Kick Start Support Programme (Phase 2) 2022/23 Guidelines
To download the guidelines for the Kick Start Support Programme (Phase 2) click here.
Tourism NI has launched Phase 2 of the Kick Start Programme which aims to provide access, for successful applicants, to expert mentoring across 4 key areas to support a sustainable recovery.
The Kick Start (Phase 2) Programme is a Business Improvement and Implementation Support Programme which will provide expert independent support directly to eligible businesses.
Tourism businesses are today faced with a myriad of issues such as Covid-19 recovery, spiralling costs, a reduced labour and skills pool and a cost of living crisis. The Kick Start (Phase 2) Programme aims to provide eligible tourism businesses with free access to a range of advisory and mentoring support to inform critical business decisions now, and to ensure longer-term sustainability. This programme targets previously viable but now vulnerable tourism businesses to allow them to access support to best position their business in what is likely to be a very competitive market place over the next 3 years.
The programme comprises of 2 strands of applicants whose route to apply under the programme will vary in expression of interest regard only.
Applicants will identify to which strand they align, prior to completing an expression of interest. The strands are as follows:
The programme is scheduled to run until the end of March 2023.
The Kick Start (Phase 2) Programme will support tourism businesses to address the following areas:
Tourism NI will provide, through the Kick Start (Phase 2) Programme, fully funded, bespoke business improvement and implementation plans in one or more of the four key areas of the programme.
Applicants should be cognisant of the restraints of budget and although an application can be made for assistance across all four programme areas, eligible businesses will be asked to prioritise programme areas during the application process. Should Tourism NI receive applications for financial assistance that exceeds budget available, consideration for assistance will be made in order of priority area, as identified by the applicant in the application form.
Following an initial Expression of Interest (EoI) process, eligible businesses will be invited to take part in a free diagnostic clinic with a Tourism NI allocated mentor.
At the clinic, all businesses will undertake a free independent financial health check with expert advisors to ensure that they have the necessary financial foundation on which to build their business and are aware of all restructuring options open to them. A summary report will be provided to each business detailing the conclusions reached.
The aim of the clinic is to identify if Tourism NI can support your business within one or more of the 4 programme areas.
Applicants aligned with Strand 1 who successfully proceeded through the Kick Start Phase 1 programme and are in receipt of a Letter of Offer under the Phase 1 programme, will be identified through the Expression of Interest process. Eligible Strand 1 applicants should indicate on their application form any activities that were previously actioned through the expert mentoring received in Kick Start Phase 1 and whether further support in these areas is required.
Your appointed advisor will work with you to determine a scope of work for your business.
You will then be issued with a Letter of Offer to agree the extent of mentoring support, your responsibilities and deadlines that apply.
To apply you must be an existing tourism business operating in Northern Ireland. The programme is open to the following sectors:
The programme is focussed on tourism providers and the following businesses are ineligible under this programme:
This is an online application process – the various stages of the process are set out below
You should first check your eligibility for the programme by reading these guidelines. Eligibility requirements will vary from programme to programme, and you must fit the eligibility criteria for this Kick Start Phase 2 Programme, as defined at Sections 5 and 6 above.
The programme will open at 3.00pm on Monday 21 November 2022.
You must complete an online expression of interest form. Applicants that align with Strand 1 (ie successful applicants of Kick Start Phase 1 that remain eligible to apply under Kick Start Phase 2) should complete the form ‘EoI Strand 1’ using your existing username and password via the following link https://tni.flexigrant.com
Applicants that align with Strand 2 should complete the form ‘EoI Strand 2’. EoI forms can be accessed via the following link https://tni.flexigrant.com
After logging in, please select the “Application Portal” tab at the top of the screen and select “Start” to being the expression of interest form.
Please note, if you have previously used Tourism NI’s online forms you should use your existing username and passwords to apply. If you are a new or first-time user, please register to gain access to the form.
If you have any issues or questions when completing the expression of interest form, please contact us using the ‘Contact us’ email on our guidelines page - https://tourismni.com/kickstart2
The closing date for receipt of Expression of Interest Forms is 5.00pm on Thursday 1st December 2022.
Once your expression of interest form has been received it will be reviewed to determine that it meets the minimum eligibility criteria. Businesses who do not satisfy these criteria will be directed to other support available at https://www.tourismni.com/build-your-business/opportunities-campaigns/help-to-grow-your-business
Applications which have satisfied the eligibility criteria will be invited to attend a business diagnostic clinic with a Tourism NI approved business advisor.
The purpose of the clinic is to provide a free financial health check and to identify which areas of business performance may be strengthened through your participation in the Kick Start process.
This session will allow for an in-depth discussion on the overall performance of the business and to identify the key priority areas or issues to be addressed as part of the programme. Applicants aligned with Strand 1 have recently availed of this clinic and should make available to the business advisor the findings of the previous financial health check.
The cost of this clinic will be fully funded by Tourism NI.
Applicants should provide their last three years financial statements and recent management accounts to be able to proceed with the clinic.
Successful applicants who progress from Stage 2 will be assigned a consultant/advisor who will work with them to support and design the project/actions/measures or initiatives discussed and agreed as part of the business diagnostic clinic.
Successful applicants will be required to sign a Letter of Offer with associated conditions, and this becomes a legally binding document. Applicants will have 2 weeks to accept the offer otherwise it will lapse.
TNI will fully fund the scope of works agreed within the Letter of Offer.
Business improvement and implementation plans funded under this Kick Start (Phase 2) Programme must be completed by March 2023.
We recently delivered an information webinar session to provide an overview of the application process and answer some of your questions about the Kick Start Support Programme Phase 2. A recording of the session is available to view below.
The expression of interest closed on 01/12/2022