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: https://www.facebook.com/businesshothouse Business Hot House
  • Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/4802956/ The Business Hot House
  • Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thebusinesshothouse
  • 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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Testimonials

"“I have belonged to this group since I started my own business, Lea Graham Associates, in 1986. The association has been through several incarnations since then, but its most recent one, BHBPA, is by far the best.

It’s much more than just a networking group, although it is supremely good at that too. BHBPA is inclusive and friendly and acts like a mutual-support society. The events are stimulating, worthwhile and often great fun and I believe most members share this opinion.”"

Susan Fleet, Managing Director
(Lea Graham Associates)

"As the local hospice for the area, it’s great that we receive so much support from the BHBPA. Last year the members raised an amazing £2150 through activities such as Bake Off and the BHBiz Awards. Each well planned members meeting enables good networking opportunities and speakers that are relevant to the present climate and local issues. We are proud to be members of BHBPA."

Wendy Agate, Community Fund Raising Manager
(St Peter & St James Hospice)

"This association was started with a lot of effort from a few local businessmen and has proved to be a very powerful and useful tool for our business. The BHBPA has influence at the top level; when action is needed, the BHBPA gets it done. We are kept in touch with all that is happening on our doorstep and will often act because of what is published in the weekly emails / newsletters."

Steve Mooney
(Steven Mooney Machinery)

"If Carlsberg did networking they would do it the BHBPA way. Each event is packed with great ideas, thought provoking presentations and fun. As a small business we feel supported and part of the community. We have built friendships and business relationships and there is always plenty of advice on hand to benefit us all so don’t hesitate to join whatever the nature of your business. "

Angela Gill, Managing Director
(Bio Productions Ltd)