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Daniela Azzopardi Project Leader

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Presentation on theme: "Daniela Azzopardi Project Leader"— Presentation transcript:

1 EU Grant Scheme for Sustainable Tourism Projects by Enterprises: INTRODUCTION
Daniela Azzopardi Project Leader Tourism and Sustainable Development Unit Office of the Prime Minister Operational Programme I – Cohesion Policy Investing in Competitiveness for a Better Quality of Life Aid Schemes part-financed by the European Union European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Co-financing: 85% EU Funds; 15% National Funds Investing in your future

2 Presentation Overview
Grant Scheme Objectives Target Beneficiaries Intervention Areas Financial Thresholds Ineligible Expenditure MEPA Permits Important Dates

3 Grant Scheme Objectives
Co-financed by the EU’s European Regional Development Fund which aims to promote investment and correct regional imbalances Produces financial aid towards Malta’s tourism sector Envisages directing financial aid to proposed tourism projects which aim to contribute towards sustainable development of tourism in Malta and therefore strengthening Malta’s competitiveness Promotes Research & Innovation, use of ICT, and Environmental initiatives focusing on tourism and generating a positive impact on the performance of Malta’s tourism industry In December 2008 the Priorities and Planning Coordination Division approved funds for the implementation of a Grant Scheme for Sustainable Tourism Project by Enterprises. This scheme had a total value of €10 million of which €8.9 was directly aimed at financing tourism projects in the private sector. The scheme has already issued the first two calls and the current call is the third and final call. The scheme has the objective of co-financing projects in the sector which aim to promote investment in tourism and correct regional imbalances. Therefore the financial aid directed towards the tourism sector aims at contributing towards sustainable development and increase Malta’s competitiveness. The initiatives encouraged by the scheme include research and innovation, the promotion of ICT and environmental initiatives.

4 Sustainable Tourism The Scheme will fall within the Sustainable Tourism Priority in the Operational Programme I (OPI): Investing in Competitiveness for a Better Quality of Life and will therefore provide funding only for those projects which demonstrate a significant impact on sustainable tourism Through meeting the national tourism policy’s objectives, proposed projects will also comply with the EU’s new tourism policy where we are to follow more sustainable tourism patterns. The scheme therefore focuses on the creation of sustainable tourism.

5 Achievement of Sustainable Tourism Development through the Grant Scheme
Economic Sustainability Environmental Sustainability Social Sustainability Economic Prosperity To ensure the long-term competitiveness, viability and prosperity of tourism enterprises and destinations. To provide quality employment opportunities, offering fair pay and conditions for all employees and avoiding all forms of discrimination. Social Equity and Cohesion To enhance the quality of life of local communities through tourism, and engage them in its planning and management. To provide a safe, satisfying and fulfilling experience for visitors, available to all without discrimination by gender, race, religion, disability or in other ways. 3. Environmental and Cultural Protection To minimise pollution and degradation of the global and local environment and the use of scarce resources by tourism activities. b. To maintain and strengthen cultural richness and biodiversity and contribute to their appreciation and conservation.

6 Economic Sustainability
Relating the project to Economic Sustainability: provide employment & sustain existing jobs enhance own enterprise competitiveness as well as of destination Malta upkeep of places of interest through tourism contribution distributed tourism earnings – over all seasons Projects related to the upgrade of the product and the creation of new tourism products and services which target seasonality.

7 Environmental Sustainability
Relating the project to Environmental Sustainability: reduce waste creation reduce energy costs invest in water conservation increase protection of natural landscapes & biodiversity as an integral part of project objectives/results Example for waste creation is: due to investment in ICT systems where everything is digitalised, manually-used material prior to project such as paper which was used for schedules/rosters/appointments/letters/stock control/meal orders will cease to remain a key requirement for enterprise to operate hence reducing waste creation of elements such as paper

8 Social Sustainability
Relating the project to Social Sustainability: nurture and regenerate social fabric provide accessibility to all restore local heritage conserve and/or revive local traditions Involve the local residents Regenerate social fabric e.g.: of areas around Malta where tourism is not yet present and hence cannot as yet contribute – last scheme’s project Destination Marsascala helped put this coastal town on the tourist map but before that, visitor levels were low and consequently tourism contribution to locals was minimal. Through other projects which may direct tourism to more traditional villages or remote sites, tourists will get the chance to integrate with locals and exchange social/cultural views and contribute towards the preservation of heritage

9 Target Beneficiaries ...who can apply?
In order to be eligible for funding, applicants must primarily be engaged in an economic activity, irrespective of their legal form These may also include self-employed persons, family businesses, partnerships or associations/ngos Projects must constitute state aid. The project’s main objective must be tourism The applicant organisation must be based in Malta Project benefits will accrue to Malta Projects that are self-sustaining, an investment that will generate economic development 9

10 projects with direct relevance to tourism
Target Beneficiaries ...eligible to apply ~ type/size Small, medium, and large enterprises Group of companies Associations/NGOs Start-up enterprises (VAT registration less than 5 years) Networks (group of enterprises working together for the purpose of the scheme) projects with direct relevance to tourism More on Small medium and large enterprises on the next slide

