Skip to content

Decision details

Sheffield City Region - Growth Hub Enhancement Project

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes


The aim of the above project is to support the growth of the City Regions existing SME businesses through the provision of specialist business support and Key Account Management. The project will enhance the existing provision with the Sheffield City Region – Growth Hub.


The project will be funded through European Regional Development Fund.


Creative Sheffield is seeking approval to act as Accountable Body and authority to enter into a funding agreement for the project.



That the Cabinet Member for Business and Economy:-


(i) agrees that Sheffield City Council through Creative Sheffield will act as Accountable Body for the SCR Enhanced Growth Hub Project;


(ii) authorises the Council to enter into a funding agreement with the DCLG for a grant of up to £2,738,946 which also requires delivery partners and the private sector to provide match funding of up to £2,233,147 giving a total project spend of up to £4,972,123 from April 2016 to March 2019;


(iii) authorises Sheffield City Council to pay the relevant levels of grant to Delivery Partners and SME’s; and


(iv) delegates Authority to the Director of Creative Sheffield:-


- in consultation with the Director of Finance and Resources to agree the terms and sign off any variations to the above funding agreement;

- in consultation with the Director of Legal and Governance to sign Service Level Agreements with the Delivery Partners of the project;

- in consultation with the Director for Legal and Governance to sign contracts with business applicants of the grant scheme;

Reasons for the decision:

Approval of the recommendations will allow:


Entering into the Funding Agreement

• The SCR to build upon the service already offered to SME’s across region by providing additional and more intensive resources to address specific barriers to growth.

• Project delivery to commence immediately meaning that businesses are able to access support from this programme from as early as 1st October 2016.

• Assist 900 businesses across the City Region to deliver their growth plans between now and the end of March 2019.

• Deliver 150 new jobs and secure over a million pounds of Private Sector Match funding.


SCC acting as Accountable Body

• Contribute towards a greater degree of financial stability for Creative Sheffield (the project will fully fund 1.4fte’s within the programme management team)

• Efficiencies to be gained from utilisation of the existing Programme Management Team. Existing systems, processes and people are already in place.

• The potential for SCC to act as Accountable Body / Managing Agent for other SCR-wide schemes.

Alternative options considered:

Do Nothing


• Business within the SCR would not have access to the suite of business support projects necessary to progress.

• If business productivity and employment levels were to fall there would be no locally targeted suite of resources to encourage growth across the SCR.

• The latent demand for external advice and support which is deemed a barrier to growth for SME’s would remain unaddressed.


Reduced Funding from ESIF


• Smaller scale project would mean less businesses supported, meaning fewer jobs created and less business growth.

• The lack of available support would negatively impact on the reputation of the Growth Hub and the SCR as a whole.

• Business Support could start to ‘grow back’ at a local level resulting in a confused, and inconsistent business support offer across the Region.

Publication date: 23/09/2016

Date of decision: 23/09/2016

Effective from: 30/09/2016

Accompanying Documents: