SFSY Connection and Innovation Vouchers Frequently Asked Questions

Do vouchers expire once issued?

Yes, 28 days from date of offer, orders therefore have to be placed with the preferred supplier during this 28 day period.


How long do Suppliers have to install the connection?

Three months from the date of the business order places their order.


Can vouchers be used to fund revenue charges?



Does the scheme support Ethernet in the First Mile (EFM) technology?

The scheme is technology agnostic and supports a range of qualifying technologies. Any technology has to meet the step change rule.


Can an eligible business receive more than one Connection voucher?



Can an eligible business receive more than one Innovation voucher?



Can an eligible business receive a Connection voucher and an Innovation voucher?

Yes, but these must be separate applications


What is the ‘Procurement Law ESIF Compliance Guidance Note (ESIF-GN-1-001)’ for?


The scheme is receiving funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of

the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. Part of the funding

requirement is that Small and Medium Enterprises must follow the ‘Procurement Law ESIF

Compliance Guidance Note (ESIF-GN-1-001)’ when procuring their suppliers.

Failure to adhere to the guidance may result in a voucher application not being successful and in the

worst case grant funding being withdrawn or clawed back.


Why do I have to provide 3 firm and original fully itemised quotes?


The quotes need to be fully itemised to ensure that all expenditure claimed for is eligible under the

SFSY Voucher Scheme. Three firm and original quotes are required to satisfy the procurement

requirements which are part of the funding requirements. Small and Medium Enterprises must

follow the ‘Procurement Law ESIF Compliance Guidance Note (ESIF-GN-1-001)’ when procuring their



 What does ‘De Minimis’ mean?

This is the financial limit of state aid that an organisation can receive over a rolling 3 year period.

Under EC regulation No 1407/2013, OJ L352/1 (“De Minimis” aid regulation) there is a ceiling of

€200,000 for all De Minimis aid provided to any one over a rolling 3 year period. Any De Minimis

aid awarded to you will be relevant if you wish to apply or have applied for any other De Minimis



Can the voucher be used to pay VAT?

No, the applicant is responsible for all VAT, and costs over the voucher value.


Can I make a retrospective claim for a voucher?

No, any costs incurred prior to the issuing of a voucher are not eligible expenditure.


I have Business Rates arrears; can I still apply?

You can apply, but your application will not be processed until notification is received from your

local authority that they arrears have been cleared in full.


Can I save my application and complete it at a later date?

No, please ensure you read all the information indicated in section 3 of the website ‘Application

Process’, and have collected all the information listed in the ‘Information needed to apply’ list for

relevant type of voucher. You will have to complete the application in one go.


What happens if my quote is greater than the maximum allowed by the scheme?

The business will be responsible for paying any costs that exceed the maximum allowed by the



How long will it take for the application to be approved?

Ten working days from receipt of application and all supporting documentation.


Can changes to the connection or innovation be made after the application has been approved?

No changes can be made once approved. If the changes are essential, then a full new application

and three firm quotes will be required.


What happens if a problem arises during the process / installation?

You must report this to the SFSY Connection and Innovation Voucher Scheme as soon as possible. 



How will the voucher be paid?

Your voucher redemption payment will be paid into your nominated business bank account.

Payments cannot be made into personal bank accounts.


What happens after the connection or innovation is complete?

The terms and conditions of the scheme state that they may contact you to:


  • Visit your premises to inspect the connection/innovation

  • Ask you to become a ‘case study’ to show the benefits of your new connection/innovation, and use this in our promotion of the scheme

  • Visit your premises to carry out an audit of your application

  • Contact your supplier for further information.