CIOS Kickstart Grant FAQs

Applications for the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Kickstart Grant Scheme have already exceeded the funds available and therefore the scheme will not reopen for new applications.

This information is for existing applicants only. 

You can read the Frequently Asked Questions on the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Kickstart Grant Scheme below.

A PDF of all the FAQs can be downloaded at the bottom of the page.  FAQs for the application form for the Kickstart grant can be found here Kickstart Grant Application FAQs.

Please note the FAQs may be updated so please check back to see if there has been any changes. 

Last updated 18 November 2020


The Grant Scheme launched on Wednesday 2nd September at 10am.  We received the first 250 applications and closed the website in order to make an initial assessment.  If you were in the process of filling in an application, this will be in saved in draft on your account from the last time the form was saved.

Applications received have already exceeded the funds available for the Wider Economy strand and therefore the scheme will not reopen for new applications.

If you have a tourism application in draft you may be invited to complete your submission, subject to available funding. You will be informed of this via email.

The grant is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for England and Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have been allocated:

  • £981,000 for tourism-related businesses
  • £459,000 for non-tourism business

Grants are available up to £5,000 per business, however we anticipate the average grant size to be £3,000.

You will not need to specify which grant you are applying to. You will be asked in the application if you are a tourism-related business.  If you say yes you will be assessed against the criteria for the tourism grant fund and if you say no, you will be assessed against the criteria for the non-tourism grant fund.

All applicants will need to confirm the following to be able to access the online application form:

  • My business is based in Cornwall or the Isles of Scilly
  • My business is a Small or Medium Enterprise (SME)
    • Less than 250 employees
    • Less than €50m turnover or balance sheet of €43m
  • My business started trading before 1st March 2020
  • My business has been impacted by COVID-19 
  • The activity I am applying for is to assist with my COVID-19 recovery plans and is not “business as usual” or related to personal protective equipment (PPE), social distancing or other regulatory activity
  • I would not be able to progress the activity without grant support
  • My project has not already started and will be completed, and all claims submitted by 28th February 2021 

Tourism-related businesses:
This grant fund is for businesses that contribute to or support tourism in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.  You will need a SIC code as part of your application. This list below attached details the eligible standard industrial classification of economic activities (SIC) codes for the tourism grant.


If your business does not fit into the list above but you believe contributes to or supports tourism you can still apply for the grant.  You will be asked to explain why you think your business qualifies for the grant as part of your application.

Non-tourism businesses

You will need a Standard industrial classification of economic activities (SIC) code as part of your application.  You can find the relevant SIC code for your business on the GOV.UK website:

Some businesses are not eligible for ERDF support, for example we cannot accept applications from businesses who operate in the following sectors:

  • Fisheries and aquaculture
  • Processing and marketing of agricultural products
  • Shipbuilding
  • Schools/school age educational establishments and the provision of school age education
  • Insurance companies
  • Primary production, coal or steel, synthetic fibres
  • Banking

If you are not sure if your business is eligible please contact us on [email protected] for more information.

Businesses can apply for up to £5,000 but will need to specify what activity the grant will fund and provide quotes for that work. If the activity to be undertaken slightly exceeds £5,000, you can apply for a grant of up to £5,000 and fund the rest through the business.  You must be able to demonstrate that the business is unable to fund the full cost of the activity without grant support and no single item of equipment should be over £5,000.

Please note that, if successful, you will need to fund the project and claim the approved costs back after it has been completed.

Applications will be online via the Growth Hub website and if you are invited to complete your draft application, you will be able to access it via your website account dashboard. 

No, businesses are only able to apply to one of the grant funding streams.

At the beginning of the online application you will be asked if you are a tourism-related business.  If you state you are a tourism business, you will automatically be directed to the tourism fund. All other types of business will automatically be directed to the non-tourism fund.

The eligible activity for tourism and non-tourism applications are the same:

  • Purchase of specialist consultancy/advice.  Please note that the grant cannot be used to fund training.  If you would like to find out more about training and skills development for your business please contact the Skills Hub [email protected]
  • Purchase of minor equipment that support the adoption of new technology / business processes in order to continue to deliver or diversify business activity in response to COVID 19.
  • Purchase of minor equipment that support the adaptation of existing technology / business processes in order to continue to deliver or diversify business activity  in response to COVID 19.
  • All requests must demonstrate how the grants are helping the business to recover from COVID 19. We cannot support projects that appear to be straight business growth or planned business expansion, or business as usual activity.

