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How to Apply > Tips/FAQ

We have selected some Frequently asked questions below. Please click on the following links for general information on eligibility and the application form or finances & monitoring.
Eligibility and Application form
Documents to download:
How to fill in the application form
Hint & tips
State Aids

Who can be a project partner?
Any of the following organisations from the eligible regions can apply:
Organisations representing the environment, voluntary organisations and charities, universities and research centres, local networks and trade unions, public sector, private sector and SMEs (5% of the programme has been unmarked for the private sector) and economic interest group, colleges, universities, research centres, training providers and technology transfer organisations, local business networks, innovation centres and technopoles, business support agencies, hard to reach communities, local authorities, health and safety authorities, education providers, local network and business support agencies. Individuals are not eligible to apply.
The partner search facility will help you search for partners but feel free to contact your regional correspondent for further guidance.

How many partners can I have ?
You will need to find at least another partner from the following regions: South East of England, Malopolska in Poland, Andalucia in Spain, Emilia-Romagna in Italy, Province of Brabaant in the Netherlands for the Green, Business Growth Themes and Inclusive Growth. Other regions are not eligible for this programme. Please refer to the specifications.

What support is available for project development?
The regional correspondent from your region will be able to help you in developing the project. Their contact details is available int he Contact tab of the website.

Who is my Regional Authority / Correspondent?
GROW has five partner regions and the Regional Authorities responsible for the implementation of the programme are:

South East England Development Agency – GROW Secretariat
Kathy Vuillaume – Programme Manager

Regione Emilia-Romagna - Region of Emilia Romagna
Maria Paula Dosi – Regional Correspondent

Provincie Noord-Brabant - Province Noord-Brabant
Rob de Groot – Regional Correspondent

Urzad Marszalkowski Wojewodztwa Malopolskiego - Marshal Office of the Malopolska Region
Aneta Widak – Regional Correspondent

Junta de Andalucia - Government of Andalucia
Miguel Presencio Fernandez – Regional Correspondent

Who is the GROW Secretariat?
The GROW Secretariat at SEEDA is responsible for management of the Regional Framework Operation, implementation and co-ordination of activities among the involved partners. It manages the funds and is accountable to the European Commision. Please contact for more information.

Can we submit a project taking place out of the Grow regions if we are based in one of the Grow regions?
No, both your project and organisation will have to be based in the Grow regions.

If a project applies for second round funding, are partners' costs eligible from the launch of the first call or from the date of the second call?
It is the same as for the first round/end of June.

If an applicant in one region is an informal consortium of partners, do all the partners in the consortium need to sign on a partner and fill in the partner information?
It depends if there are ERDF grant involves. To be able to get some ERDF grant, we need to contract with a legal entity. In the case of just “being” part of delivery action and not receiving any ERDF grant directly, they don’t need to sign the application form.

Which responsabilities has the Lead Partner?
The Lead Partner is responsible for managing the partnership and ensuring the delivery of the programme according to the agreed action plan. He is responsible for compiling the progress report on behalf of the partnership but NOT for paying partners as the funding will be drawn down from each region.

Which exchange rate should we be using?
Claims will be prepared and submitted in euros using the average monthly exchange rate set by the Commission which is available from

Once approved, will information on our project be publish on the grow website?
Yes, information on your project as well as a link to your website will be available on the Grow website

Can I submit the same project under two or more sub themes?
No, projects are to be submitted in one sub theme only. They will be evaluated against the sub theme specifications you submit them to.

Do all the partners on a project have to send their application ?
No, only one application per project has to be sent out to the secretariat.

How do we send our application?
You will have to send one electronic copy of your application per email to with either scanned signatures or separately fax the signatures to +44(0)1483 484 247 by the 24th of February midnight and one copy per post to the Grow secretariat. Faxed signature are acceptable at the submission stage providing originals are following by post.

If project is not selected during the first round, then does one have to reapply, fix the issues then resubmit if possible to the second round?
Yes, but the project proposal will have to be really robust the second time round. New application forms and financial annexes are being introduced for the second call, please ensure you use the right one !

Could schools and public sector buildings be included within a project under the sub-theme “Resource Management”?

What happens if the project falls under several sub-themes so that they overlap?
Project proposals need to be submitted under one main theme but can then demonstrate that they fall under several themes.

Programme management: application and selection
Your project will be evaluated on the following criteria:
  • Relevance to the GROW programme
  • Coherence of the project and quality of the approach
  • Quality of the partnership (e.g.: number of countries involved)
  • Quality of the management
  • Budget and finance
  • Innovation
  • Sustainability
The evaluation is carried out by independent experts, a final decision is made by the Steering committee from all the regions.

