FAQs

How can I use the funding?

SparkFund offers revenue support, although in exceptional cases we can support very low level capital purchases.

SMEs can use Sparkfund support for a range of business ventures to drive innovation and growth. You may wish to improve or develop exciting new products, services or processes. This may seem vague, but we really are open to hear about your business innovations no matter how big or how small, simply put; we're here to help you move your business forward.

To see how we can help contact the team, we'd be happy to discuss your aspirations.

What is match funding?

Match funding is the financial contribution your business must make towards the innovation or research project.  The SparkFund team will work with you to define the cost of your innovation or research project and how much we can potentially contribute. There are strict rules around the types of match funding that you contribute, but in simple terms, if it goes through your company accounts, then it would usually be acceptable.

Am I eligible?

Is your business ready to undertake a research project that will make a difference?

SparkFund can help small or medium size enterprises (?) (SMEs) that are based, or planning to locate, in the Humber or York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Areas.

The best way to find out if your project could be eligible is to speak with our Innovation Managers.

How will grants and vouchers be paid?

All approved SparkFund projects are led and owned by the applicant SME. It will be the SME which enters into a contract with the specialist provider needed to deliver the innovation or research project and all payments for this contract will be made between the SME and the contractor. Vouchers will be paid by SparkFund to the beneficiary SME in arrears. Details will be agreed as part of the application process, but each beneficiary business must be able to pay for the service in advance of submitting this for payment to the SparkFund team.  

When will I need to re-pay any grants or vouchers?

You won't. SparkFund's innovation and support grants are non-repayable and are funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

What happens when I contact SparkFund?

The team will explore your innovation or research project idea. This can be done over the phone or we could come and see you at your premises.  This allows the team to work out how best to support your plans. There is no obligation on your part and anything you tell us will be treated as confidential. We won’t share your contact details with any third parties without your permission.

How do I apply?

The SparkFund team can help you apply for funding. The process is simple and we will work with your business to complete your application.

Who decides if my application will be successful?

Your project will be reviewed by an independent awards panel made up of a range of people with specialist skills and knowledge. If approved, the SparkFund team will provide project support and help you make the most of the opportunity.

What’s the process when my application is approved? 

  1. The SME works with the SparkFund team to procure the support needed to deliver the project through a tendering process.
  2. The SME selects a provider and enters into a contract for this activity.
  3. The project is delivered in line with the procurement specification and contract.
  4. The SME pays the provider in line with their usual terms and conditions.
  5. The SparkFund team helps the SME submit evidence of costs for the voucher or grant to be paid. This will be at the level approved in your application.
  6. All approved claims submitted to the SparkFund team for payment will be paid to beneficiary SME within 30 days.

 

Still have a question to ask? Get in touch with us so we can answer your questions.