These grants cannot be used to:

  • Support businesses with working capital
  • Support ‘business as usual’ activity and consumables costs
  • Support research, development and innovation activity e.g. proof of concept work
  • Support businesses to fund the payment of wages
  • Fund replacement kit or equipment.
  • Purchase equipment and consumables associated with PPE and social distancing measures
  • Fund activities which would contradict, duplicate or undermine HM Government domestic initiatives
  • Fund destination marketing
  • Fund building work
  • Fund installation costs which would be considered to be building works
  • Fund training
  • Purchase capital items over £5000
  • Fund retrospective activity or purchases

If you have any queries on eligible activity please contact the Growth Hub on 01209 708660 or email [email protected]  ​​​​​​​

Ensure you have the following information available:

  • General business information like registered address and trading start date
  • Type of business
    • Limited Company by Shares
    • Limited Company by Guarantee
    • Sole Trader
    • Partnership
    • Limited Liability Partnership
    • Community Interest Company
    • Social Enterprise
  • Company Registration Number search here or Unique Tax Reference
  • VAT number (if registered)
  • Dedicated bank account for your business
  • Current bank balance
  • Relevant SIC Code for your business
  • Business turnover for the last financial year
  • Business turnover for the current financial year to date
  • No. of Employees & Full-time equivalents
  • No of jobs safeguarded as a result of the grant
  • Quotes for all work/purchases to be funded
  • State aid information relating to your business in the last three years
  • Equality & Diversity & Environmental/sustainability polices for your business.  If you do not have these policies, you can find templates for these on the Growth Hub website

Read more detailed FAQs on the application form questions here.

Read More

Answers to the following questions:
(It is important that you give enough detail to demonstrate to the need for this grant)

  • How has your business been affected by COVID-19? 
  • What do you want the grant to fund?
  • How will the grant funded activity help your business recover from the impact of COVID-19? 
  • Why you are unable to cover the costs from other/your own sources?

Yes, you will need to provide quotes for all services or purchases of equipment / technology you want to fund. Screenshots of online catalogues are acceptable but must clearly show the date on the screenshot. You will need to upload these quotes as part of your online application – there is a 5 document maximum. Quotes must meet the requirements of the programme or the item might be rejected.  Click here for more information on what is required in the quotes. 

Acceptable file formats are Word docs, Excel spreadsheets, PDFs, PowerPoint Presentations, JPG or PNG image files.

Read more detailed FAQs on the application form questions here.

Read More

You can use any supplier you want to, so long as they are a business and the service or product is eligible for grant funding and is relevant to the recovery needs of your business.  However, you will need to confirm that the supplier is independent of you and your business and there is no conflict of interest.

No, the grant cannot retrospectively fund activity that has already started.  Your application must include a quote for the activity you wish the grant to fund but you cannot commission the work until your application has been confirmed as successful and you have received an offer letter.

No, the business does not have to contribute financially, the grant will fund 100% of eligible costs up to £5,000.  It is anticipated that the majority of applications will be for costs of less than £5,000, for which you can apply for 100% of the cost with no requirement on the business to contribute.

However, if your total project costs slightly exceed £5,000 the business will need to fund any costs over that value.  No single piece of equipment can exceed £5000.

Please note that you will need to fund the project and claim the costs back after it has been completed.

The grants are funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and are governed by the regulations of that funding.  Eligible activity has been determined by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government as the Managing Authority for ERDF.

The grant scheme aims to help businesses recover from the impact of COVID-19.  As your business was not trading before the coronavirus pandemic, the impact cannot be evidenced and therefore you are not eligible for this grant.

To find out what other support is available to you please contact us on [email protected]

Make an application in the normal way and the assessment team will contact you to discuss options, but you will need to prove you do not have the available funds.

In principle yes, provided that the businesses are separate legal entities and delivering different activities, but we would need more information to confirm this.  Please contact [email protected] with details of your businesses.

We recommend that you re-activate your account so you are ready if you are invited to complete your draft application.

If you have any problems, please contact us through the web chat on our site or the Contact Us page.

