How do I Apply?
Step 1 - Expression of interest
Prospective applicants are initially requested to complete an Expression of Interest form which can be obtained from either your Business Advisor, your local authority (via the website or the Project Officer) or the Welsh Assembly Government, Flexible Support for Business Service. Details for these are available at the end of this document.
All prospective applicants should be in receipt of business advice and will need to submit evidence of this with the application. If you do not currently have a business adviser, you should contact the Welsh Assembly Government’s Flexible Support for Business (FS4B) service at your regional centre or on 03000 6 03000 for advice and assistance in preparing your grant application or for further business information and support.
The completion of the Expression of Interest (EoI) form will provide the local Authority with brief details about your business, together with an overview of your proposed project, grant requirements and previous public sector financial support received over the past three years.
The information provided within your EOI form will enable the LIF Project Officer to make a decision on the eligibility of the business and project(s). If deemed successful you will be informed by letter and invited to submit a full application.
Step 2 – Application form
It is important to ensure that your application form is fully completed and that all supporting documentation is included at the time of submitting the bid. This includes a current Business Plan, specifications, costs and drawings (if applicable) relating to your project, estimates/quotes for costs - three per item (minimum item cost of £100 accepted as part of the application) and evidence of sources of finance as match funding to the grant request, Failure to comply could delay a decision. Please note that the grant approval timescale does not commence until such time as all the documentation required is received by the Local Authority.
Applicants should be aware that the grant will only be offered where it has been clearly demonstrated that without such financial support the project will not proceed either on the scale envisaged or within a reasonable timescale. The Council may withdraw a grant offer where a project is not being implemented in accordance with the application or where there is an unacceptable delay.
You are reminded at this stage not to undertake any expenditure on the project until a formal decision has been reached on the bid and written confirmation of this has been received.
Please read carefully all the information and guidance provided and in particular note and understand all aspects of the application form and guidelines relating to the awarding of grants. In particular you should be aware that:-
- no grant will be paid on retrospective expenditure
- no grant will be paid where cash transactions have been undertaken
What Happens Next?- Processing Your Application
On receipt of your full application form the Council will:-
- Check that all the details provided are in order and if not inform you/your adviser of what further information is required.
- Undertake consultation which may include:
■ A bank reference
■ A search with a credit reference agency in relation to your business. The agency will keep a record of that search and may share that information with other agencies.
■ Make enquiries with respect to company director(s) with a credit reference agency.
- Refer the application to the Grants Panel for a decision. Each application shall be considered on merit and in accordance with the scheme’s aims and objectives.
Advising you of the decision
You will be informed of the decision by letter. If successful you will be advised of the amount of grant offered and any specific conditions relating to the award. Incorporated in the letter will be the “Terms and Conditions” contract that you must adhere to. This has to be signed and returned within 28 days as acceptance of the grant offer.
Making a Claim
In order to release the grant money, proof of expenditure will be required. This must include all relevant receipted accounts/invoices (invoices must not pre-date the signed and returned offer letter/contract). Copies of corresponding bank statements showing payments going out of the company’s accounts will also be required. In the event that you have paid by means of credit cards, or similar, evidence shall be required that you have reimbursed the card company in full. No cash transactions will be accepted as part of a claim.
The Council will satisfy itself that the activity for which grant was awarded (works undertaken or purchases made) has been carried out fully in accordance with the proposal made within the application and any conditions attached to the approval. This may be by inspection or such other means as the Council determines.
When all the above is completed the Council will release the funding to you by means of BACS payment.