutton Winson Ltd)

"The BHBPA is the most effective and dynamic business organisation I have ever worked with in over 30 years in Local Government. It has a very active and large membership whose points of view are taken seriously by all government structures. Peter Liddell does an excellent job in providing unique and enjoyable networking opportunities where members interact and discuss points of mutual interest. It provides a forum for businesses to discuss common issues, to share experiences and to play a powerful and meaningful role in the Burgess Hill community. The BHBPA provides important and credible support for all its members and ensures that their best interests are represented where necessary. "

Steve Cridland, CEO
(Burgess Hill Town Council)