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PR2001 VGH Business Support

Tender Title: PR 2001 - VGH Business Support 

Procurement Process No: PR 2001 

Issue of Specification: 22nd December 2017 

Closing Date: 29th January 2018 - 5pm

About us
The South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) was set up in May 2011 as one of 38 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in England. Established by the Coalition Government. LEPs play a central role in determining local economic priorities and undertaking activities that drive economic growth and the creation of local jobs. More information can be found on its website

SEMLEP is formed as a company limited by guarantee. It has many partners including 14 local authorities, local businesses, business organisations and many other private and public organisations. In addition to the work that SEMLEP carries out we also have a business support arm, called Velocity Growth Hub which provides free business support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SME)

Velocity Growth Hub was established by SEMLEP in 2014 with funding from the Regional Growth Fund through Lancaster University. The Velocity Growth Hub aims to connect small and medium sized businesses in the South East Midlands with tailored support to enable them to grow.

The main elements of the Growth Hub are:
• A business information portal
• A team of seven business advisers
• Revenue and capital grants for business support
• A programme of business workshops
• Focussed business development within the four showcase sectors identified by SEMLEP
PR2001 – VGH Business Support – Open Tender Specification v1 MC 211217 Page 2 of 10
This tender opportunity is part funded by ERDF and form part of the Velocity ERDF Project.


SEMLEP requires an organisation to provide business adviser support in Milton Keynes, Bedford and Luton boroughs on behalf of the Velocity Growth Hub until December 2018. The activities form part of SEMLEP’s Velocity Growth Hub project which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.


The Velocity Growth Hub project provides information, enhanced diagnosis and brokerage to help SMEs and social enterprises to develop and implement growth plans. SEMLEP currently employs five advisers and one sub-contractor to provide this service. We now require an additional sub-contractor to deliver the service in Milton Keynes, Bedford and Luton boroughs.
The project addresses the falling business growth rates in the South East Midlands and particularly targets SMEs with aspirations to grow or scale-up their businesses. This could also include signposting them to other Velocity Growth Hub project resources, i.e. workshops and grants.
SMEs that receive one-to-one advice through the project will complete an Enrolment Form and Action Plan (using the Velocity Action Plan form) to capture growth metrics and the key issues facing the business, together with the agreed actions to deal with them which will be updated as necessary at progress reviews.


SEMLEP is seeking an experienced, professional, business support provider with capacity and capability to:

• Provide business support and brokerage services to businesses that have been incorporated for more than 12 months and which are eligible for support from the European Regional Development Fund, for over 13 hours. Helping each one to develop an action plan to grow its business (defined in terms of employment, sales, profitability, improved productivity or Gross Value Added) and provide advice on where it may obtain further support to do so;
• Promote Velocity workshops and events to businesses in Milton Keynes, Bedford and Luton boroughs;
• Obtain original signatures from each SME to which the sub-contractor provides business support and brokerage services on forms that will be identified by SEMLEP to demonstrate the SMEs eligibility and record information and data from each one to demonstrate its growth plans and the subsequent impact of the plan on its performance;
PR2001 – VGH Business Support – Open Tender Specification v1 MC 211217 Page 3 of 10
• Able to create a pipeline of eligible SMEs interested in receiving business support to grow their business
• Agree and implement a marketing and business engagement plan with SEMLEP for the activities to be undertaken by both organisations to promote the project to eligible SMEs in Milton Keynes, Bedford and Luton boroughs in line with ERDF Marketing and Publicity guidance in order to create a pipeline of eligible SMEs in the designated boroughs that are interested in receiving business support to grow their businesses.
• Deploy Business Advisers:
➢ With the experience and knowledge to take a holistic approach during a first meeting with an SME in order to identify their barriers to growth and agree an action plan to support their future development and growth aspirations
➢ With a range of specialist expertise including any or all of the following disciplines: business strategy, marketing, PR, social media, business planning, HR, operations, ICT, and finance
➢ Able to quickly develop client relationships and provide over 12 hours of business support to each eligible SME over a number of face-to-face meetings
➢ Ideally, SFEDI accredited and/or have relevant professional qualifications
➢ With direct experience of being self-employed / running their own business / working in business at a senior level
➢ With a track record of working with a wide range of SME clients from different backgrounds and different sectors and able to adapt their style to effectively engage with each client
➢ Ideally, advisers will have the experience to deliver group sessions if the need arises.
• Please note: The main purpose of this contract is to identify and satisfy SMEs seeking business support (more than 12 hours) in order to help grow their organisations. i.e. we are not looking for The Contractor to proactively target or engage with SMEs where their primary interest is in grant funding.
• The contractor and its advisers will ideally have experience and knowledge of ERDF projects.
• Record the details of interactions with each business on SEMLEPs CRM (Evolutive), training will be provided and a data sharing agreement will be signed by both parties;
• Provide the necessary documentary evidence (original, wet signed forms) for each interaction to SEMLEP to accompany each invoice for funding made by SEMLEP to The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government;
• The sub-contractor will need to ensure that they collect a signed hardcopy version of the following Velocity forms from each customer that receives business support:
PR2001 – VGH Business Support – Open Tender Specification v1 MC 211217 Page 4 of 10
- VERDF 01 Enrolment Form
- VERDF 04 Action Plan
- VERDF 07 Adviser Support – Client Action Plan
- VERDF 30 Confirmation of Assistance
• Participate in monthly reviews of the performance of the contract with SEMLEP;
• Participate in service- and project-evaluation activities undertaken or commissioned by SEMLEP and The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government;
• A representative to attend a meeting of SEMLEP’s business advisers at Cranfield on a bi-monthly basis, to provide and receive updates on the project delivery.

