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Wales - Grants & Funding

In Wales, financial assistance towards large capital investment projects was previously offered by Regional Selective Assistance Cymru (RSA) in Tier 1 and Tier 2 areas, with additionally the possibility for Small and Medium Sized companies (SME's) to be funded by the Assembly Investment Grant (AIG) in all areas throughout Wales (see below). The latter had a maximum support ceiling of £75K. From 17th April 2008, these have been absorbed into a new business support programme delivered through a Single Investment Fund encompassing elements of both grants and other business support and funding schemes.

Whilst automatic grants such as RDG which ceased in 1988 no longer exist; ALL grants, which form part of the new scheme continue to be discretionary, require an applicant to prove a genuine need, and that a project for which funding is sought will create and/or safeguard jobs. A grant cannot be claimed as a right - it has to be the result of an application for aid.

The Single Investment Fund, with a budget pot of around £92m, is a merger of a number of continuing capital grants, including Regional Selective Assistance, the old Assembly Investment Grant, property development, and tourism industry section 4 grants. In future there will only be one application form to complete; and to implement the scheme, the Welsh Assembly Government plans to have in place some 200 Customer Relationship Managers who will provide its points of initial contact for businesses seeking support.

A new mechanism for assessing the return on investment from business support awarded forms part of an effort to reduce grant dependency within Wales, therefore 'return-on-investment' monitoring to ensure best value for money will also feature within the scheme. This will look at improved profit margins of companies in receipt of support, as well as increased employee income levels.

The discretionary nature of the grant regimes and strict criteria by which eligibility is determined, as well as the other aspects detailed above, suggests that you should speak first with GRA or other professionals to avoid giving information prematurely which could then prejudice your potential case for Grant Aid when final application submissions are reviewed during the formal appraisal process.

Taxpayers' money was not given away lightly in the past - under the Single Investment Fund, Officials' scrutiny will be much more rigorous as a clear expectation of WAG policy.

In summary the available Capital Expenditure grants which form part of the Single Investment Fund remain as:

RSA available for capital expenditure projects taking place within Wales in Tier 1 and Tier 2 Areas, and which will create and/or safeguard jobs. Grants from £100K upwards, and running into millions are possible since there is no maximum stipulated by the RSA scheme.
AIG available for capital expenditure projects undertaken by small and medium companies throughout Wales. It is limited to a maximum award of £75,000, but is not job creation dependant.


Grants for Innovation known previously as formerly SMART CYMRU are also part of the Single Investment Fund scheme.

See Other Funding for details of Innovation grants.


News of Wales (3)


New Welsh Assembly Cabinet Team announced

SIF - a relaunch perhaps?

Edwina Hart
with First Minister, Carwyn Jones

Announcing details of his new Cabinet team, First Minister, Carwyn Jones, said: "At the heart of all we do will be our determination to fight for jobs and grow the Welsh economy. Ours is an ambitious, positive vision of the nation we can become. In everything we do we will stand up for Wales and lead our country forward with ambition."

Now that Ieuan Wynn Jones is replaced by Edwina Hart as Minister for Business, Enterprise and Technology could this mean the return to availability of the Single Investment Fund provide much needed stimulus to the ambition of achieving a dynamic Economic Renewal Programme.

GRA understands certain Inward Investment projects could still get grant aid - would be grant seekers should note GRA can help and advise.

UPM get £1.7M SIF Grant

Paper giant UPM is to invest £17m in the development of a materials recovery facility at its Shotton paper mill in North Wales. The facility will sort dry recyclables, such as plastic bottles, cardboard, newspapers, magazines and metals, and enable the mill to source high-quality paper from co-mingled sources. Construction on the site will start immediately and is estimated to be complete by Jan 2011.

Once up and running at full capacity, 160 jobs will be created in order to sort 200,000 tonnes of recyclable material, of which 120,000 tonnes will be newspapers and magazines.

David Ingham, UPM Shotton general manager, said: "Our vision for UPM Shotton is to be the frontrunner in creating value from renewable and recyclable materials. Building a materials recovery facility at the site is a natural step towards this vision."

Cheryl Gillan appointed Welsh secretary.

