• Eligibility
    • Who is eligible to apply?
      • Businesses must be micro, small or medium sized business. This means they (including any parent companies) must employ fewer than 250 people and have either a turnover less than €50m a year or assets worth less than €43m .
      • To be eligible you must be planning to start up or expand your business, within the primary area, or expand an existing business within the secondary area, thereby creating or safeguarding permanent part-time or full-time jobs. You must also be in a position to invest the required level of private sector funds.
      • Within the secondary area of Rother, Colchester, Canterbury and Dover your business must operate within the creative sector.
      • As well as the creative sector mentioned above, broader cultural and leisure activities such as heritage, visitor attractions, sport and retail may also be eligible within the primary areas of Hastings, Tendring and Thanet. Please contact the SUCCESS team to discuss..

        If you think your business may be eligible but is not included above, please email success@hastings.gov.uk.

    • How do I know I’m in an eligible area?
      • The place where you will locate your growth activity must be in one of the following postcodes:
      • Primary Areas: You must plan to start up or expand your business within the local authority districts of Hastings, Tendring or Thanet. The following postcodes are in the eligible areas:
      • Hastings
        TN34, TN35 4AA to TN35 5ZZ, TN37 6AA to TN37 7ZZ, TN38 0AA to TN38 1BH, TN38 8AA to TN38 9ZZ, TN40 2JU
      • Tendring
        CO1, CO4, CO7, CO11, CO12, CO13, CO14, CO15, CO16
      • Thanet
        CT10, CT11, CT12, CT7, CT8, CT9
      • Secondary areas: You must be an existing business looking to expand, within the local authority districts of Rother, Colchester, Canterbury or Dover . The following postcodes are in the eligible areas:
      • Rother: BN24 6AW, BN24 6PU, BN24 6QN, BN24 6PR, BN24 6PX, BN24 6PS, BN24 6PY, BN24 6PT, BN24 6QG, BN24 6PR, BN24 6PX, BN24 6PS, BN24 6PY, BN24 6PT, BN24 6QG, TN19 7AA – TN19 7ZK, TN21 9JE-TN21 9NS, TN31 6AA – TN31 7Yf
      • Colchester: CN9 8HG –CM9 8HW,CO2 0AA – CO2 9YT, CO5 0AB-CO5 9YZ, CO1 1AA – CO1 9WA, CO3 0AA – CO3 9ZE, CO6 1AA – CO6 5AW, CO10 5AT – CO10 5YZ, CO4 0AA – CO4 9ZY, C07 1AA- CO7 9YZ, CO8 5AH – CO8 5BH
      • Canterbury: CT1 1AA- CT1 9TG, CT2 0AA – CT2 9YY, CT3 1EZ – CT3 4NH, CT4 5AA – CT4 8WZ, CY5 1AA – CT5 9BY, CT6 5AA – CT6 9BS, CT7 0JX                                                                                             
      • Dover: CT13 – 0AA – CT13 9YB, C14 0AA – CT14 9ZA, CT15 4AA-CT15 7YZ, CT16 1AA –CT16 9YB, CT17 0AA – CT17 9YX, CT18 7AW –CT18 7NF, CT2 7XU, CT3 1AA –CT3 3WL, CT4 6ET – CT4 6RY

        If you are not currently based in one of these areas but intend to move there, you will have to show that you are not simply moving jobs from one place to another – you must be creating additional new jobs.