Will applicants get feedback on all project proposals submitted?
Yes, you will receive a detailled feedback on your application once the decision of the steering committee has been confirmed.

If applying for funding for projects through the second call, can expenditure incurred for the project also be counted from June 2005, as with project proposals submitted through the first call?
Yes, all projects submitted through either call can count costs incurred since June 2005 as project costs but remember that the more costs incurred in early stages of the projects development means less money for the delivery of the project later on.
Finances and Monitoring
What can I include in my GROW budget? The main expenditure headings are:
  • Staff costs
  • Administration Costs
  • Investment
  • Promotion
  • Travel and accommodation
  • External expertise
  • Other
  • Further information on each of these is included in the GROW Hints and Tips document which is available for download here.

    Is there a minimum and maximum project size?
    The recommended total project size is set out in the Sub Theme Specifications which are available for download here. On average projects are between euros100K and 400K (including ERDF and Match Funding).

    How much match funding do I need?
    The amount of match funding you require depends on where your organization is based.
    • Organisations based in the UK and Netherlands regions will need 50% match funding • Organisations in the Poland and Spain regions will need 25% match funding • In Italy the National Interreg Authority (IGRUE in Rome) will be providing match funding so successful applicants will get 100% funding – 50% from GROW.

    Can I use staff time as match funding?
    Yes, as long as the organisations employing the staff are listed as Project Partners. The GROW Secretariat has prepared some guidance on how to calculate staff time as match funding which is available for download here .

    Can I use match funding from several different organizations?
    Yes, although if the match funding is calculated using staff time those organisations will need to be listed as Project Partners.

    What is the earliest project start date?
    Officially projects can start from June 2005. Retrospective development and preparation costs are eligible but clearly the applicant will only be able to claim them if the application is successful.

    What is the latest project end date?
    Projects must be complete by November 2007.

    Will I have a contract?
    Yes, if your application is successful there will be a 3-way contracting framework as follows: • A Contract between the GROW Secretariat and the Project Leader • A Grant Letter of Agreement between the Regional Authority and Project Partners in their region • A Partnership Agreement between the Project Leader and the Project Partners. Examples of the Contract and Grant Letter of Agreement are available for download here.

    Is there a model Partnership Agreement I can use?
    No, the GROW Secretariat think it is best that you use your own models for this agreement although we would like to see them. There is a Cooperation Agreement template on the main Interreg Programme website ( This is very comprehensive and Project Partners may find that something simpler is sufficient.

    What happens after I have submitted my application?
    • The GROW Secretariat opens all applications and sends them to a panel of international appraisers from all regions. • Project Leaders receive feedback within 3 months of the application.

    If my application succeeds what happens next?
    If your application is approved you will be invited to attend a Contract Negotiation Meeting with the GROW Secretariat. At this meeting we will ask you to tell us more about your project, work through any conditions and set out a timetable for revisions and contract signatures.

    If my application succeeds, when will I get paid and who will pay me?
    You will need to submit six monthly claims which are independently audited. ERDF payments are made in arrears based on these claims by your Regional Authority. Further information on claims and payments is included in the “Hints and Tips” document which is available for download here.

    How will the project be monitored?
    We will ask you to submit quarterly on-line monitoring returns relating to progress against forecast outputs, results and spend. These will be verified by the GROW Secretariat and we would also like to visit projects regularly to discuss progress.

    What happens if I need to change something about the project once it has started?
    The application form is an integral part of the contract for GROW so if you are expecting a significant change of any kind you should contact the GROW Secretariat as soon as you are able.

    What does “independent” auditor mean?
    All claims will need to be verified by an independent auditor. The Auditor may be external or internal as long as they are “independent from the operation’s activities, decision-making, financial management and control processes”. Further information on Audit is available at

    Do I have to keep separate project records? How long for?
    You will need to keep records, such as accounts, agendas, attendance records to evidence expenditure, match funding and project progress. Advice will be available from the GROW Secretariat and network of Regional Correspondents on the level of detail required. Records must be held for three years after the GROW project period ends, so until December 2011.

    Will I be paid in euros or in my own currency?
    You will be paid in your own currency.

    Can I claim VAT from GROW?
    You can claim VAT only if you are unable to recover it elsewhere.

    Can Private companies be partners in GROW projects?
    Private companies can be partners where they get are working on behalf of a wider group of businesses.

    What is State Aid? How does it affect me?
    Under EU State Aid legislation the amount of aid (in cash or in kind) that is given to private sector companies is restricted. As a general rule private companies cannot receive more than euro100 000 worth of aid over any three year period. Where a private sector company is benefitting from your project they will need to sign a “de minimis” declaration confirming that the amount of aid received is below this threshold. More information about State Aid rules and a sample De Minimis Declaration is available for download here.