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Regional Enterprise Transition Scheme 2021

by opportunitydiary

Overview and purpose of the Scheme

Enterprise Ireland’s €9,500,000 Regional Enterprise Transition Scheme (RETS) is administered by the agency on behalf of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment. The scheme is part of Government’s programme of assistance for regional enterprise development and assistance to regions facing socio-economic difficulties and transition as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic and other regional challenges associated with the UK’s departure from the EU. Accordingly, the purpose of this funding scheme is to provide financial assistance to not-for-profit projects which can demonstrate an ability to deliver regional impact.

Feasibility Funding: In addition to the main Scheme, separate funding of €500,000 is also being provided for an associated RETS Feasibility Study Fund to support detailed evaluation of early-stage opportunities for new impactful regional enterprise development projects. For further outline on this funding, see Regional Enterprise Transition Scheme – Feasibility (RETS-Feasibility Study) and further details of the RETS Feasibility Study Fund can be found in Section 3 of the Scheme Reference Document.

Objective of the Regional Enterprise Transition Scheme

The objective of the Regional Enterprise Transition Scheme is to provide assistance, including funding supports, to regionally based not-for-profit undertakings that provide economic support to enterprises in sectors and regions negatively affected by Covid-19, as well as a consequence of the withdrawal of the UK from the EU (Brexit).

This Scheme aims to offer a targeted solution to both existing and new Regional and Community-based projects that can demonstrate the ability to deliver impact and execute project deliverables in the current year. These not-for-profit projects should aim to improve the capability and competitiveness of regional enterprises and encourage entrepreneurial activity, productivity, and innovative capability in that regard. Applicants for Regional Enterprise Transition Scheme funding must show all project spend in 2021.

The objectives of the Regional Enterprise Transition Scheme 2021 are to:

  • Enable applicants to support enterprises, which are predominantly SMEs, in their response to economic and market challenges, such as the impact of Covid-19 and Brexit, as well as the transition to a low carbon economy, digitalisation and smart specialisation.
  • Assist not-for-profit DACs, CLGs or eligible public bodies that will deliver initiatives which have, or will have, a positive impact on entrepreneurial activity, and/or productivity, and/or innovative capability of enterprise.
  • Assist these applicants in enhancing the productivity and new product development opportunities of SMEs in order to increase internationalisation opportunities and sustain employment across all regions.

Specific areas of focus for these collaborative not-for-profit projects would therefore incorporate innovation, incubation of enterprises, research and development or the delivery of one or more of the following:

  • Initiatives to help enterprises respond to Covid 19 and Brexit
  • Digital Transformation & Digital Capability initiatives
  • Climate Change & Sustainability
  • Clusters and Sectoral Development activities
  • Innovation and Internationalisation Capability development
  • Women in Business/Entrepreneurship activities

Regional Enterprise Transition Scheme Structure

To deliver on these objectives the scheme is comprised of one main funding stream for existing projects supported under the Regional and Border Enterprise Development Funds, with an associated separate RETS Feasibility Study grant available for new early-stage projects. All applications will be subject to an assessment and selection process as outlined in the Scheme Reference Document.

Funding assistance for existing Not-for-Profit clients of Enterprise Ireland/Údarás na Gaeltachta that deliver existing Regional and Community based projects that can demonstrate the need to support additional activity arising from Covid-19, Brexit, and other market changes that will sustain businesses so that they will be viable after the Covid-19 outbreak. These supports will be towards capital and current costs. The applicants must be able to show progress to date as well as potential positive regional impacts and strong Value for Money metrics.

The not-for-profit projects must demonstrate the following characteristics:

  • Clearly demonstrate the additional impacts and deliverables the grant support will achieve in alignment with the overall objectives of the Scheme.
  • Significant progress against existing KPIs/targets.
  • Demonstrate how this funding will help the project achieve long term sustainability.
  • Strong Value for Money.
  • Ability to utilise/drawdown additional funding in 2021. 

Eligible Scheme Costs

Funding assistance for Not-for-Profit clients of Enterprise Ireland/Údarás na Gaeltachta that deliver existing Regional and Community based projects that can demonstrate the need for additional support arising from Covid-19, Brexit, and other market changes. These supports will be towards capital and current costs. The applicants must be able to show progress to date as well as potential positive regional impacts and strong Value for Money metrics.

Note: The final cut-off for receipt of eligible applications will be 12:00 noon on 8th September 2021. All eligible capital and non-capital costs incurred in 2021 must be claimed by 12:00 noon on November 17th at the latest for payment in 2021.

Scheme grant funding of between €50,000 and €1,800,000 per project is available at up to 80% of eligible project costs.

Costs in the following categories are eligible for support:
  1. New Build Costs: Additional costs related to expansion of the original project. A maximum grant of up to 80% of eligible costs towards New Build Costs is available. Eligible building and capital equipment costs must be incurred and claimed in the current year.
  2. Renovation/Refurbishment: Eligible costs are the building modification costs and related architectural and engineering design costs. A maximum grant of up to 80% of eligible costs towards renovation/refurbishment is available. Eligible costs for these refurbishment projects must be incurred and claimed in the current year.
  3. Personnel: A maximum grant of up to 80% of eligible salary (for up to 3 key manager roles), or up to €64,000 grant aid per person for one year, whichever is the lesser.
  4. Overheads: Grant support for eligible overheads based on 30% of the total eligible salary costs.
  5. Promotional Activities: A maximum grant of €8,000 or 80% of eligible costs, whichever is the lesser, to support communication activities required to implement its work programme by a successful applicant.
  6. Consultancy Assistance: A maximum grant of €100,000 or 80% of eligible costs whichever is the lesser, over the period of funding. The maximum daily rate of up to €900 per day, (subject to agreement with Enterprise Ireland) to assist the hiring of appropriate external experts required to drive key elements of the work programme.

Scheme Application process and Closing Dates for Application

Applications will be on an open call basis, applicants may apply at any point after the scheme launch on 23 July 2021. The link to the Application Forms are at the top of this page or from RETS@enterprise-ireland.com

Final date for acceptance of applications will be 8th September 2021.

Applications forms can be downloaded from the Enterprise Ireland website and must be submitted electronically in Word format, along with the Project Costs Workbook in Excel format, to Enterprise Ireland at GA-RETS@enterprise-ireland.com before 12:00 hrs on 8th September 2021.

If you require advice on completion of these forms please contact your local Enterprise Ireland Regional Office (details at the bottom of this page) or RETS@enterprise-ireland.com

On receipt of an application, an email will be sent to confirm that Enterprise Ireland has received the application form. After initial checks are carried out, each valid application will be acknowledged within three working days.

Applicants who do not receive either acknowledgement should immediately contact GA-RETS@enterprise-ireland.com

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