The Solent Growth Fund will provide financial support for start-up businesses, support for young entrepreneurs and expansion funds for existing businesses. This builds on the success of Solent LEP RGF funded business support programmes that closed in 2016. Eligible companies can request funding to support the development of their business in order to safeguard and / or create private sector jobs. Funding will be allocated via a competitive bidding process.
Through the Fund we will:
• Support the creation of 500 new small and medium enterprises by 2020/21 (100 per annum);
• Create 1800 new jobs;
• Unlock £36m of additional private sector investment (£6m per annum);
• Commit £2m per annum to the programme from our Local Growth Deal (£12m over the programme lifetime from 2015/16 to 2020/21).
Purpose of the Business Support Investment Panel
The Business Support Investment Panel will provide recommendations, expert advice, and guidance on investment and funding decisions relating to this Fund. The Fund offers financial support in terms of either grants, loans, forward funding, or equity investment of varying sizes in accordance with the published guidance for the Fund.
Exceptionally, the Panel may be asked to consider applications which exceed the Panel's level of delegation. In these cases, the role of the Business Support Investment Panel will be advisory, making recommendations to the following bodies:
• For applications in excess of £100,000 - Funding, Finance and Performance Management Group;
• For applications in excess of £500,000 - Solent LEP Board.
Further information on the Business Support Investment Panel is available in the Terms of Reference, published here.