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ERDF SAM Project – Expression of Interest Grant Application Form Creation Applicant Guidance

Top tips for applicants, important reminders

  • The main aim of the SAM project is to support SMEs product, process and technology developments within the manufacturing base in North East LEP area.
  • Sell us your idea & improve your chances – explain clearly and with as much detail as possible what your project does and how it will be a sustainable benefit to the manufacturing supply chain and North East economy.
  • No prior start rule – Do not start work, incur costs or place an order before a grant agreement has been issued. This will potentially make your whole project ineligible.
  • Match Funding – Grants available contribute towards the total eligible project costs. However, all projects must provide ‘match funding’ contributing the remainder of the funding required to cover the total eligible cost of the project. Note: Match funding (your contribution) is a 50% County Durham & 60% All other areas of the North East LEP.
  • Grant Funds – These are not paid out in advance of need but following initial private sector investment and the terms & conditions as set out in the beneficiary Offer letter have been met.
  • State Aid – Projects must comply with the State Aid rules which apply to the CPF (Collaborative Projects Fund) – the Aid is under Article 25 for the equipment grants, Article 28 for the advice given by SAM project staff or the consultants procured, or De Minimis where it is simply the purchase of equipment which cannot be classed as a research and development project.
  • Don’t ask for the full amount if you don’t need it.
    Just because you can get (say) 40% of your costs covered, don’t ask for that amount if you don’t need it. As long as you stay below the maximum, you can tell us what grant rate you want.
  • Show us what the funding will mean to the success of your project.
    We are obliged to invest public money carefully. We are looking for viable growing businesses. If you can show us that your project is good value for money and that you are planning to use the grant money to improve your project you are more likely to get a grant.
  • Do the market research
    You have to show that there is a real demand for what you want to do and opportunity to create high impact to the business/sector, or you are unlikely to be awarded a grant.
  • VAT can be a complex area. The table below may help you decide whether you can include VAT in your project costs or not. Use this to explain why you have included VAT if applicable:



    You are registered for VAT and making regular returns of VAT to HMRC

    You will NOT be able to include VAT in your project costs or grant request because it is recoverable in full on VAT returns.

    You are not registered for VAT because your business is below the threshold for supplies.

    You Will be able to include VAT in your project costs and grant request provided this status can be verified.

    You are registered for VAT and making exempt supplies meaning that not all VAT paid can be recovered on returns of VAT to HMRC

    You may be able to include SOME of the VAT in your project costs or grant request providing the extent to which your business cannot recover VAT can be verified.

    You are registered for VAT but you have also opted to join a flat rate scheme

    You will NOT be able to include VAT in your project costs or grant request because the flat rate scheme you have chosen to join is a simplification which compensates you for not being able to reclaim input VAT. In addition you are able to reclaim input VAT on certain capital assets costing over £2,000 through your VAT returns.


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