Grants up to £250k to help NI firms boost productivity

Invest Northern Ireland has introduced a new response scheme with grants up to £250,000 to help companies recover from business challenges caused by Covid-19.

The new Covid-19 Productive Investment Capital Grant (PICG) scheme has been developed to support businesses to make capital investments to adapt to these challenges.

“This new scheme targets improved productivity,” explained Kevin Holland, CEO, Invest NI.

“This is the fifth of eight Covid recovery schemes – some of which are yet to launch”

“Providing goods and services more efficiently and effectively to customers improves competitiveness and translates to higher profits and better market penetration.

“Capital investments in areas like new technology, software, automation or digital manufacturing technologies can ultimately improve a business’ productivity and profitability. This in turn stimulates the economic growth which our economy needs.”

How the PICG works

PICG is open to any business operating in manufacturing, construction, information and communication, or professional, scientific and technical activities.

Existing Invest NI customers, or businesses that can become an Invest NI customer, can also apply.

A maximum grant of up to £250,000 is available to improve productivity by investing in new technology and processes, software and knowledge acquisition, automation or the adoption of digital manufacturing technologies.

“This is the fifth of eight Covid recovery schemes – some of which are yet to launch,” Holland explained. “Collectively they are providing £5.5m of financial support this financial year. We anticipate offering further application calls later in 2021 for some of these schemes, subject to budget availability.”

Activities eligible for support through PICG include:

  • Acquisition of new, non-routine investment in plant, machinery and equipment, including installation and commissioning costs.
  • Software licences.
  • Knowledge acquisition and licensing.
  • Automation or the adoption of digital manufacturing technologies.

More detailed information, eligibility checker and applications details are all available on https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/picg. Applications closed at 5pm on Thursday 25 February 2021.

Projects will be approved on a first-come first-served basis. The grant will close to applications, either:

  • when the available budget is fully allocated; or
  • on the closing date of 5pm Thursday 25 February 2021, whichever comes first

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 2 February 2021