Agenda and draft minutes

MCA - Business Recovery and Growth Board - Monday, 15th May, 2023 2.30 pm

Venue: South Yorkshire MCA, 11 Broad Street West, Sheffield, S1 2BQ

No. Item


Welcome and Apologies


Neil MacDonald, in the Chair, welcomed attendees to the meeting.


Apologies for absence were noted as above.



Declarations of Interest by individual Members in relation to any item of business on the agenda.




Urgent items / Announcements




Public Questions of Key Decisions




Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 235 KB


RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 16th March 2023 be agreed as a true record.


Matters Arising / Action Log pdf icon PDF 140 KB


RESOLVED: To note that all actions in the log were now closed.


Growth Hub Transition Plan pdf icon PDF 342 KB


A report on the proposed transition of SYMCA’s Growth Hub service, to a primarily online service, was presented.


Three options were proposed for the possible speed of the transition:

  • 8 weeks – a rapid transition.
  • 6 months - which would allow more time for communicating changes and developing current online provisions.
  • 12 months - an extended timeline which would allow time to research and develop further tools and services.


It was noted that in the online only service, the Growth Hub would act as a referral service to local, regional or national business support providers, using online tools and online contact mechanisms.


It was asked whether all resources needed to reach the final model were in place. A response was given that some resource is available for content migration but a lack of dedicated IT and communications resource may impact upon the speed of the transition.


RESOLVED: that the Board approve Option 2 - a 6 month transition to the new model.


Business Support Funding Priorities pdf icon PDF 221 KB

Additional documents:


A report and presentation on Business Support Funding Priorities was presented.


It was noted that funding these priorities would create a business support system which would simplify and coordinate the business landscape in South Yorkshire.


Cross party co-design and ongoing steering would be essential to all aspects of the proposed support systems.


Proposals for a system of start-up accelerators were presented, such as:

  • Support for investment readiness, connectivity, and entrepreneur development,
  • Place based activity across the region, aligned with Local Authority priorities dictating delivery,
  • Use of £3m of underspend skills Renewal Action Plan (RAP) funding, and up to 40% industry match.


The Chair and lead Chief Executive of the Education, Skills and Employability (ESE) Board had been consulted in the development of this item. In addition, the decision would be reported to the MCA Board at its July meeting.


A discussion was had around the proposed use of underspent skills Renewal Action Plan (RAP) funding, noting that acceleration interventions would largely focus on skills funding for businesses.


ACTION: Innovation Project Director to contact ESE Board Chair to confirm an approach to communication of the approach with the wider ESE Board.


Proposals for programmes to drive innovation and productivity were presented, including: 

  • 1:1 specialist support, such as academic support and access to research facilities,
  • Place based activity across the region, aligned with Local Authority priorities,
  • Use of £3m underspend in business RAP funding, and up to 40% industry match.


It was noted that for the acceleration and innovation priorities, partners would be procured to deliver specialist provision, rather than being delivered directly by the MCA.


Proposals for cultural and creative sector development were presented, such as:

  • Specialist support for creative leadership and intellectual property,
  • Development of pitching events, investor outreach and an investor toolkit,
  • Exploration of Investment models,
  • Use of £1m of Broadband Delivery UK funding clawback.


Proposals for Digital and Tech Sector Development were presented, such as:

  • A programme of Test and Learn support initiatives,
  • Developing strategies for regional incubation and co working,
  • A range of business focussed events, grants and advice,
  • Development of the South Yorkshire co-investment model,
  • Use of £850,000 of Broadband Delivery UK funding clawback.

It was noted that £2m could be deployed from the Mayoral Gainshare Fund to support Early-Stage finance, in particular the development of a co-investment model.

An ambition to create a programme of supply chain diversification was also presented, in particular:

  • Meet the Buyer events, Specialist Masterclasses and a Web Portal,
  • Employment of 2 full time Supply Chain Managers and a full-time marketing and support officer,
  • Deployment of Barrier Breaker Grants,
  • Specific support for smaller businesses who have no current access to this specialist expertise and resource.


RESOLVED that the Board:

·         Agree to amend 40% match in Acceleration and Innovation funding, to an “up to 40%” match,

·         Approve deployment of £3.1m underspent Renewal Action Plan (business) funding for the business support priorities set out in para 1.5,

·         Recommend the deployment of £3m from the Renewal Action Plan (skills) budget for the business support  ...  view the full minutes text for item 90.


Any Other Business