Designing, managing and monitoring regional incubation programmes

Client: European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)


ERDF wanted to promote competitiveness in South East England whilst contributing to reducing the region’s ecological footprint. It wanted a reliable partner to design and manage the incubation programme and deliver the key performance indicators for the initiative.


All ERDF outcomes were met. 32 businesses were assisted to improve their performance, 53 gross new jobs were created, 27 firms were supported to develop new business relationships and 13 firms increased percentage turnover by 5%.

CLT managed the ERDF incubation programme, including grant applications, application assessments, and monitoring of project delivery for technology development companies. Approved applicants included industrial decarbonisation and heat recovery companies such as Origin and Heatcatcher.

The work involved screening applicants to ensure fit with the programme, which required flexible and responsive communications with applicants to explain the programme’s characteristics and recommend next steps, and ensuring compliance with EU State Aid rules.

CLT undertook in-depth project and business case analysis to justify incubation support and financial and technical due diligence to ensure the projects would deliver value for money. These included written assessments of technological capability, company health checks, project management plans, gap assessment and critical success factors.

CLT distilled complex and technical information in applications and communicated recommendations to the ERDF decision panel.

During project implementation, CLT monitored and reported on project delivery and maintained a risk management log, carried out quality assurance reviews.

CLT worked closely with ERDF to ensure that its goals were being achieved, that it was financially robust and compliant with State Aid rules, and that quality. To prove this, the programme and CLT’s management of it was audited by the (former) Department for Communities and Local Government, the South East England Development Agency, an external accountancy firm, and ERDF itself. The programme and CLT’s administration of it was deemed compliant and successful for each audit.