    • My official business address is outside the area, but my growth activity will be inside the area. Can I still apply?
      • Yes, but ensure you explain the situation in the Expression of Interest. You may be asked for more details.
    • What is a creative business?
      • For the SUCCESS scheme, the creative sector includes: visual arts; art and antiques dealing; crafts; design (including fashion, graphic, web, product design, set design, interior design, architecture); film, video and photography; television and radio; software design; computer games; printing, publishing and electronic publishing, music and performing arts, venues / galleries; educational and community arts. In the primary area the business scope has been expanded to include some cultural, leisure and sporting businesses. Please contact the SUCCESS team to discuss further  if you think you might be a creative business but aren’t on this list.
    • My business as whole isn’t creative, but I want to set up an in-house design team. Would this be eligible?
      • Yes – it is the nature of the investment and/or the activities of the new jobs, that must be creative.
    • What about new businesses?
      • Businesses planning to start up in the primary area are welcome to apply. Businesses that started up recently may count as new if they haven’t commenced significant trading. If they have started trading, they can still apply as long as new jobs are being created.
      • Only existing creative businesses within the secondary areas of Rother, Colchester, Dover and Canterbury can apply.
    • I’m moving my business into the area – am I eligible?
      • First, welcome! You’re eligible to apply as long as you are creating a new job or jobs over and above your existing workforce.
    • I’m bidding to do a new project, and I’ll take someone on to deliver it – can I apply for a grant?
      • Only if you are able to take someone on on a permanent basis. Your business plan will have to show how the project is part of overall sustainable growth. The SUCCESS scheme is not designed to support short-term projects.
  • Match funding
    • Can you explain match-funding again?
      • First of all, you should think about the total amount you plan to invest. This includes both a SUCCESS grant, and your own funds, the grant can be up to 50% of this total. The balance on top of the grant must be from private sources. A business investing £40,000 could apply for a £20,000 grant, and put in another £20,000 of private investment. It will strengthen your case if you can put in more than the minimum level of private match. Investment in the project since July 2013 can be taken into account, but you will still need to evidence a equal amount to the grant as future spend  (It will strengthen your case if you can put in more than the minimum level of private match).
    • Can I put forward my own time, or a partner’s time, as in-kind match-funding?
      • Sorry, you’ll have to show that you have cash upfront.
    • Can I put forward my projected sales revenues as match-funding?
      • Sorry, you’ll have to show that you have cash upfront. This could be a loan which is paid back from sales revenues, though.
    • Can I put another state grant forward as match funding?
      • Sorry, all match funding for SUCCESS has to be from the private sector. You can of course receive other state funds (if you don’t go over State Aid limits – see below), but these must be over and above your private matching funds relating to a SUCCESS grant.
    • My business is a not-for-profit social enterprise, and we’ve had grants from a charitable trust. Can this be used as match-funding?
      • Probably. Charities count as private sector.
    • What about Lottery and Arts Council funding?
      • Not this time. These count as state funding. And these will count towards your State Aid limit of £160,000 over three years.
    • An investor has offered me free premises and some equipment rather than a cash stake. Could this count as match-funding?
      • Possibly, but you will have to prove the value of this investment.
  • Jobs
    • If I start up as self-employed, does this count as a job?
      • Yes.
    • If I take on an apprentice, is this a full-time job?
      • Yes, because apprentices have to work at least 30 hours a week including training time. And you’ll get brownie points which will help your application, so go for it!
    • My spouse will start working part-time. Will this count?
      • Yes, as long as he/she works at least 15 hours a week. You will have to show that he/she is a newly contracted employee or a new partner.
  • Application
    • I’ve looked at the guidance notes on the form, and I still can’t answer the question!
      • Contact us, or contact the advice and support officer in your local council – see the [Advice & Contacts] page.
  • Timing
    • I’ve submitted an Expression of Interest (EoI). How long before I hear whether I can move on to making a full application?
      • We aim to assess EoI’s and get back to you within 10 working days.
    • How long should I allow to complete the full application?
      • You should aim to do this within four weeks of getting a green light from your EoI. You should already have most of the information in a business or investment plan.
    • Once I submit the application, how long before a decision is made?
      • We aim to appraise applications within 15 working days of receiving all the information we require. A report will then go to the next Grant Panel, which meets monthly.
    • Sounds like it could be up to 10 weeks from submitting the EoI?
      • Yup. Could be longer if we need to get more information from you.
  • Grant Payments
    • Who decides whether I get a grant?
      • Decisions will be made by a panel of people representing creative businesses and the three local authorities.
    • What does “no prior spend” mean?
      • It means that any spend or commitment to spend that you made before July 2013 cannot count as part of your investment. This is because it indicates that the grant was not essential to your business’s growth.
    • But I had a one-off chance to buy some equipment at a bargain price – does this count as prior spend?
      • We want to help businesses grow, so if you can show there were exceptional circumstances meaning “prior spend” was a sound business decision, we will take this into account. Please check with the SUCCESS project Officer before buying anything, though.
    • When will I receive my grant, if I’m succesful?
      • The payment schedule will be set out in a Grant Offer Letter. Normally, you’ll have to achieve two things before any grant is released: (i) you must have spent at least as much of your own money as the amount of the grant (after receiving the Grant Offer Letter), and (ii) at least one of the new jobs must have started.
    • I don’t think I’ll have done that before May 2015.
      • If your application has been approved, but you haven’t met your milestones the SUCCESS team will discuss with you how best to aid you in achieving your goals. The best thing is to keep in close contact with the team and to be realistic regarding your progress.
    • If I get a grant and create a new job, but later find I can’t sustain that new post, will I have to pay the money back?
      • As long as you applied in good faith and didn’t give false or deliberately misleading information, you will not be required to pay back a grant.
  • Monitoring
    • How often will I be monitored?
      • We will ask you to complete a monitoring form every three months to May 2015, then annually for three more years.
    • Will this mean a huge amount of red-tape?
      • We will keep this to a minimum. You will have to show any eligible spend has been made, and that people have been employed. You can do this with invoices, bank statements, employment contracts.
    • Anything else?
      • We might ask for photos, and for information for case studies and an evaluation of the scheme.
  • State Aid
    • What is State Aid anyway?
      • Stage Aid is any money given by public bodies to support business activity. State-backed preferential loans are also State Aid, with the actual aid being the difference between a commercial interest rate and a subsidised interest rate. Arts Council and most Lottery grants also count as State Aid. Rules known as “de minimis” mean small businesses can receive up to €200,000 in any three year period. For the full rules, go to www.gov.uk/state-aid
    • Does this mean I can’t get state money in the future?
      • The 3-year limit rolls forward, and you will have to show future funders that their grant, when added to SUCCESS and others, won’t take you over the £160k de minimis limit.
    • This grant would take me over the £160k limit. Does this mean I can’t apply?
      • Not necessarily, but it gets more complex.It is possible to have permitted State Aid from another funder if this covered by a “General Block Exemption Regulations. Please contact SUCCESS to discuss this. Don’t forget, the maximum grant you can apply to SUCCESS for is £150,000.
  • Help and support
    • Where can I go for more help and support?

Click here for our guidance document which you can download and save.

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