Skills & Business Growth Programme

(Business Training Support)


The Skills & Business Growth Programme is designed to help

West Dunbartonshire businesses improve their competitive edge. 


1.0 What is the Skills & Business Growth Programme?

The Skills & Business Growth Programme is a programme designed to help companies in West Dunbartonshire provide training for their employees, managers and owners.  The programme seeks to improve the competitiveness of West Dunbartonshire businesses by helping companies provide formal training of a high standard for all members of the workforce to improve competitiveness, improve productivity, employability and safeguard jobs.  The programme is targeted at small and medium sized enterprises (SME’s).  The aim is to provide employees with transferable skills and knowledge in a bid to help workers secure their current and future employment. 

The grant can be used to support training that is flexible on or off-site, online and during or after working hours, at times that suit employers and employees.  Eligible training fees must be external or additional to the company. 

Applications are encouraged from companies who want to train workers who otherwise may not be considered for inclusion in training.  

We welcome applications from minority ethnic owned businesses and businesses owned by women. 

  1. The Skills & Business Growth Programme seeks to improve the competitiveness of West Dunbartonshire businesses by providing formal training of a high standard for any members of the workforce thereby improving their productivity and employability.
  2. Emphasis is placed on flexible delivery of training support such as part-time, open, flexible, online and computer based training. Eligible training fees must be external or additional to the company. 
  3. The programme is designed to provide employees with transferable skills and knowledge in a bid to help workers secure their current and future employment.


2.0 Eligibility

Eligible companies must:

  1. Be operating from business premises in West Dunbartonshire. 
  2. Generate more than 30% of their turnover from outwith West Dunbartonshire if they are in the service sector.  
  3. Retail businesses and businesses providing a service directly to members of the public are not eligible however businesses operating in the tourism and hospitality sector may be considered.
  4. Priority will be given to businesses in the Manufacturing Sector and also to businesses in the Service Sector which support manufacturing.
  5. Employ less than 250 people worldwide.
  6. Trainees must be permanent, full time or part time employees of the company.


3.0 What types of training are eligible?

  1. Any type of external training programme will be considered on condition that it provides skills that will demonstrably improve the company competitiveness.
  2. Training that is considered a legislative requirement will not be supported.


4.0 Who can carry out the training?

  1. All training organisations/providers will be considered by West Dunbartonshire Council under this programme to deliver the specified training.
  2. It is the applicant company’s responsibility to draw up an appropriate contract with their specified trainer. The Council’s contract will be with the applicant company and not the trainer.


5.0 What is the level of the Grant?

  1. Match funding of 50% will be paid for the external trainer’s fees with a maximum of £3,000 per company.
  2. The duration of the training programme and the rate charged must be broadly comparable to other similar applications received by the Council. In some case restrictions will be imposed and competitive quotes may be requested.
  3. Details and full costs of the project, including any other financial assistance, must be provided on application.

6.0 How do I apply?

To apply, please complete the Skills & Business Growth Programme application form and submit it with the following enclosures:

  1. An up to date copy of your most recent audited accounts or current management accounts.
  2. Comprehensive training plan, detailing the content and the total cost of all the training events, explaining what will be done and providing specific competencies.
  3. Applications received which do not contain the above information will be returned to the applicant company.
  4. If the application appears eligible a Business Support Officer will discuss further with the company objectives as part of the appraisal process.
  5. If approval is given the company will be formally notified and details containing the conditions of the award will be provided.
  6. If the application is unsuccessful the company will be informed in writing and given the reasons for rejection.
  7. Training must NOT commence before approval is given as the grant cannot be awarded retrospectively.


7.0 Approval Process

  1. Changes to the agreed training programme must be agreed and approved by the Council Officers prior to the changes taking place.


8.0 Claiming the Grant

Details on claiming the grant will be issued to the successful applicant companies, however the following must be noted:

  1. Grant will only be paid if previously agreed qualifications and competencies are achieved.
  2. Proof of payment to the trainer i.e. the original invoice and a copy of the bank statement showing the appropriate transaction must be submitted.


9.0 Council’s Standard Conditions of Grant Award

  1. The names of all companies receiving the grant and the amount may be reported to Council committees.
  2. Additional conditions may be imposed on any applicant as may be considered appropriate by the funders of the scheme.
  3. The determination of eligibility in respect of any applicant for grant under this scheme shall be within the absolute discretion of the Council.
  4. Access to books and records. The books and records of the Organisation must be available if required for examination by representatives of the Council and by the Council’s external auditors. 
  5. The Council reserve the right to recover misused funds and may, at its absolute discretion, withhold further instalments which were to have been made, or may cancel completely the payment of any further sums to the Organisation.
  6. West Dunbartonshire Council is committed to sharing good practice and promoting examples of service delivery that meet the needs of communities.  The Council reserves the right to use details of the project for publicity for the programme and share information with any parties appointed to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of this funding.
  7. Please Note: Under EC regulation No 1407/2013 (de minimis aid regulation), this is a de minimis aid. There is a ceiling of  €200,000 for all de minimis aid provided to any one firm over a three-year period .  Any de minimis aid awarded to you under this grant will be relevant if you wish to apply, or have applied, for any other de minimis aid.  This grant is also given in accordance with the UK Government’s obligations relating to subsidy control as set out in the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement. This is limited to approximately £340,000 over a three year period. You must tell us in your application about any other public funding you have received from us or any other public agency  for your business in the last three years.  If you are awarded this grant you must retain the email notification of this for three years from the date of the award and produce it on any request by the relevant UK public authorities or European Commission. (You may need to keep the offer of award letter for longer than three years for other purposes.)
  8. The Council may be required to make any application or project proposal for this  funding available for public scrutiny under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.  The Organisation should make the Council aware of any parts of its application or project proposal, which may prejudice its interest if it were made public.


If you require any further information, please contact Business Support on or Tel: 01389 737777