- United Kingdom grant aid
Assisted Areasof Great Britainare based upon a map drawn up and agreed with the European Commissionin October 2006. The map was approved by the European Commission in December 2006 and will run from 2007 until 2013.
Under new EU guidelines, the proportion of the UK population covered by Assisted Areas has been reduced from 30.9% in the period from 2000 to 2006, to 23.9% [http://www.dti.gov.uk/files/file34524.pdf] . This reduction is a result of recent
EU enlargementand the success of the UK economy in recent years. [http://www.dti.gov.uk/files/file34524.pdf]
The basis of the map is to provide Tier 1 and Tier 2 areas for
Regional Selective Assistance grants(RSA), recently re-titled as Selective Finance for Investmentin the English Regions(SFI), but remaining as RSA in Walesand Scotland, and additionally large areas of the UK, where a lower level of grant aidcan also be made available to Small and Medium companies. These areas are classified as Tier 3 (see tab England Tier 3), - this grant scheme is known as Enterprise Grant Scheme(EGS) for English companies, Assembly Investment Grant(AIG) for Welsh companiesand Invest for Growth Scheme(IFG) for Scottish companies.
Government Aidcan be only be provided by these current grant schemeswithin the constricts set out the European Commission which among other constraints require a degree of proof that a project will not proceed without the requested grant aid.
Responsibility for delivery of the schemes in
Englandis mainly from 1 Aprilthat of the Regional Development Agenciesfor RSA grants, whilst the Small Business Service handles both EGS and SMART, although larger RSA applications still have a direct involvement in the decision taking process by the DTI(over £2M).
Scotland has its own variant schemes of RSA and the smaller grant, IFG scheme, both administered by the
Scottish Executive. Again it should be noted that this is a devolvedDepartment, directly under the auspices of the Scottish Parliament.
In Wales, both RSA and the new AIG, small grant scheme, are administered by the
Welsh Assembly Government(but not the WDA- a common misconception) from offices in Cardiff, Swansea for South Wales, and Colwyn Bay for North Wales areas.
* [http://www.gra-ukgrants.com for more information]
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