Introduction

Workspace developments in Lincoln have been successful and enjoy very high levels of occupancy, however, graduations from these facilities tend to be sluggish due to the dearth of sufficient, well-specified space into which firms can expand. This prevents early exit from incubators and means precious incubator space remains in short supply. Tenants tend to stay in incubation space for far longer than would be ideal for them. There is a waiting list of applications for start-up space and growth of expanding firms is being restricted. This issue is particularly pronounced for innovation led businesses in key sectors, whose property requirements are more demanding and more complex than traditional businesses.

Lincolnshire Science and Innovation Park (LSIP) is undertaking a major project to create physical grow-on-space to house SMEs who are looking to graduate from incubation space into larger and more suitable premises. Alongside the development of the space, there is a need to help high growth potential small firms that cannot be immediately accommodated with a programme of assistance to help them better manage their growth. The LSIP team recognise there are a number of factors influencing this, including the growth aspirations of SMEs, difficulties in the identification of suitable space, SME managers capability and capacity to manage the process and the challenges of raising finance to modify unsuitable spaces to meet the needs of the technology businesses.

Requirements

LSIP is therefore seeking a contractor to deliver two distinct requirements:

 

Element 1: Delivery of Direct Support to SMEs

LSIP are seeking to appoint a contractor to provide a minimum of 87 local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with support to assist their expansion. These will include tenants of the grow on space along with companies with similar profiles who are located elsewhere – for example in other incubators and managed workspaces.

The support will be at no cost to the beneficiary SMEs, simply implying a commitment of their time. The contractor must supply a minimum of 12 hours of support to project participants. There is no time requirement imposed on the participating company. Support can be of any relevant kind. It may include a combination of one-2-one support, research, active signposting or even peer to peer networking. The LSIP team are open to considering any kind of model which will deliver added value to local firms

 

Element 2: Barriers to Growth Report

In addition to the direct support delivered to companies, LSIP are keen to understand much more about the barriers of exiting incubation space, the problems associated with taking up suitable grow on space and how these can be overcome. The scope of the report will be more clearly defined during the inception process and co-designed with the team, however, it should include an analysis of the common barriers, and recommendations for how local agencies can better help businesses overcome these material barriers.

The project is aiming to dovetail with help available from the Lincolnshire Growth Hub and demonstrate alignment to the Local Enterprise Partnership’s priority sector strategy.

The LSIP team is seeking a reliable contractor with whom it can build a long-term relationship. The project is expected to operate until the end of June 2023. All deliverables associated with this contract must be completed by February 2023 and payment made by March 2023.  

The chosen contractor’s performance will be subject to an ongoing (3 monthly) evaluation with break clauses. In the medium-term the contractor’s success will be evaluated on the basis of the impacts it has achieved for the assisted businesses.

Finance from ERDF carries a significant number of technical requirements and if contractors have no prior experience, they will need to demonstrate a commitment to carrying out the related CPD, dedicating time and effort to understanding the requirements in relation to documenting ERDF compliance and evidencing the support provided. This process will require rich narrative reporting on the nature and scale of the barriers faced, the support provided, and the resulting impact on the business, including evidencing any employment impacts.  

LSIP have retained the service of specialist ERDF consultants for the duration of the project. The consultants will be available to work collaboratively with the successful contractor, providing technical support where required and helping to create “minimum burden” compliant documentation and processes.

Payments will be on a mutually agreed basis on provision of ERDF audit quality output evidence of each business assisted.

The grow on space  is currently in the construction phase, with work to be completed by September 2021. The first occupancy is expected to be in November 2021. This contract is not materially affected by these timescales.

 

Clarifications and Submission

The Insight Works Limited are managing this procurement on behalf of LSIP.

Potential contractors can obtain further information via email. All clarification questions should be sent to andypowell@theinsightworks.co.uk no later than 17:00 on 03/09/2020. In the interest of openness and transparency, all clarification responses will be published on the LSIP website. 

Proposals should be submitted to Andy Powell via email andypowell@theinsightworks.co.uk by 17:00 on 10/09/2021

 

Download the ITT

For more information regarding the project download the invitation to Tender:

Download Invitation To Tender

Clarifications posted 2.9.21 - Download Here