State Aid

General Block Exemption Regulation Scheme

General Conditions

1. Title
Fermanagh and Omagh District Council SME Infrastructure Scheme

2. Member State
United Kingdom

3. Region
Northern Ireland

4. Organisations permitted to award aid under the Scheme
Fermanagh and Omagh District Council

5. UK Legal Basis
Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is authorised to award aid under domestic law, including:

• The Local Government Northern Ireland Act 2014;
• The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provision) Bill 2002;
• The European Communities Act 1972

6. EC Legal Basis
All aid provided under this Scheme will be within the limits set out in Article 56 of Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014 of 17 June 2014 declaring certain categories of aid compatible with the internal market in application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty (General Block Exemption Regulation). A full version of the Regulation can be found at:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2014.187.01.0001.01.ENG

Summary information relating to the Scheme has been registered with the Commission under reference SA44739

7. Definitions
In this scheme, the following expressions have the same meaning attributed to them as in the General Block Exemption. For ease of reference these have been replicated below (definitions are presented alphabetically):

‘Date of granting the aid’ means the date when the legal right to receive the aid is conferred on the beneficiary under the applicable national legal regime.

‘Dedicated infrastructure’ means infrastructure that is built for ex-ante identifiable undertaking(s) and tailored to their needs.

‘Fisheries and aquaculture sector’ as covered by Regulation (EU) 1379/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 on the common organisation of the market in fishery and aquaculture products, amending Council regulations (EC) 1184/2006 and (EC) 1224/2009 and repealing Council regulation (EC) 104/2000.

‘Intangible assets’ means assets that do not have a physical or financial embodiment such as patents, licences, know-how or other intellectual property.

‘Primary agricultural production’ means production of products of the soil and of stock farming, listed in Annex I to the Treaty, without performing any further operation changing the nature of such products.

‘Tangible assets’ means assets consisting of land, buildings and plant, machinery and equipment.

‘Undertaking in difficulty’ means an undertaking in respect of which at least one of the following circumstances occurs:

(a.) In the case of a limited liability company (other than an SME that has been in existence for less than three years or, for the purposes of eligibility for risk finance aid, an SME within 7 years from its first commercial sale that qualifies for risk finance investments following due diligence by the selected financial intermediary), where more than half of its subscribed share capital has disappeared as a result of accumulated losses. This is the case when deduction of accumulated losses from reserves (and all other elements generally considered as part of the own funds of the company) leads to a negative cumulative amount that exceeds half of the subscribed share capital. For the purposes of this provision, ‘limited liability company’ referees in particular to the types of company mentioned in Annex 1 of Directive 2013/34/EU34 and ‘share capital’ includes, where relevant, any share premium.
(b.) In the case of a company where at least some members have unlimited liability for the debt of the company (other than an SME that has been in existence for less than three years or, for the purposes of eligibility for risk finance aid, an SME within 7 years from its first commercial sale that qualifies for risk finance investments following due diligence by the selected financial intermediary), where more than half of its capital as shown in the company accounts has disappeared as a result of accumulated losses. For the purposes of this provision, ‘a company where at least some members have unlimited liability for the debt of the company’ refers in particular to the types of company mentioned in Annex II of Directive 2013/34/EU.
(c.) Where the undertaking is subject to collective insolvency proceedings of fulfils the criteria under its domestic law for being placed in collective insolvency proceedings at the request of its creditors.

8. Objective of the Scheme
The aim of the Scheme is to allow Fermanagh and Omagh District Council to:

• Provide investment support for the construction of workspace facilities in the areas of Kinawley and Roslea.

The support for these facilities will improve provision of facilities to encourage local economic development. It will help improve the business and consumer environment and modernise and develop the industrial base in Roslea and Kinawley.

9. Government body authorised to implement the Scheme
Fermanagh and Omagh District Council

10. Scope of the Scheme
The scheme will be restricted to two specific social enterprises, one in Roslea and one in Kinawley to complete construction on their respective workspace development projects.

Neither enterprise falling within the scope of the scheme is involved in:

• Fisheries and aquaculture

• Primary agricultural production

• The processing and marketing of agricultural products

The Council will not provide aid for dedicated infrastructure in Kinawley or Roslea through this scheme. In addition, aid will not be provided to support export related activities towards third countries or Member States, namely aid directly linked to the quantities exported, to the establishment and operation of a distribution network or to other current costs linked to the export activity.

Aid may not be given where the proposed recipient is:

• Subject to an outstanding order for the recovery of aid which has been declared by the Commission to be illegal and incompatible with the common market;
• Where aid is granted to an undertaking in difficulty.

At time of scheme registration, neither enterprise to be supported by this scheme is an undertaking in difficulty or subject to an outstanding recovery order.

11. Duration
From 27th January 2016 to 30th June 2016

12. Budget for aid under the Scheme
It is estimated that the total expenditure from 27th January 2016 – 30th June 2016 will be up to a maximum of £50,000. Should the budget for this Scheme increase, the Council will inform the European Commission.

13. Form of aid
All aid awarded under the Scheme will be transparent and in line with criteria set out in Article 5 of the General Block Exemption Regulation. Aid will be awarded by way of grant.

14. Eligible activities to be supported under the Scheme
The Scheme supports investment aid for local infrastructure in Kinawley & Roslea.
It will support the construction or upgrade of local infrastructure that contributes at a local level to improving the business and consumer environment and modernising and developing the industrial base.

The infrastructure will be made available to interested users on an open, transparent and non-discriminatory basis. The price charged for the use or sale of the infrastructure will correspond to market price.

Any concession or entrustment to a third-party to operate the infrastructure will be assigned on an open, transparent and non-discriminatory basis and in line with EU procurement rules.

Support will not be provided for dedicated infrastructures.

15. Eligible costs and aid amounts
For the purpose of calculating aid amounts and eligible costs, all figures used shall be taken before any deduction of tax or other charge. The eligible costs shall be supported by documentary evidence which shall be clear, specific and contemporary.

Eligible costs
Eligible costs are the investment costs in tangible and intangible assets.

Aid amounts
The aid amount shall not exceed the difference between the eligible costs and the operating profit of the investment. The operating profit shall be deducted from the eligible costs ex ante, on the basis of reasonable projections or through a claw-back mechanism.

16. Incentive Effect
In order to comply with Commission Regulation (EU) No.651/2014 (the General Block Exemption Regulation), both aid recipients under the Scheme must be able to demonstrate that aid is required for their projects to proceed.

The Council will ensure that the evidence provided by both beneficiary enterprises complies with Article 6 of the GBER.

17. Cumulation
The assistance awarded through this Scheme under GBER Article 56 is being provided in addition to previous de-minimis aid awarded to the aid recipients (which has been maximised).

Aid provided under this Scheme will not be cumulated with other forms of aid.

18. Reporting
All recipients of aid under the Scheme will be informed that aid has been provided under the Scheme, registered under SA.****** pursuant to article 56, of Commission Regulation (EU) No.651/2014 of 17 June 2014 declaring certain categories of aid compatible with the internal market in application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty (General Block Exemption Regulation).

Records will be kept for 10 years from the date of the last award of aid under the Scheme. Records will be sufficiently detailed to establish that the conditions of the Scheme are met.

The Council shall provide the Commission with all the information and documentation the Commission considers necessary to monitor the application of this regulation, within 20 days of such request form the Commission.

19. Contact
Questions about this scheme should be directed to:

The Funding and Investment Unit,
Fermanagh and Omagh District Council,
Townhall,
2 Townhall Street,
Enniskillen,
County Fermanagh,
Northern Ireland,
BT74 7BA.