Agenda and minutes

SCR - Business Growth Board - Tuesday, 25th February, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: 11 Broad Street West, Sheffield S1 2BQ

No. Item


Welcome and Apologies


The Chair welcomed everyone 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


None received. 


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 263 KB


The minutes of the previous meeting held on 23rd October 2019 were agreed to be an accurate record and approved for signing by the representative of the Head of Paid Service. 


Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 255 KB


A precis of matters arising from the previous meeting was provided for information. 


In relation to the Brexit survey, it was confirmed that a specific survey had not been issued.  A ‘Brexit Tool’ was being used, which 144 businesses had completed.  It was confirmed that the SCR did engage with the local Chambers of Commerce regarding Brexit and the EU exit.  All information received was feedback to Government by the SCR Team. 


Growth Hub Progress and Evaluation pdf icon PDF 99 KB

Additional documents:


A paper and presentation was received to provide Board Members with assurance of the performance of the SCR Growth Hub following receipt of an externally commissioned Impact Evaluation, reviewing Growth Hub impact against the 2016 Business Plan and national comparators. 


The presentation provided Members with a summary of the findings from the impact evaluation. 


The headlines in summary are that:

·           Set against the outputs set out in the Full Business case from 2016, the Growth Hub has exceeded or is set to exceed all agreed targets.

·           The Growth Hub performs exceptionally well in comparison to other Growth Hubs being placed by BEIS in the upper quartile of the highest performing Growth Hubs.

·           Overall the evaluation concludes that the performance represents a significant achievement both in terms of comparative performance with other Growth Hubs (considered within the study) also against the Growth Hub’s own targets detailed in the full business case (2016) and the contribution towards regional targets overall. 


A number of recommendations and some areas for improvement were identified in the report, these were summarised as:-


·            The future purpose/remit of the Growth Hub should be clarified and communicated.

·            The Growth Hub must become fully embedded within the SCR confirming the Growth Hub as the LEP’s primary vehicle for business growth.

·            Increase the volume of internal communication, focusing on impact and achievements.

·            Maximise the Growth Hub’s in-house business intelligence to inform policy and product commissioning.


Board Members discussed the recommendations in detail and agreed that a paper on the Growth Hub’s full external evaluation be presented to the MCA. 


N MacDonald suggested that the paper also be presented to the LEP Board for information, without the recommendations included. 


In relation to the first recommendation set out above, Board Members requested that the paper to the MCA and LEP Board sets out how consultation would be delivered across South Yorkshire. 


RESOLVED – That the Business Growth Board:-


1.      Endorse the evaluation outcome.


2.      Considered and agreed the recommendations and any matters arising from the evaluation and the on-going work on the SEP related to the business growth programme.


3.      Agreed that a paper on the Growth Hub’s full external evaluation be presented at the MCA. 


Agreed that a paper on the Growth Hub’s full external evaluation (without the recommendations) be presented at the LEP Board.


Massachusetts Institute of Technology UK Regional Entrepreneurship Accelerator Programme (MIT REAP) pdf icon PDF 152 KB


A paper was submitted to provide Members with information on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Programme (REAP). 


The paper also advised of the submission that was made for the SCR to participate and that, having been approved by BEIS and MHCLG as one of 6 successful regions, to work with MIT and BEIS to provide an update to Members on the programme and the activity to be undertaken.


Board Members noted that the project will result in a SCR action plan focussing on implementing proposals to increase productivity through innovation.


S Kemp commented that the project would provide the opportunity for the SCR to work with local colleges.  She requested that this be taken in to consideration when discussions are taking place.


Councillor Houghton highlighted that the SCR need to ensure that the project does not duplicate with the Tech Ecosystem Acceleration and Market-making (TEAM) project. 


P Johnson replied that there were a number of similarities between both projects, which the SCR would not wish to duplicate. 


RESOLVED – That the Business Growth Board:-


1.      Notes the successful bid to participate in the programme and considered the work entailed in this programme.


Considers any lobbying or communication strategies positioning the SCR as the place for Government to focus on innovation in the North. 


International / Inward investment pdf icon PDF 95 KB

Additional documents:


A paper and presentation was submitted to provide Board Members with an update on the current inward investment programme and the developing plan for international activity. 


The presentation provided Board Members with an overview of the inward investment and international programme and updates on the following broad areas:-


·            A background to the inward investment approach in the SCR

·            International markets activity

·            Scale up and Account Management activity

·            Northern Powerhouse strategy for Inward Investment

·            The SCR Inward Investment pipeline

·            Overview of challenges and opportunities


Board Members noted that the Business Investment Fund (BIF) has been successfully used to incentivise investment activity within the City Region. Work was progressing to consider future incentive packages required as part of the work on the SEP. 


Consideration was being given to the development of an employers or social charter to supplement any financial packages or deals that focuses predominantly on securing increased social value for local residents and businesses.  Work on this will be led by the SCR Policy Team engaging with other Stakeholders, and will be presented at the Business Growth and Skills Boards for development and agreement.  Information on BIF deals will also be presented to this meeting as part of the Matters Arising action. 


Board Members were also informed that there were no immediate proposed changes to the work programme, however following approval of the draft SEP, work will commence to develop a detailed policy position statement on inward investment, the international programme and associated activity including key account management.  This work will set out options for consideration by the Business Growth Board for recommendation to the LEP / MCA.


It was noted that alternative options / approaches will also be explored as part of this work.


Board Members asked that they be engaged as the work develops. 


Councillor Mordue stated he was of the opinion that, the SCR Inward Investment Team needed to work more in partnership with the local authorities Inward Investment Teams.


R Clark replied that the SCR Inward Investment Team did engage with partners on site specific projects and when enquiries were received.  She acknowledged that this could be improved further. 


RESOLVED – That the Business Growth Board received the presentation. 


Project Merthyr


Agenda item withdrawn.


Performance Dashboards pdf icon PDF 147 KB

Additional documents:


The Board received a report and accompanying performance dashboards which provided an update on performance information on all business growth programmes delivered on behalf of the LEP and MCA.


The report and performance dashboards gave details of:


·           The Business Investment Fund

·           The SCR Growth Hub

·           The Inward Investment Key Account Management


Board Members noted that Statutory Officers were considering a BIF clawback paper setting out the principles and criteria for the application of clawback.  If agreed, Board Members would be provided with an update of the schemes that may be subject to clawback. 


It was noted that close scrutiny of large value projects continues.  Two projects had recently had their offer of funding withdrawn due to not progressing to the delivery stage. 


N MacDonald queried if the SCR Team received information on the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.  He also asked if feedback could be provided to Board Members on the fund. 


D Grimes replied that the SCR Team did receive information on the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, however, this was very limited. 


RESOLVED – That Board Members:-


1.      Scrutinised the performance information provided in order to identify future performance deep-dives or significant areas of risk.


Reviewed the format and detail of information to inform future iterations of the dashboard.


Any Other Business


Board Members requested that the next meeting scheduled for Wednesday 6th May 2020, be re-arranged due to the local Elections taking place on Thursday 7th May.  ACTION: SCR Governance Team