Context

As part of Towns Fund programme, the Government has provided funding for capital works to further improve the ability of Birkenhead to realise its growth ambitions and regeneration ambitions.

The grant is provided to support the creative industries sector. The creative industries sector is defined to include those businesses or organisations which have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent and which have a potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property.

Eligible projects within the defined area and which contribute to the creative and cultural ambition of the area will be considered for funding.

The Council will administer the grant in line with any objectives and terms, as set out by the funder (MHCLG).

Programme

MHCLG’s Towns Fund programme.

Key objectives

  • enable cluster development of the creative sector in the Argyle Street area of Birkenhead
  • enable the growth of Argyle Street area as an emerging creative quarter in Birkenhead
  • target support at those businesses within the creative industries sector
  • distribute funding quickly and efficiently
  • deliver projects and apply the funding by 31st March 2021

Scale of grants

  • funds will be allocated competitively
  • the minimum grant award will be £10,000
  • the maximum grant award will be 200,000 euros
  • monies will be allocated on a competitive basis once the grant programme has concluded

Frequency of grants

Payments will be made in two parts. 50% of the funding will be paid in the week commencing 15 February 2021 and the remaining 50% in the week commencing 15 March 2021.

Eligibility criteria for projects

Eligible projects must be located in the Argyle Street and surrounding area, as shown on the  map below.

Funding is available to eligible businesses and organisations for capital improvements which contribute to the creative and cultural ambition of the area and bring about growth in this sector. Successful applicants will need to demonstrate how the funding will contribute to this ambition for Birkenhead, making it a place which is recognised for its creativity and innovation.

Eligible projects are defined as:

  • shovel ready and able to be implemented and completed before 31 March 2021
  • capital schemes (being physical works to buildings, rather than the provision of services)
  • building works which improve existing or create new facilities
  • having all relevant consent or permission already in place, for example, planning permission, listed building consent, freeholder consent
  • meet the criteria as set out in the application form; and
  • contribute to the objectives of the grant fund

Additional eligibility criteria for applicants

  • must operate out of a premise
  • must be a business or organisation operating in the Creative Industries sector (applications from SMEs, charities or community interest companies are encouraged)
  • must be able to provide all the evidence and as set out in the application form

Ineligible businesses

A business is automatically excluded if:

  • it is dissolved or about to be dissolved
  • it is a dormant company
  • it is insolvent or if insolvency action had been instigated against it
  • is located outside of the boundary areas (as defined on the plan)
  • owes money relating to Business Rates or relating to rent arrears associated with Council owned premises
  • the application does not clearly demonstrate and evidence state aid compliance

Evidence requirements

Eligible applicants must evidence that they:

  • operate within the creative industries sector
  • operate within the defined area
  • hold a lease or mortgage deed for the premises which they occupy
  • have a business bank account 
  • have secured any required permissions (Planning permission, building regulations, Landlord’s permission)
  • two written quotes for projects with a total value less than £10k; 3 written quotes for projects with a total value more than £10k

Financial appraisal of all applicants will be made. Eligible business must provide:

  • evidence that they hold a business bank account
  • evidence of funding to deliver the project (for example, bank statement or letter from bank) prior to receipt of grant
  • a copy of the business plan or viability report
  • a copy of the accounts from the previous financial year
  • management accounts forecast over future 3 years (including cashflow, profit & loss and balance sheet)

State aid

An applicant must evidence that they are state aid complaint.

Grant agreement

As a condition of payment, a formal grant agreement will need to be entered into between successful applicants and the council.

To be funded through MHCLG Towns Fund – Accelerator Grant programme.

Geographical allocation of funding

Funding will be allocated to business within the defined area edged red on the map below:

Map of the area eligible for the Accelerator Grant for Argyle Street Area Creative Quarter Argyle Street area in Birkenhead

Timing

Stage Date
Announce and invite applications Week commencinng 7 December
Closing date for applications 3 January 2021
Review and shortlist of applications  4 to 13 January 2021
Allocate funding and advise applicants 14 January 2021
Draw up contracts 4 to 14 January 2021
Delivery Mid Jan to mid to March 2021
Payment of grant By 31 March 2021

Apply for the grant