UPDATED: Securing grants for your small business or start-up is a constant challenge – but there is help available. Here, we have rounded up a comprehensive list of grants from all over the UK.
These funds are available to SME businesses either within a specified local authority, defined as having fewer than 250 employees or with a turnover of less than £45,000 and a balance sheet totalling less than £39,000.
You will see that many of the funding opportunities are often based on a specific location or sector, or ring-fenced for a certain part of a business, like job creation or making eco-friendly changes. But we explain each grant with the information needed to see if it can apply to your project.
Grants can sometimes be combined with other forms of funding, such as banks, grant makers, crowdfunding platforms and other lenders. In fact, we have teamed up with FundingOptions.com to help you find the right finance for your business. You can find their page here.
A good source for help with funding is the Prince’s Trust, which offers development awards to help younger people kickstart their business or access training courses.
At present the Trust offers development awards of between £175-£250 for UK residents aged between 16 and 30 who are looking for funds to help with training. They must fit the following criteria:
- Aged 16 to 30 and living in the UK
- Studying less than 14 hours a week or not in compulsory education
- Unemployed or working less than 16 hours a week
Furthermore, development awards can support:
- Accredited course fees up to Level 3 (A level equivalent)
- Tools, equipment or uniforms for a job or qualification
- Job licence fees
- Transport to a new job until your first pay slip
Development awards can’t support:
- Living expenses e.g. rent or bills
- Business start-up costs
- Costs for items that have already been paid for
- Gap year or overseas projects
- Level 4 course fees and beyond (i.e. Higher National Certificate or Diploma)
Innovate UK Smart Grants help deliver ambitious R&D innovations with significant potential for impact on the UK economy.
Funding rounds are open at various points throughout the year.
Gigabit vouchers can be used by small businesses to go towards the cost of installing gigabit-capable broadband connections. SMEs can claim £3,500 against the cost of connection. Find out if you’re eligible by using the postcode checker on the website.
Innovate UK runs a host of other competitions in more niche areas. These include:
- SBRI competition – Improving Hip Fracture Outcomes Using Data, phase 1
- Commercialising Quantum Technologies: feasibility studies round 2
- ISCF TFI: large collaborative R&D projects
- SBRI: Improving Multimorbidity Acute Care Using Data Analytics, phase 1
- Eureka Eurostars 2: round 15
- ATF: moving the UK automotive sector to zero emissions
- Knowledge transfer partnerships (KTP): 2020 to 2021, round 5
- African agriculture knowledge transfer partnerships (KTP): 2020 to 2021, round 5
You’ll have heard of this scheme. It helps start-ups to raise money for their business. You get a maximum of £150,000 including state aid awarded in the three years running up to the date of investment.
Make sure you meet the conditions so investors can claim and keep SEIS tax reliefs relating to their shares. Said tax reliefs will be withheld or withdrawn if you don’t meet these conditions for three years after the investment. The money must be spent within three years of the share issue.
Like the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme, except for established businesses.
UK businesses that are currently exporting can apply for support to:
- Exhibit at or attend approved overseas trade shows and conferences
- Potentially receive grants to cover some costs
UK businesses can also apply for support if they’re thinking about exporting but are not currently doing so. The support available through the programme varies. All successful applicants will receive training on successfully exhibiting at:
- Trade shows in general
- The specific approved event(s) that they have applied for
Some businesses may also receive a grant of either £2,000 or £4,000 as financial support to cover:
- Exhibition space costs
- Stand costs (including design, construction and stand dressing)
- Conference fees, costs of preparing conference promotional material (where appropriate)
You must not have previously received support to exhibit from the UK Tradeshow Programme. You must:
- Be exhibiting for the first time or wishing to venture into new markets
- Be turning over annually between £250,000 to £5m
- Not have committed to attending the event before applying for support
- Be actively investigating export opportunities for your own business: having not previously exported, or
- Having previously exported and wishing to grow exports in new markets
The support available through the programme varies. All eligible applicants will receive training on how to successfully exhibit at overseas trade shows. You must not have previously received any support from the UK Tradeshow Programme.
- Be attending a show for the first time or wishing to venture into new markets
- Be turning over annually between £85,000 to £250,000
- Not have committed to attending the event before applying for support
- Be actively investigating export opportunities for your own business:
- Having not previously exported, or
- Having previously exported and wishing to grow exports in new markets
Applications must be made at least six weeks before the start of the event.