The output targets for this work are:

1. C4 - Number of enterprises receiving non-financial support other than grants: Minimum 75
2. 75 SMEs referred on to workshops or Masterclasses delivered for or by Velocity Growth Hub and that go on to complete more than 13 hours support.
Please Note: Clients who do not receive over 12 hours support cannot be claimed as an output, so please factor into your pricing that there is a possibility some clients you may have supported will not be claimable despite receiving some hours of support.
3. P13 - Number of enterprises receiving information, diagnostic and brokerage support: we estimate that in order to achieve (1) and (2) above it will be necessary to achieve between 200 and 300 P13 outputs.

The definitions of these outputs are shown in the ERDF Output Indicator Definitions Guidance document, reference ESIF-GN-1-002 Version 1 published by the Department for Communities and Local Government

The output targets are indicative totals which will form part of the main contract once confirmation has been received from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

Payment claims can be made monthly commencing 30 days after the first month. The amount paid will depend upon the outputs achieved and approval of evidence presented from the previous month. Please note that the appointed Sub-Contractor shall not receive and disburse State Funds to SME end-beneficiaries. The last payment will be made to the contractor no later than December 2018.

PR2001 – VGH Business Support – Open Tender Specification v1 MC 211217 Page 5 of 10
Project Governance and management – The contractor will be managed in a day to day basis by the Project Manager at SEMLEP, the project is governed by the Velocity ERDF Project Board.

Application Form

You will find attached to this brief, SEMLEP’s tender application form that must be completed and send by email to by the deadline stated on the procurement process timescale section below, together with any additional information that you believe will be relevant to this tender opportunity. Our tender evaluation panel will assess received applications as per the selection and award criteria stated below.

Selection and award criteria Introduction

The tender application has a two-stage process: Part A and Part B. The first stage will assess Part A in accordance with the Selection Criteria that assess the ability of the tenderer to perform a contract based on qualitative information related to the economic and financial standing of the applicant, suitability, equalities and insurance. If the application passes stage one that is Part A, it will be assessed under the Award Criteria “Part B”, stage two.
Stage One - Selection Criteria
Section 5 to 8 of the application form is Part A. Questions 1, 3, 5, 6 and 7 are pass / reject. If you fail these questions, your application will be rejected.
Stage Two - Award Criteria
If your application passes on “Part A” it will progress to “Part B” that is the Award


View the full specification here 

Download the application Form here 

PR1919 VGH Workshops 2018

Tender Title: PR1919 - VGH Workshops 2018 

Procurement Proccess Number- PR 1919 

Issue of Specification- 18th December 2017 

Closing date- 23/01/2018- 5PM

This tender opportunty is part funded by the ERDF and form part of the Velocity ERDF project 

