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FOR GRA'S EXPERT CONSIDERATION OF THE POSSIBILITY OF YOUR PROJECT ATTRACTING GRANT AID OR OTHER FUNDING LET US HAVE DETAILS USING THE FORM BELOW.

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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:

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.

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.

INNOVATION

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

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