You can get a discount on the price of brand new low-emission vehicles through a grant the government gives to vehicle dealerships and manufacturers. You do not need to do anything if you want to buy one of these vehicles – the dealer will include the value of the grant in the vehicle’s price.
The maximum grant available for cars is £1,500.
10. R&D Tax Credits
R&D Tax Credits are for innovative projects in science and technology. They can be claimed by firms who want to research or develop an advance in their field. You can even claim it on unsuccessful projects.
You can apply if you have fewer than 500 staff and a turnover of under €100m or balance sheet total under €86m.
British Council Grants fund research, travel and workshops. Have a look at their website for current opportunities.
The Start-Up Series is designed to uncover new UK businesses with bright teams and smart ideas. Each month we aim to select one business to qualify for an equity investment of up to £250,000, along with invaluable support from experienced & successful entrepreneurs.
It’s open for entries from the 1 to the 14 of every month with a quick and easy application process to follow.
The Countryside Stewardship has 244 grants in total depending on what improvements you want to make to your business and the options can be filtered to your needs.
Receive a maximum of £30,000 per project for creating multi-purpose woodland.
15. Grow It Award
This is one for entrepreneurs who aim to solve a social issue.
You can apply for up to £15,000 to help you grow along with a support package of one-to-one coaching, training, mentoring and access to networks. They’re focusing their funds on building access to employment, developing resilient communities and finding solutions for an ageing society.
The LSE Generate funding competition runs twice a year, during the Michaelmas and Lent terms. Each competition has three to five winners, who will each take home a share of £20,000 to spend on their ventures.
Both current LSE students and alumni graduates, with no restriction on year of graduation, from the UK and overseas can apply.
New ventures at one of these stages can apply:
- Pre-launch – You have identified an opportunity and are in the process of developing your market understanding, proposition and initial team.
- Live – You have an initial team, minimal viable product or service, and are in negotiations with or working with your first customers.
There is no restriction on how many team members you can have for each entry, but you will need to explain the role and contribution of each person.
Previous applicants are eligible, but LSE will be looking for evidence that your idea has developed since your last application. Previous winners are unfortunately not eligible.
This fund is for restoring neglected historic buildings and sites. Community organisations can get a grant between £250,000 and £5,000,000.
The Architectural Heritage Fund aims to transform high streets and town centres.
Grants vary in different parts of the country, so check what’s available before you apply. Grant totals vary as well, but can be up to £350,000.
The Waste and Resources Action Programme (wrap) manage grants, loans and investments to help increase the use of recycled materials, growing recycling capacity or overcoming specific market failures by acting as a catalyst to encourage other funders to invest. There are grant opportunities available throughout the year.
This firm provides funding for health research and innovation, with opportunities in advanced therapies, voice in cancer clinical trials and more.
Get it Made has launched a grant for female-led engineering enterprises to encourage the next generation of women in UK engineering. The Women in Engineering Grant is for female leaders looking for funding to move their organisation forward. The recipient of the grant will receive £10,000 so that they can scale up production and move their business forward.
To apply, the leader of the organisation must be female and the organisation must reside within UK engineering and have fewer than ten employees. In the application, you must state the goal or mission of your product or company, how the grant will be used and what difference the grant will make to your organisation.
Complete the application form by midnight GMT on 31 July 2022. The winner will be notified by email.
22. Do It Award
Administered by UnLtd, who also give out the Grow It Award above, Do It will help you start your social enterprise. Alongside giving you £5,000 to build your social venture, they’ll give you access to training and events, and assign you a dedicated award manager (an expert in helping social entrepreneurs to start and grow). The award manager will be there to coach you and support you to achieve your goals.
A challenge-led competition that funds collaborations between industry, academics and SMEs to solve business and scientific challenges which will deliver scientific benefits, either by improving business processes or developing a commercial product. Depending on the challenge, contracts of up to £1m for up to three years are available.
The Help to Grow: Digital learning platform will provide free, impartial information and advice to help you adopt the right technology for your business and employees.
This platform brings together guidance on how to choose and use digital software to grow your business.
