Government Grants, All About


Making Application

Prior to starting make sure you have thought through all the implications of your project and identified all schemes of potential benefit. (See Golden Rules 1 & 6).

a) Before you apply

Make sure you have the following arrangements planned or in place:

  • You have matching funds available to meet any grant you may receive
  • You can describe your plans as a Project
  • You have a written Business Plan (See Golden Rules 3, 7 & 9 for further explanation)

b) The Application

We strongly advise that you make personal contact, if possible, with the grant provider before completing the application documentation (See Golden Rule 10).

Make sure your application explains how the Project will meet the objectives of the awarding body. Include a work plan, including full costing. Pay particular attention to describing your business’s track record – you are applying for public funds and those responsible for making the decision need assurance you will spend it wisely and ensure the Project completes.

c) Timescales

Generally, the more “local” the awarding body, the quicker you are likely to get a decision.

Applications to your local authority, TEC or Business Link, for example, are likely to be resolved in a matter of days or weeks. National bodies have larger bureaucracies and will take longer, perhaps several weeks, to decide. Many awarding bodies have, or are considering speeding up the applications process by creating what are known as “Fast Track” procedures.

It is applications to European bodies, which take longest, and waiting times can easily stretch into months rather than weeks. This is partly due to bureaucracy but also to the nature of many European schemes.

Most European schemes are not constantly open to applications. Instead there are short periods during the course of the scheme’s life when applications are considered. These periods are preceded by the issuing of notices known as “Calls for Proposals” which are announced in the Official Journal published daily by the EC.

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