The UK’s new subsidy control regime will be brought into force by the Subsidy Control Act 2022 on 4 January 2023. One novel feature of the new regime is the creation of Streamlined Routes. Under Streamlined Routes, public authorities may provide subsidies without the need to assess those subsidies against the subsidy control principles.
Streamlined Routes can be used by public authorities where a subsidy scheme relates to either:
- research, development and innovation;
- energy usage; or
- local growth.
These are areas that the Government has already assessed to be at low risk of causing market distortion.
The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has published a number of draft documents to allow public authorities to understand how subsidies may be awarded through the Streamlined Routes. The draft documents published consist of the terms and conditions that a subsidy must comply with where it is granted within one of the above Streamlined Routes. The terms are supplemented by useful draft guidance documents for each Streamlined Route, which are intended to provide further detail and insight as to how this new feature will be implemented.
We will monitor how BEIS implements Streamlined Routes in practise when the Subsidy Control Act 2022 takes effect after 4 January 2023. Final versions of the draft terms and guidance are expected to be published in January 2023.