After answering a few questions, you will be directed to tailored information for your business. You’ll then be able to access guides on how to identify the best digital software to achieve your business goals. You can also hear from other businesses who have successfully transformed their operations using the same digital software.
What’s more, discounts worth up to £5,000 will be available to help you buy the right productivity software for your business.
Discounts will cover up to 50 per cent of the software cost and are available to help you purchase customer relationship management software and accountancy software.
Business Grants England
A £10.05m Heavy Duty Vehicle (HDV) Fund has been established to help SMEs comply with Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone.
To be eligible for the funding, your business must be an SME which has been actively trading for more than 12 months and comply with the following criteria:
- Own or lease Heavy Duty Vehicle(s) that do not meet the Clean Air Zone emission standards
- Eligible non-compliant Heavy Duty Vehicles (N2, N3 and M3 only) must be either:
– Registered and located within Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone or
– Registered and located within the Birmingham City area and conducting commercial operations within Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone or
– Registered and located within the West Midlands area and conducting commercial operations within Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone.
You must also be able to evidence:
- The frequency of entry to the Clean Air Zone based on current operations.
- The current emissions standard of eligible, non-compliant Heavy Duty Vehicle(s).
- The size of the business
- The base location of the non-compliant vehicle(s) for the last 12 months.
Note: this grant is currently closed (March 2022) but will reopen May 2022.
Adur council is offering a growth grant and an apprenticeship grant. The Small Business Growth Grant is open to micro businesses with up to ten employees to encourage growth and expansion of the local economy. There’s a grant of up to £2,500 available, with a 50 per cent match funding contribution required.
The Apprenticeship Grants are available to individual businesses of up to 50 employees and pays out £1,000 per apprentice. Each individual business can apply for up to two grants.
The Worthing grant fund is now fully committed and not accepting new applications.
The ALPHAS project seeks to create a conduit for Knowledge Exchange between Universities and SMEs in order to solve business problems, creating capacity within the business for further employment and supporting the regional aim to retain graduate talent within the local area.
Through the ALPHAS project, you could get:
- Grants of 30 per cent towards the cost of equipment or academic expertise
- The chance to upskill current staff through a free 12-hour workshop programme on leadership & management, digital technology, staffing for the future and financing your own growth.
- Academic expertise from the University of Bedfordshire or University of Northampton
- Funding to cover 60 per cent of salary costs for a graduate for three-six months – including free academic consultancy, to set your plans in motion
Access Vouchers allow businesses access to AUB’s world-class facilities, which include SLS 3D printing, CNC routing, three and five axis CNC milling for prototyping and testing. They also enable businesses to work with our talented staff and students on solutions to their design problems.
The university also facilitates match-funded Innovation Vouchers which support businesses undertaking Research and Innovation projects. Recipients can claim back up to 50 per cent of their financial investment in small research projects.
Vouchers are supported by workshop events that allow businesses to develop new skills, experiment with new equipment and make contacts with like-minded businesses across the region. For example, our Meet the Maker workshops are run in conjunction with local business and focus on applications of technology and design theory. Such as the Introduction to 3D printing in collaboration with industrial designer Studio Wood and experts at our Museum of Design in Plastics. You can explore more workshops below.
The New Anglia LEP is awarding grants between £1,000 and £25,000 to entrepreneurs who want to grow their business.
There are two grants available in Scarborough.
Business start-up grants
Start-up grants are targeted at new start-ups and businesses less than 18 months old with no more than ten employees. Applications can be made for assistance towards the cost of necessary equipment and machinery (excluding vehicles and consumables e.g. stationery), the extension, adaptation or improvement of facilities within the premises and marketing, where it forms part of a promotional programme which is likely to lead to new jobs.
The maximum amount of grant assistance is up to £1,000 to any one concern in any one financial year.
Grants are awarded at the absolute discretion of Scarborough Borough Council.
31. TALE Lite grant
TALE Lite grants are available to help you purchase software and initial consultancy advice related to data and are worth £1,000 to £2,000.
To be eligible for a grant, your project must cost from £2,500 to £5,000.
TALE Lite grants are available for (but not limited to) projects that help your company:
- Get to grips with cyber essentials
- Upgrade to Microsoft 365
- Conduct a review of your operations and processes
- Subscribe to a SaaS (Software as a Service)
- Implement a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system
- Install equipment for business resilience
If you are looking at a project that is not listed above, its eligibility will be checked.
