One of the things we often get asked about is how to be successful at obtaining grant funding. And while we could offer some general advice about the basics, we thought we’d leave it to the experts to help. So, we asked Mark Clayton, Managing Director of Tatton Consulting, located here at the Sci-Tech Daresbury campus, for his top tips on getting grant funding.
Tatton Consulting has been recognised as ‘UK grants consultancy of the year’ and has helped businesses in many sectors win grant funding from the top industry funders, both in the UK and overseas.
This is the starting point for any grant. Read the criteria over and over again, so you understand exactly whether you fit them, and – importantly – if the grant is right for your business. Don’t forget to check the timescales too. Sometimes grants take months to go through, so you might need to put projects on hold.
You’re likely to be competing against lots of other businesses, so make sure your application stands out (for the right reasons, obviously). It needs to be well-written, but make sure it’s not crammed with technical details or industry jargon. Instead, try and tell a compelling story the people assessing your application want to read.
Solve a problem
A funding application’s more likely to be successful if it solves a genuine problem no-one else has thought of. If the issue’s well-known and your competitors are also looking to fix it, there’s less likelihood of you being approved. However, identifying an urgent problem that needs fixing quickly will improve your chances greatly.
Once you’ve done the points above, you must back everything up. And we mean everything. The more detail you give and evidence you provide, the better. Assessors will be looking for you to be exact – what they don’t like is speculation and uncertainty about the relevance and need for your project.
What’s your USP?
This is about identifying why your business should be picked above anyone else’s. Do you have a competitive advantage? Have you got the right team in place ready to go as soon as they receive funding? Is your plan more thorough than your competitors? All of these can help mark your business out as being unique.
Value for money
This really can’t be over-emphasised. You have to offer complete value for money. Grant funds usually come out of the public purse, so ask yourself if the taxpayer would be comfortable giving you money for your project. Simple ways to do this are to breakdown your costs, make sure everything you spend can be justified, and be realistic – it’s not unknown for applications to be turned down for being too low.
Sci-Tech Daresbury is a national science and innovation campus located in the Liverpool City Region. It’s home to nearly 150 high-tech companies in areas such as advanced engineering, digital/ICT, biomedical and energy, and environmental technologies. Sci-Tech Daresbury offers flexible space to rent within its multi-occupied buildings, showcasing high-quality offices, lab space, and technical space. Contact us to find out more.