UK subsidy control rules

From 1 January 2021, the provision of publicly funded business support, meaning grants and loans, are governed by the UK government’s international commitments on subsidy control. These include:

  • the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA)
  • other free trade agreements (FTA)
  • World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.

All new funding schemes we offer are designed around the obligations of the TCA, wider FTA and WTO rules and will be adapted as a new national framework, called the UK Subsidy Control Bill, is adopted later in 2022.

We will appraise each application based on their potential economic impact for Kent and that it meets our own funding priorities.

When you apply for funding, we will make an assessment to determine if the support is likely to be a subsidy. A subsidy is defined as a grant, tax break, loan, or other form of financial assistance paid from public resources. If it does, we will work with you to make sure any funding subsequently offered does not breach UK subsidy control rules. It is important that when you apply you provide full and accurate declarations in support of subsidy assessments.

We expect that in most cases financial assistance we offer to businesses:

  • if assessed as a subsidy will fall within the scope of Chapter 3 of Title XI of the TCA
  • if aid, within the scope of Article 10 of the NI Protocol
  • for awards of funding that include contributions from EU Structural Funds, within the scope of Article 138 of the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement agreed on 17 October 2019 (as implemented by section 7A of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018).