Velocity Growth Hub has delivered over 200 workshops on a variety of topics such as Smash your Sales Targets, Introduction to Digital Marketing, How to Win Business Using Social Media, Sales B2B, Enhancing your Brand, and Leadership for Growth.
SEMLEP wishes to appoint a sub-contractor to prepare and deliver 48 business support workshops for small to medium sized business across the South-East Midlands between March 2018 and October 2018. Workshop dates should ideally be outside of school holidays.
The workshops will need to be a seamless part of the Velocity business support offer to high growth SME’s in the South-East Midlands, which includes one-to-one support from six business advisers, a grants programme, and various workshops.
Velocity Growth Hub run by SEMLEP, wish to appoint a sub-contractor to:
• To deliver a total of 48 workshops between March 2018 and October 2018 to SME’s in South East Midlands area (Aylesbury Vale, Bedford, Central Bedfordshire, Cherwell, Corby, Daventry, East Northamptonshire, Kettering, Luton, Milton Keynes, Northampton, South Northamptonshire, and Wellingborough).
• Each workshop duration will be no less than 4 hours, running on a working day. Workshops will start at 9.30am and end at 1:30pm. We are looking to only run one workshop per day.

Download the full specification with: Topics, Estimated workshop plan, Workshop Requirements, Workbooks, Audience, Event Management/ Admin, Venues, Bookings, Marketing, Application Form, Selection and Award Criteria, Key Dates, Indicative Budget, Tender Process time scale and SUMMARY OF INELIGIBILITY CONDITIONS. Download here

Download the Application form 

Download the Venue - Site visit checklist 

PR1918 - Development of SEMLEP Energy Strategy

Tender: Development of SEMLEP Energy Strategy 

Procurement Number: PR 1918

Issue of specification: 15/12/2017

Deadline: Monday 22 January 2018, 5pm. 



SEMLEP is seeking consultants to develop an Energy Strategy for the South East Midlands. This will set out the energy needs of the area, over both the short and longer term, and options for meeting these needs that can also move us towards a lower carbon future.


The South East Midlands is a high-growth area which – as set out in our recently-published Strategic Economic Plan, Where Innovation Fuels Growth – is looking to undertake further major housing and employment growth, so as to double the size of the economy by 2050. Energy is obviously a critical input to this, and lack of a timely energy supply and appropriate energy infrastructure can act as a brake on growth. SEMLEP is thus seeking experienced professionals to develop an Energy Strategy for the area, which will underpin a future Local Industrial Strategy for the area and which will:

  • Provide an evidence base of the current energy needs of the area for power, heat and transport, along with projected future needs. This should take account of potential step changes in (as opposed to incremental) growth, and should separate out energy use by business/industry, local communities/the built environment, and the public sector estate.
  • Set out actions needed across all energy vectors (including power, heat and transport) to unblock growth over the short term. These are likely to focus on improving/upgrading current infrastructures – taking into account generation, demand and management – but could also include recommendations on changes to current regulatory regimes.
  • Set out options for meeting the area’s future energy needs, which should take account of innovative technologies and opportunities for reducing the carbon footprint of the area, including supply and demand management models, and carbon capture and storage. This options section should be explicit about the trade-offs, if relevant, between growth, carbon emissions and costs.
  • Outline how the South East Midlands could best build on its existing technological strengths in the energy/low carbon field, and the opportunities that this could offer for growth and jobs in these sectors.

In working up an Energy Strategy for the South East Midlands, the successful bidder will need to ensure that their work is aligned with:

  • National energy policy, including trajectories for decarbonisation and clean growth.
  • The Energy Strategies being developed in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire (NB: Aylesbury Vale and Cherwell District Councils are part of SEMLEP and also part of, respectively, Bucks Thames Valley LEP and Oxfordshire LEP) and similar work that has been undertaken in Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP. It is important that, ultimately, the LEPs and local authorities across the Oxford-MK-Cambridge Growth Corridor are able to form a single evidence base and set of energy priorities.
  • Any work undertaken by the BEIS-funded South East Energy Hub, which is scheduled to be established in 2018.


The outputs for this commission will be:

  • A SEMLEP Energy Strategy presented in Word format.
  • An evidence base, including future energy projections and options costs, in Excel format, with functionality for SEMLEP to be able to alter key inputs/assumptions.
  • An editable slide pack, including maps, for wide dissemination to a varied audience.

Full specification and application Form

You will find below, SEMLEP’s tender application form that must be completed and send by email to by the deadline 5pm Monday 22 January 2018, together with any additional information that you believe will be relevant to this tender opportunity. Our tender evaluation panel will assess received applications as per the selection and award criteria stated in the full specification document also below. 

Download PR1918: Development of SEMLEP's Energy Strategy full specification 

Download PR1918: Application form

Download PR1918: Energy Strategy Tender: Q&A*Questions received and responses published on 17/01/18

SEMLEP policies and forms