11 Target Beneficiaries Requirements:
Applicants must show that they are licensed to operate in their respective fields. If an operating license is required, evidence of the paid licence for this year must be attached to the application form. Examples of licensing offices include: - MTA Quality Assurance Directorate - Ministry of Education and Culture (language schools) - Ministry for Finance, Economy, and Investment (museums, private institutes, cultural enterprises and other entities not licensed under other entities) 11

12 Small, Medium, and Large Enterprises
Enterprises are classified as Small, Medium Sized (SMEs) or Large enterprises This differentiation is important for defining the aid intensity and for the purposes of State Aid Enterprises may be differentiated upon: Staff headcount (determined in the ETC employer employees list and the List of hours worked by part timers) Annual Turnover (enterprise income received during year in question) Balance sheet totals (value of company’s main assets) Shareholding Applicants may refer to the SME user guide, available on the IB’s website, to determine their enterprise category. The applicant’s size will be confirmed by the Evaluation and Decisions Committee during the Evaluation. 12

13 Start-ups Start-ups proposing a tourism related project are also eligible for assistance through the Scheme. For purposes of the scheme, a start-up refers to an enterprise that has been in operation for the past 5 years (up to the date of submission of application) and must have all necessary licences or compliance certificates in the case of MTA licensed operators. The start-up date to be considered will be that of the VAT registration date. 13

14 Networks Networks consisting of a mix of enterprises and/or NGOs are eligible to apply for the Grant Scheme. Networks may be formed for the duration of the project. The operating licences of all participating enterprises in the network have to be presented as an attachment to the application form being submitting. Activities should be divided among the parties in the network and an outline of how expenses are to be divided should be included as an annex in the application form. 14

15 Co-operatives Co-operatives, which are also eligible to participate are considered enterprises as long as they carry out regular economic activity. This is based on the definition where co-operatives are defined as an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations, including employment, through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise, in accordance with co-operative objectives 15

16 Associations/NGOs Associations/NGOs need to fulfil a number of criteria in order to be eligible for funding under this Grant Scheme: To be regularly engaged in an economic activity. (this refers to the production and distribution of goods and services) The project must have State Aid implications. (information on state aid may be obtained from the State Aid Monitoring Board) If the association is a registered member with the Voluntary Organisations Commissions, it must submit all documents required along with the application form If not already registered, associations must prove and confirm that they are in the process of registering Must ensure that association is not receiving alternate financial aid or sponsorship from government for the same project State Aid Implications: the projects must be in direct competition with other NGOs and the private sector. 16

17 Co-financing Thresholds
Enterprise Category Public Co-financing Private Co-financing Small Enterprise 50% Medium Enterprise 40% 60% Large Enterprise 30% 70% In the case of a network formed by enterprises of different sizes, the co-financing rate will be that of the largest enterprise 17

18 Total Eligible Costs Projects submitted by type of enterprise
Minimum Threshold Maximum Threshold Projects submitted by SMEs (one or more companies) €15 000 Projects submitted by Large enterprises (one or more companies) €58 000 Enterprises falling under DeMinimis Regulation (per company) Projects submitted by networks 18

19 Proposed Intervention Areas
Project Activities must fall under one or more of the Proposed Intervention Areas: Product Upgrade & Investment in Equipment Investment in Environmentally friendly measures Investment in Information Communication Technology Investment in Entrepreneurship Investment in Marketing We’ll go into more detailed during the rest of the presentations on how to fill in the application form

20 Ineligible Expenditure
VAT and other taxes and charges. Any costs paid outside the eligible period of operation. Projects already supported by a European, or other international and national grants. Service charges arising on leases, hire purchase agreements, depreciation, loan charges, debit interest, charges for financial transactions, foreign exchange commissions and losses, fines, financial penalties and expenses of litigation, bad debts. Staff and operational costs. (enterprise management, routine or essential maintenance of a capital facility) Purchase of land and real estate, demolition and construction costs. Purchase of transport vehicles including cars, boats and motors. Expenditure not declared in the application form. Costs resulting from quotations that cannot be compared on an objective basis. Submitted projects may contain elements of ineligible costs. These would have to be removed from the actual total eligible project. The above is a non exhaustive list of ineligible expenditure. Applicants are encouraged to refer to Part 1 section 2.5 of the Guidance Notes to the Application Form to see the full list.

21 MEPA Permits For any interventions requiring a MEPA permit, applicants need to submit either copies of permits or a copy of their MEPA application with the application form. Indicative list of activities requiring a MEPA permit: Generators All works to the enterprise’s façade Product upgrade activities related to sites which are newly built or recently re-structured Environmental equipment that will affect the surrounding environment Building housing a compressor and not covered by a police permit In the case of projects submitting the MEPA application form, approval of funds will be subject to applicants producing the full MEPA approval within 10 working days of the date of the Approval Letter.

22 Dates to Remember Application Form Submission Dates Evaluation Process
Opening: 29th October 2010 Closing: 14th January 2011 Till 15:00 (3:00pm) Evaluation Process Duration of approximately 6 months following closure of the call (subject to number of applications received) Projects may start as of 1st February 2011 following written approval from the Intermediate Body. 22


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