TALE is a targeted business support programme, run by Haven Gateway Partnership, focuses on improving efficiency and productivity in logistics and supply chain operations for SMEs across Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Kent and East Sussex.
The TALE programme is designed to demonstrate how, through data analytic tools and techniques, business can gain insights to improve their competitiveness through a reduction of costs, introduction of new services, enhancement of customer service and acquisition of new customers, as well as ensuring businesses are protected from risks of cyber-attacks.
Grants up to £10,000 are available and all grants are up to 40 per cent of eligible project costs. The scheme ends on April 30, 2022.
Haven Gateway Partnership also runs I-Construct (Innovation in Construction). This ERDF-funded grant is for SMEs who are looking for opportunities in the construction market. It aims to help them develop new products and services which offer benefits the sector such as improving productivity and sustainability.
The free network membership give you access to a member network, a webinar and events programme, business opportunities and access to the Innovation Hub, which is worth up to £800 per year.
On top of that, you get either:
- Nine hours of free 1:1 business mentoring and advice from I-Construct’s industry experts (worth up to £1,200 per year)
- Grant funding between £1,000 and £20,000 to fund 30% of the development and launch of a new product or service (does not have to be repaid)
Accelerate Cheshire and Warrington is a £30m programme that has been designed to support businesses to reskill and upskill their current workforce.
To receive 40 per cent funding: there is no restriction on the size of your business, but you must live or work within the Cheshire and Warrington area. All participants must finish their courses by May 31 2022.
Below are areas of training on offer:
- Management and leadership
- Digital skills
- Business skills
Go-Create Grants are offered as part of the Innovation Support for Business (ISfB) Phase 2 programme. Go-Create Grants are available on a competitive basis from £1,000 to £50,000 and are available to eligible small and medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).
Examples of innovation projects might include:
- Investment in product and service development
- Technological and applied research
- Developing pilot lines
- Early product validation actions
- Supporting advance manufacturing capabilities
- First production
Applications are submitted all year round with regular deadlines throughout the year.
The purpose of these grants is to invest in equipment that cuts down on carbon emissions within your business. Warwickshire District Council will fund up to 40 per cent, providing grants between £1,000 and £50,000. The grants are for installing energy efficient equipment like LED controls and renewable technologies. Apply before June 2023.
Low Carbon Innovation Grants helps companies to develop a low carbon product or invest in low carbon technology. Again, the council will cover 40 per cent of improvements, providing funding between £1,000 and £50,000. It’s intended for energy efficient upgrades and putting eco-friendly waste management systems in place.
These grants aim to commercialise low carbon products either new to the company or to the general market. Once again, it’s 40 per cent cover but with a maximum £6,000 funding. It covers things like market research, software and manufacturing consultancy as well as intellectual property protection and certifications.
This grant is funded by the East Sussex County Council and Regional Growth Fund. Grants range from £10,000 to £25,000 but you’ll need minimum match funding of 60 per cent.
There’s also a £1,500 grant for a newly accredited apprentice position. It’s a one-off payment with no match or evidence of spend necessary.
Phase 2 of Green BELLE is now open. Green BELLE gives grants of up to £10,000 to support SMEs in Leicester and Leicestershire to install low carbon measures and increase their energy efficiency. Green BELLE is part-funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Your business must meet all of the criteria listed below, in order to meet the EU definition of a small or medium-sized Enterprise (SME).
- Has fewer than 250 employees
- Has an annual turnover that does not exceed €50m or annual balance sheet that does not exceed €43m
- No more than 25 per cent of the organisation is owned by an enterprise that is not an SME in itself
Locate East Sussex provides support and access to funding for local businesses to promote growth, including grants between £10,000 and £25,000.
The business boost grants can help your business with:
- Up to £2,000 available in grant support to help businesses improve their shop fronts or signage
- Up to £2,000 available in grant support to help bring a shop that has been empty for at least three months back into commercial use
- Up to £1,000 to help town or village wide projects to drive new footfall, investment, streetscene improvements or sustainability
All applications require at least 50 per cent match funding and three quotes for each element
This is a one-off grant up to £1,000 (up to 50 per cent of eligible cost) to go towards start-up costs, such as marketing or buying equipment. You’ll need quotes from traders and a business plan which includes a sustainability section.
