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TEST 3 This is the Business English Certificate Higher 2, Listening Test 3. Part One. Questions 1 to 12. You will hear a spokesperson telling a group of business people about the Business Support Agency- an organisation which distributes business and research grants. As you listen, for questions 1 to 12, complete the notes, using up to three words or a number. After you have listened once, replay the recording. You now have forty-five seconds to read through the notes. [pause] Now listen, and complete the notes. [pause] Woman: Thank you everybody, thank you. The Business Support Agency or BSA are very proud of the part we play in the development of business success. Today I’ll give you a bit of background on the Agency, and then outline the steps involved in applying for support. OK? What we do, basically, is distribute financial support from our funds, which come from the central government Department of Education on the one hand, and then that sum is matched - the amount fluctuates on a yearly basis – by contributions from a number of multinational companies. We then follow the procedures I’ll be outlining in a moment. Some examples of this work, if you’re interested, can be seen in our annual report - I’ll leave copies out for you to look at. Since we began, we’ve given out over three hundred grants. We made twenty awards last year alone, and expect that figure to rise to twenty-five next year. But we’re not simply giving this money away - our criteria are strict. So, how do you apply? Well, there are four steps to making an application. In the first place, you should get in touch with our Project Coordinating Office. You can call them on 0188 45 45 45 and express your interest. They’ll then send you an application form. It’s quite a lengthy document, I must warn you, and you’ll need to fill in information about the history of your company, outline your requirements, , and include the predicted benefits. That gives us the beginning of a picture and enables us to make an initial decision about whether to proceed any further. The third step would be having a meeting with one of our regional consultants. This involves talking through your ideas for development if you get the grant and should help you to focus clearly on your exact needs. And the fourth step is producing a full plan, which needs to include all costs and dates. By this time, both sides will have a very clear picture. Now, all this obviously takes up quite some time, and you need to think carefully about which personnel within your organisation are going to be available to put in the necessary work. OK, well that’s then your role finished for the time being. Meanwhile, we continue to go through your plans in detail. Ultimately, whether or not you get a grant will be decided by our central committee. This consists of representatives from our funding bodies and a panel of experts. For logistical reasons, they only meet every three months, so it can take a while for you to hear from us. Now, assuming you are successful - and around eighty per cent of applications are - the BSA will be looking to fund seventy per cent of your overall requirement. That proportion is up from a maximum of sixty per cent last year. The payment will be made in quarterly instalments. This has proved to be the most generally useful method all round. The last job for you will be coming up with a progress review, which you need to do at the end of the first year. Right, well, are there any questions?
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