Hot House Business Support Programme

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.

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