The Elmbridge Digital High Street Fund (EDHSF) offers grants to help independent high street retailers to establish or upgrade e-commerce websites.
Funding of up to 50 per cent of eligible costs, up to a maximum of £1,500, is available to independent high street retailers located within the defined primary or secondary frontage of Elmbridge town centres and high streets.
Worcestershire County are providing free energy and resource efficiency reviews as well as grants up to £20,000. They’re available to SMEs throughout Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Telford and Wrekin and Shropshire. A minimum energy spend applies.
This grant is for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across a wide range of industries and sectors in the Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire area (D2N2).
The programme is particularly interested in working with research-active companies looking to work with universities on innovative research projects. The programme is not suitable for new start-up businesses.
The support includes:
- Up to four fully-funded 200-hour postgraduate placements
- Up to five days of consultancy from academic experts for technical interventions including prototyping and testing
- A 20 per cent – 30 per cent grant towards the salary of a graduate for up to 12 months
- Funding towards bespoke collaborative research carried out by a postgraduate student and supervised by an academic
To find out more about the programme and eligibility, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Business Lincolnshire is awarding grants to SMEs looking to increase turnover or create jobs. It can contribute between 40 per cent and 50 per cent of your overall costs, ranging from £1,000 to £5,000. Your firm must be based in the Greater Lincolnshire area and your grant activity proposal must be agreed with a Business Lincolnshire adviser.
Applications can be for a capital or revenue grant.
They’re available through the Lincolnshire Growth Hub Business Growth Grant (Enterprise), for purchasing equipment, software and specialist consultancy support.
Expansion grants are aimed at assisting both existing businesses in the Borough who may be looking to strengthen their market position or expand into new markets as well as new businesses attracted into the area. The grant is primarily targeted at revenue schemes rather than capital projects and will be based on a specific need being identified through the development of business plan and evidence of job creation.
The maximum amount of grant assistance is up to £5,000 to any one concern in any one financial year.
The council’s priorities and objectives are:
- New jobs created
- Increased educational attainment
- Enhance cultural provision
- Diversify economic base of the area
- Enhance tourism sector to increase visitor expenditure
- Target action within economically and socially disadvantaged areas
- Reduction in welfare dependency
- Enhance environment
- Improve connectivity / create technologically smart towns
- Improve skills and educational attainment
- You may only apply for assistance under either the Business Start-Up or Business Expansion scheme
- Any grant awarded will be for 50 per cent of expenditure within the limits of the grant amount. E.g. If you are awarded a grant of £500, you would need to spend £1000 to claim back the £500 grant
- Grants are claimed back retrospectively by submitting receipts/invoices and copy bank statements detailing the eligible expenditure
- Applicants with outstanding liabilities to Scarborough Borough Council cannot be considered for a business grant
- Grants are awarded at the absolute discretion of Scarborough Borough Council
Warwickshire County Council is offering grants to small businesses who have growth plans. Grants of £5,000 to £35,000 are available to small and micro businesses for capital projects.
At present, there’s only one grant available through Pendle Borough Council: Premises Improvement Grants.
These grants provide assistance of up to 50 per cent of eligible costs, up to a maximum of £3,000 (or £1,500 maximum in West Craven). It applies to eligible buildings which are occupied by commercial users and are located within Pendle and town centre boundaries. It also covers redundant commercial properties within and immediately adjacent to the town centre planning boundaries.
50. UK Seafood Fund
The UK Seafood Fund is a £100m fund set up to support the long term future and sustainability of the UK fisheries and seafood sector.
The fund is managed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
The UK Seafood Fund consists of a number of schemes that come under 3 areas of funding:
- Science and innovation
- Skills and training
Apply using the link above.
Grants of up to £9,000 (37 per cent intervention) are available through BIC Staffordshire. It can fund external specialist support to help you research, protect, develop and launch to market a new product or service.
The grant can be used to pay for external specialist advice in areas such as IPR strategy, proof of concept, product design and development, IT support, software development, financial advice, testing and a marketing strategy for a new product, process or service.
