Public funding, investment, grants or other support may amount to state aid. The state aid rules restrict “the state” from using state resources to provide an advantage to certain undertakings which may distort competition. The legal status of the recipient of the aid is not a determining factor but rather the activity in which the recipient is engaged in. The consequences of breaching the state aid rules can be serious and there is a long 10-year limitation period for bringing challenges to recoup unlawful aid under the state aid rules.
We can advise on:
- Assessing the potential aid to determine whether state aid is present;
- Advise on potential use of block exemptions and approved schemes; and
- Advise on structuring a transaction to avoid unlawful state aid.
We have advised on:
- Aid to an NHS Foundation Trust to carry out a feasibility study for EV chargers on the hospital site;
- Aid in the context of a local authority “spin out” of services to a new mutual organisation;
- Local authority investment in green energy schemes;
- Local authority investment in improved broadband infrastructure;
- Local authority investment in a skills and training partnership;
- NHS grants to various health related bodies/activities.
We provide advice which is discrete (for example, to comply with grant funding application requirements) or as part of a wider project.