You can contact the Growth Hub via [email protected] to ask questions regarding the scheme, however our advice would be to ensure you have read the FAQs fully. We cannot provide a status update on your submitted application and we cannot guarantee the timescale in which we will respond to queries due to the volume of contact we may receive.

Our team will also be available via a live chat function on the website and social media to answer questions when the scheme goes live.

You can contact The Growth Hub to find out what other support may be available to your business.  You can call them on 01209 708660 during office hours or get in touch and request a call back from the team.

Please note the Growth Hub team cannot advocate on behalf of unsuccessful applications.

There is no email confirmation of your application being submitted. Once you have completed your application you will have the chance to download your submission as a PDF on the confirmation page.  Your dashboard will also show a completed date and “Is Draft” will say No.

Applications are assessed against a series of eligibility criteria for the applicant business and the activity they want the grant to fund.  Successful grants will be awarded on a first come, first served basis until all the grant money has been allocated.

Successful applications must be fully and correctly completed with the supporting evidence provided, including quotations for the funded activity, for an Offer Letter to be issued.  Due to the large number of applications received in a short space of time, and the number of queries these have generated, the assessment and issuing of decisions is taking longer than anticipated. Although we have already made decisions and issued offer letters, we anticipate a longer period of time to complete all of the assessments in this phase.

The scheme makes payment to successful applicants in arrears, after they have accepted the offer and have purchased and received the support or items that the Grant has been approved for.  In all instances we need to see copies of supplier’s invoices and a copy of the statement from the dedicated bank account for the business, evidencing that payment has been made to the relevant suppliers. 

In addition, you will also have to have completed the activity for which grant funding has been awarded and submit photos of any equipment purchased to evidence receipt of the goods. You have 14 days from the date of the offer letter to accept your grant offer (via electronic signature) and all activity and claims must be completed by 28 February 2021.  Once a complete claim has been submitted and approved, with all relevant evidence provided, payment should be made within 7 working days.

Your application will be rejected. You will be contacted by our assessment team to let you know that we are unable to process your application due to missing information.  You will be advised that if you still wish to apply for a grant, you can do so but will need to submit a new application with all the required information.

This means that you will effectively join the back of the queue.  Grants are offered on a first come, first served basis and only to applicants who submit a complete and eligible application.

Wherever possible, electronic payments should be made from your bank account to the suppliers. On occasions where this is not possible, payments by cheque or business debit cards are permitted. If cheque payments are made, please note you will be required to submit a photocopy of the cheque with your supporting information.

In exceptional circumstances, where other payment options are not possible, the use of a business credit card can be approved. However, to claim this against the grant, you would need to show the balance having been paid in full and the payment to the card provider leaving your business bank account.

Payments through PayPal are accepted only if the payment is taken directly from the business bank account, i.e. you can evidence the individual invoice amount leaving the bank account.  You are not able to pay an invoice using PayPal if you are using existing funds in a PayPal account, as each expenditure item must be evidenced back to the dedicated bank account

Under no circumstances are payments by cash for invoices acceptable. 

You should purchase the items as identified in your application and the quotes submitted. Only in exceptional circumstances will we agree to variations to your approved project, for example, supplier no longer trading, or goods unavailable. Any variation to the offer letter has to be submitted in writing and you will receive formal notification as to whether it has been agreed or not once the necessary checks have been completed.  Such requests will normally be processed within 15 working days. 

We are expecting most projects to submit one claim on completion of the whole project.

However, you can make separate claims depending on the activity specified in your offer letter.


  • Grant Offer was for £3,000 total activity, split between:
    • Specialist consultancy/advice            £2,000
    • Purchase of equipment/technology    £1,000

You can make two separate claims if each claim has all the supporting evidence, i.e. one for Specialist Consultancy/Advice and one for Equipment.

You can only submit a claim when you have both paid for the items and the funded activity is complete or you have taken receipt of the goods.

The claim deadline for applications submitted in November is 28th February and this will not be extended again.  The deadline for previously submitted applications is confirmed in the claim pack.

The grant is recoverable from the applicant if it is proved that their application and/or claim contained false or fraudulent information.

Applicants can ask Cornwall Development Company to review their decision if they think that:

  • the decision was based on an error of fact;
  • CDC made a procedural error in processing the application.

Applicants must make this request within 20 days of receiving the decision letter.