Provided by Test Valley Borough Council, the Independent Retailer Grant supplies £1,200 to encourage independently owned retailers to take up vacant space in Romsey and Andover.
It’s open to new or existing businesses moving into ground floor premises which have been vacant for at least one month in the primary shopping areas of Andover and Romsey.
Grants under this scheme are intended to reduce the risk faced by some of the most historic sites within England, according to the Heritage at Risk Register. You can apply for a grant at any time during the year and Historic England will aim to get you a response within six months.
Available to Crawley-based businesses in need of start-up funds or existing businesses looking to grow. You must be based in Crawley and have fewer than 50 employees. On top of that, you’ll need to match fund by at least 50 per cent.
The maximum grant available is £4,000 and it’s available until the pot has run out.
The Food & Drink Forum, in partnership with The Mallows Company, has secured ERDF funding to offer a range of useful services to food and drink manufacturers.
Grant funding is available to eligible businesses looking to purchase production equipment to purchase equipment or take on further training or mentoring. The FEAST2 project can offer businesses up to 25 per cent of grant funding to support these purchases, though certain conditions apply.
Businesses will be required to complete and submit a grant application form together with three quotes for each piece of equipment.
The NBV Grant for Enterprise supports the growth or diversification of existing micro, small and medium sized businesses based in Greater Lincolnshire. The fund can provide capital and revenue grants to trading businesses for a specific project or investment.
You will be required to pay the supplier for the full cost of the project before claiming the grant element and therefore it is imperative that funds are in place to cover these costs prior to submitting the application. No retrospective applications will be considered.
This offering from University of Lincoln is made up of a grant between £1,000 (minimum spend £4,000) and £2,500 (minimum spend £10,000). They’re available up to 25 per cent of eligible costs.
The Enterprise Scheme aims to support new and young businesses. The scheme will encourage the occupation of vacant commercial premises, help regenerate town centres, stimulate entrepreneurship, create new jobs and enhance the sustainability of new businesses.
Pre-start and new businesses trading for less than 36 months can apply for a grant of up to £500 or £1,000 if they meet the following criteria:
- The business is in or moving into premises that are liable to business rates
- The business employs or will employ two or more FTE employees (in addition to the applicant)
- The business operates in the low carbon economy
- The grant will be used towards expenditure that supports the business’ environmental sustainability
Nab an ongoing grant of up to £1,000 from Reigate and Banstead Borough Council with a free year membership of Enterprise Nation thrown in. It’s open to businesses looking to start, develop or grow. You must be based in the borough and have fewer than four employees.
The NBV grant is for businesses based in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Greater Lincolnshire. Grants between £1,000 and £2,500 are available and your project spend must be a minimum of £4,000.
For people starting a business or in their first three years of trading, this programme can include training, help developing your business plan and access to a £2,000 subsidy. You’ll also get free basic membership of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce for one year when you start trading (worth up to £400).
The Department for International Trade has launched a European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF) for eligible East Midlands businesses. Match-funded grants of between £1,000 and £9,000 will be available for future activity.
• Your company must be a small or medium sized enterprise (SME) with up to 250 employees
• No more than 25 per cent of the business is owned by an enterprise which is not a SME
• Annual turnover does not exceed €50m or annual balance sheet does not exceed €43m
The funding can be used to support areas including (but not exclusively limited to):
• Market research
• IP advice
• Translation services
• International social media/SEO
• Trade fairs (where no TAP funding is available)
• Independent market visits
• Consultancy and other international commercial services
The CITB has grants and funding schemes available throughout England.
The WLFF helps businesses with professional fees and technical survey work associated with development and growth. It will award grants of up to £5,000 but you’ll need to provide 50 per cent match funding.
You can land a grant between £1,000 and £3,000 which must be match-funded at least pound for pound. So, your project will need to cost a minimum of £2,000. You must have been trading for more than one year.
The grant supports SMEs who create Apprenticeships in sectors facing high demand and growth from employers as identified in the Tees Valley Strategic Economic Plan.
