Higher Skills Higher Growth: delivering business support for SMEs in the Sheffield City Region
Working in collaboration with The Sheffield College and the RNN Group, we provide SMEs, start-ups and microbusinesses with a tailored business package to support innovation and develop new opportunities. These services are available to businesses with less than 250 employees with a turnover of less than €50M per annum.
Through a dedicated team of small business experts, we provide a diagnostic service to identify your business challenges and connect you with a university-wide network of academic and sector specialists, training opportunities, work-ready students and world class facilities.
We also support the development of skills and experience of students and graduates across the three institutions through project work, placements and internships with regional businesses.
Support for businesses include:
- the provision of links to funded initiatives to help businesses to innovate and grow
- matching skilled graduates and students for short and long-term projects and placements
- workforce upskilling and professional development programmes
- collaboration with sector-specialist academics to solve organisational problems
Our SME business services are delivered in partnership by Sheffield Hallam University, The Sheffield College and RNN Group*, and is part-funded by the European Social Fund Programme 2014-2020.
The Sheffield College
The Sheffield College is a general Further Education College in the Sheffield City Region, providing high quality academic, technical and vocational training to enhance qualifications, skills and employability across the region. With a strong track record, the Sheffield College already provides around 2,400 employers with apprenticeships, training, professional qualifications and industry placements enabling them to get the skills and talent necessary for a sustainable future.
The RNN Group
The RNN Group is the largest single provider of education to school leavers in an area bridging South Yorkshire and North Nottinghamshire, delivering excellent technical training and Apprenticeships for young people each year, propelling them forward to employment or undergraduate courses.
*The RNN Group includes Rotherham College, North Notts College, Dearne Valley College and University Centre Rotherham.
HSHG is delivered in partnership by Sheffield Hallam University, The Sheffield College and RNN Group, and is part-funded by the European Social Fund Programme 2014-2020.
Note: State Aid and Brexit
Higher Skills Higher Growth (HSHG) is part-financed by the European Social Fund and support provided by the programme is classified as State Aid, delivered through De Minimis (EC regulation No 1407/2013).
The ESF programme is covered by Article 138 of the Withdrawal Agreement. This requires that the ESF programme continues to be delivered in accordance with all applicable EU law for the remainder of the programme. This means the ESF requirements regarding state aid remain exactly as before the UK left the EU.
However, as of the 1 January 2021, projects must take into account potential cumulation with UK subsidies which fall beneath the applicable threshold (expressed as Special Drawing Rights (SDRs)) of the new UK subsidy control regime (as set out under Article 3.2(4) of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (“TCA”), Chapter 3 (Subsidy Control)).
The total of De Minimis Aid and Special Drawing Rights should not exceed €200,000 as set out in Article 5 of the de minimis regulation.
For example, a company received:
• €100,000 of de minimis aid in 2019
• €50,000 of de minimis aid in 2020
• €25,000 of aid under the SDR system
It has received €175,000 of cumulated aid and may receive no more than €25,000 of de minimis aid within the limit of €200,000 of de minimis aid in three years.
Beneficiary SMEs must fully complete HSHG001 Form - Eligibility Check, with details of state aid received in the last 3 years to allow assessment of eligibility, taking into account previous de minimis aid and subsidies considered SDRs, before the support commences. You may wish to seek your own expert advice on this.