Guidance on awarding minimal financial assistance (MFA) under the UK subsidy control regime.
What is minimal financial assistance?
MFA allows public authorities to award subsidies up to £315,000 without the need to obey most of the subsidy control requirements. MFA does not need to be assessed against the subsidy control principles or energy and environment principles. Transparency rules apply to MFA subsidies of over £100,000.
The following prohibitions remain in place for all MFA awards:
- on awarding subsidies relating to goods for export performance
- on domestic content.
The £315,000 ceiling is a rolling 3-financial-year cap (the current and previous 2 financial years). MFA subsidies cumulate with other MFA or Services of Public Economic Interest Assistance (SPEIA) subsidies received during the applicable period.
Cumulation also applies to:
- any aid given under the EU’s de minimis regulations
- subsidies given as small amounts of financial assistance (SAFA) under the UK–EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
The award of a subsidy as MFA will limit the beneficiary’s access to future MFA subsidies. It is important to consider the subsidy route and the beneficiaries’ needs holistically.
Our MFA checklist sets out what public authorities must consider before awarding an MFA subsidy.