Justification of granting Underbelly Ltd funds: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Information requested

1. All information you can provide all documentation and evidence justifying the decision to provide Underbelly Ltd with £250,000 grant money from the Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund.

2. All information you can provide all documentation and evidence justifying the decision to provide Underbelly Ltd with £200,000 from EventScotland.


1. Applications to the Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund (PERF) were assessed using a consistent set of criteria, by trained assessors in the relevant Enterprise Agency. In the case of Underbelly Ltd, this decision was taken by Scottish Enterprise (SE). As such, the Scottish Government do not hold any application or decision making documentation in relation to PERF applications, however, as this award was over £150,000 it was passed to the Minister for Trade, Investment and Public Finance.

I enclose a copy of information (via pdf) held by the Scottish Government relating to your request at Annex A.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible we are withholding figures provided in columns 'Declared Gap in Working Capital' and 'Amount of Funding Requested' under section 33 (1) (b) of FOISA - disclosure would (or would be likely to) prejudice substantially the commercial interest of any person or organisation.

An exemption under section 33 (1) (b) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested because its disclosure would (or would be likely to) prejudice substantially the commercial interests of any person or organisation.

This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’, we considered that the public interest in applying the exemptions outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

Successful PERF applicants were able to provide evidence of, or demonstrate impact in, one or more of the following areas:

  • Supporting Scotland’s productive capacity – through wage levels, employment, exports, Research & Development and innovation
  • Local economic importance which would include areas such as, employee numbers relative to place, delivery of essential services, wider economic and community value, plus the socioeconomic importance of the business in remote and rural areas
  • Leverage on wider business community by demonstrating the impacts of your business on supply chain at a local, regional and national level
  • Being a supplier or potential supplier to NHS or other COVID-19 vital services
  • Being a supplier to other essential businesses
  • Demonstrating a need to rapidly scale up or diversify due to COVID-19.

Other important information included:

  • Levels of employment and wages going into the local area will be considered when assessing applications and prioritising funding. This means, for example, that companies employing less than 10 full-time equivalents (FTEs) in the city centres of Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee are unlikely to be successful unless they can demonstrate a substantial impact on the city, regional or national economies.
  • Only one application will be accepted per company or group regardless of the number of branches, subsidiaries or parent bodies
  • Human Rights Due Diligence checks will be required for grant applications over £100,000
  • Grant should be for working capital to help meet a cash flow gap and secure your future in the medium-term. These can include payments for rent, wages, directors’ salaries, heat, light & power, materials, transport, financing costs-VAT/HMRC, creditor payment
  • The grant can augment other funding from Government and other sources.

2. The Scottish Government does not hold the information you have requested.

This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

You may wish to contact EventScotland directly about this request, contact details as follows:

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

FOI202000117270 - Annex A


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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