Cardiff-born Mrs Gillan, 58, Conservative MP for Chesham and Amersham, has served as shadow Welsh secretary since 2005 and becomes the first woman in the job. Previously Mrs Gillan served as a Conservative spokesperson on trade and industry, foreign affairs and home affairs before succeeding Bill Wiggin, an opponent of the Welsh assembly, as Shadow Welsh Secretary in December 2005. She had earlier served as a junior minister in John Major's government.

Mrs Gillan said: "As a politician with proud Welsh roots, it is a great honour to be appointed Secretary of State for Wales .
Mrs Gillan said she would be seeking to meet Carwyn Jones as "soon as possible" to discuss the Welsh economy and a referendum for further legislative powers for Wales.

Meanwhile, the assembly government's deputy first minister said they have "no plan" to deal with an estimated £220m cut to the Welsh budget this year. The Conservative-Lib Dem coalition at Westminster has announced it will press ahead with billions of pounds of cuts immediately, to start dealing with the UK budget deficit.

The Welsh budget will be cut by £162.5m

First Minister Carwyn Jones
meets David Cameron recently in Cardiff

As a part of the £6.2bn spending reductions unveiled by Chancellor George Osborne, the Welsh Assembly Government budget will be cut by £162.5M. This was the figure announced by George Osborne on 24th May. He said "urgent action" was needed to address the budget deficit. It said that recycled savings worth £24.4m will reduce the impact from the original figure of £187m. The assembly government has the option to defer the cuts to next year, but this may not be taken up.

Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan said: "These have been hard and difficult decisions, but it is only right and proper that Wales makes its contribution to helping reduce the massive fiscal deficit that has been left as the legacy of the previous government. "I am pleased that we have been able to limit the savings in Wales to 1.2%, significantly less than many government departments. "This is a fair and proportionate deal for Wales."

Single Investment Fund

to make a comeback?

Ieuan Wyn Jones

Now that Minister for the Economy and Transport, Ieuan Wyn Jones,has left his post, and is resigning from the leadership of Plaid Cymru, we, at GRA, wonder if the latterly dormant Single Investment Fund will now quietlyu make a return, to provide a badly needed system of company investment incentives, capital grants and business support programme.

The single investment strategy was first unveiled by former Minister for the Economy and Transport Andrew Davies, but his successor Mr Jones has taken the project forward and ensured its delivery, with key support from director of policy and strategy at the department of the economy and transport James Price.

RSA Cynru wasas an element of the scheme for those whose requirements are to seek grant funding for Capital Projects - but there is now little detail in the public domain at the moment.

Would be grant seekers should note GRA may be able to help and advise.

FORD get Single Investment Fund Grant of £13.4M

Announcing a £70M Investment, Ford have decided that it will manufacture its 1.6litre low carbon petrol engines exclusively at Bridgend with the help of a £13.4M Single Investment Fund Grant from the Welsh Assembly Government. .

The new engines will go into production within two years. They will be up to 20% more fuel- efficient. It is hoped the decision will safeguard more than 600 jobs,

New First Minister Appointed

Carwyn Howell Jones (born 21 March 1967) succeeded Rhodri Morgan as First Minister for Wales on 1st Jan 2009.

The third official to lead the Welsh Assembly Government, Mr Jones has been Assembly Member for Bridgend since 1999. In the coalition government of Labour and Plaid Cymru, he was appointed Counsel General for Wales and Leader of the House on 19 July 2007.

InBev get £3.3M RSA

Iechyd da, Magor!

With the help of a £3.3M grant, InBev (formerly known as Interbrew - the world's leading brewer) is investing £11m in a new state-of-the-art bottling facility at Magor near Newport, South Wales.

GRA worked closely with InBev UK to prepare the grant application, and advised in the negotiation of the successful RSA Cymru grant offered by the Welsh Assembly to enable Magor management to get project go ahead from its Belgian Board.

  £143M in grants awarded historically to businesses in Wales

Since the Single Investment Fund was introduced little publicity has been given to grants awarded in Wales, but for the record it is interesting to note that some 270 Welsh business were offered grants by the WAG in the financial year ended at 31st March, 2001. 13,173 jobs in Wales were created or safeguarded as a result..
Figures for later years to date in 2010 are expected to be similar - perhaps its just that they are keeping quiet lest the good news gets out, and more companies seek grant aid..

WOULD BE grant seekers should note GRA can gladly help and advise to ensure a SUCCESSFUL application .


A new service to Welsh GRA site subscribers is launching soon...

13.5.11 © GRA 2003-2011


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