Stay of execution for GBI scheme

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The South West RDA hase been given the green light to resume the Grant for Business Investment (GBI) scheme – “for the time being”.

Last week we reported that the RDA had stopped taking new applications, despite it requiring no Government match funding.

In a statement, it said: “South West RDA GBI grants are funded by the European Regional Development Fund and we have obtained our own State Aid notification enabling us to continue to receive applications for the time being.

“The Government has confirmed that all RDAs across England will close by March 2012 and applications to the GBI scheme delivered by RDAs elsewhere are closed to new applications from 01 February 2011.

“Applicants and potential applicants seeking grant support of £1 million or more should note that they may be eligible to apply to the Regional Growth Fund. The deadline for applications in the first bidding round under the Fund was 21 January 2011, though there are likely to be subsequent rounds. Applicants and potential applicants should, however, be aware that the Regional Growth Fund has different objectives, criteria and qualifying expenditure than the GBI scheme.

“We will update this page with further information when it becomes available.”

Ewan McClymont, head of grants and sustainable energy at accountant Bishop Fleming in Truro, welcomed the development and said: “This is excellent news for Cornish businesses that have plans to invest for growth.

“It is also a USP for the region and will help to attract inward investment opportunities. Going forward, keeping this ERDF funded scheme on the table after the RDA’s closure is fundamental to Cornwall’s recovery as it is the only capital grant available. Without it, many excellent growth opportunities will be lost.”

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