The priority sectors being supported by the grant are:
- Advanced Manufacturing
- Process, Chemicals and Energy
- Health and Biologics
- Digital and Creative
- Business and Professional Services
- Health Care
- Culture and Leisure
Apprenticeship Support Grant is available to SMEs identified by Tees Valley Combined Authority as being in one of the above priority sectors:
- Apprentices Aged 16-18 – grant of £3,000 is available
- Apprentices Aged 19+ – grant of £2,000 is available
For any employers who do not fall into one of the above Priority Sectors, the following Grant is available:
- Apprentices Aged 19+ – grant of £500 is available
The North of Tyne Growth Fund is a £4.6m programme of investment part-funded by ERDF that supports SME growth.
You could be eligible for a grant of up to 30 per cent of expenditure if you are an SME planning capital investment of at least £67,000 and expanding or establishing in Newcastle, Tyneside or Northumberland.
Open to businesses across the South East Local Enterprise Partnership, with firms looking to secure a grant of £1,000-£10,000 on a project costing between £3,334 and £35,000. The programme can cover 30 per cent of the costs of qualifying projects with the remaining amount covered by you.
The Manufacturing Growth Programme supports manufacturing in the UK. It’s part of a whole package – a manufacturing growth manager who will provide on-going support, identify opportunities and plans for growth plans and you’ll work with experts to implement those plans. The grant covers a percentage of the cost, plus connection to wider support. You must be able to demonstrate that you have plans to improve and grow the business.
Grant values are specific to each business application. Maximum project value of £10,000 with a minimum grant value of £1,000. Capital grants are available and will be considered for exceptional cases (subject to panel approval).
At the moment, applications for grants up to £7,000 and 50 per cent of costs are being accepted to go on waiting lists.
The scheme helps businesses in Norfolk and Suffolk to cut their carbon emissions. Improvements can include lighting and heating upgrades, electric vehicles and new machinery.
Grants between £1,000 and £25,000 are available to help your business invest in innovation, research and development.
The grant can pay up to 50 per cent of the total eligible costs of your projects.
Mansfield Council has a selection of business grant schemes, offering up to £2,500.
NPIF provides funding throughout north of England through microfinance, debt and equity funds.
They’re broken down like so: Microfinance (£25k-£100K) Debt Finance (£100k-£750k) and Equity Finance (£50k-£2m)
These grant funds can be used to expand your premises and buy plant, machinery and equipment. The city council supplies capital grants between £10,000 and £160,000 on a variable intervention rate between 10 per cent and 30 per cent.
To qualify for a £10,000 grant, your project costs must total at least £35,000.
Buckinghamshire have a plethora of options for grants for manufacturing, growth, innovation and other areas. Check Buckinghamshire Business First to see what’s available.
Part of the Growing Places initiative, the Cumbria Infrastructure Fund supports infrastructure projects which unlock development, creating jobs and homes in Cumbria. Contact the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership for more info.
76. PAPI, Yorkshire
Again, this is a whole collection of grants. They help small businesses in York, North Yorkshire, East Riding and Leeds City Region develop new products by supplying funds for equipment. You can find more information by clicking your region on the PAPI website.
Be Inspired is a free resource for start-ups. It includes:
- Eight training workshops over 12 months
- Monthly business and networking events
- Monthly mentoring sessions
- £3000 of financial support
- Bi-monthly business adviser review
Part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and managed by Birmingham City Council (BCC), the Supplier Skills Programme (SSP) is aimed at existing small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) seeking to upskill new and existing employees.
SSP responds directly to the skills and training needs identified by SMEs for their employees, thereby offering SMEs what they want and at the time they need It, in order to implement their skills and growth plans.
Training grants of between £500 to a maximum of £18,000 per SME are available and training will be funded 50 per cent by the SME and 50 per cent by the European Social Fund grant.
SSP operates on a funding round basis, with rounds being held every quarter until programme closure in March 2023 (subject to availability of grant funding).
Boost4Health supports SMEs looking to develop their growth potential. It offers a mix of coaching and vouchers to help health-related businesses reach international markets.
Eden Tourism offers a small tourism marketing grant for tourism related projects in the Eden District. There is a maximum of £500 available per project. Applications can be made at any time throughout the year.
Application details are on the Eden Tourism site linked above.
Low Carbon Workspaces is supplying funds between £1,000 and £5,000 for businesses to take on green initiatives like double glazing, LED lighting and smart heating. It’s open to SMEs in Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Milton Keynes and Northamptonshire.
The North East Business Support Fund is tailored to small businesses in County Durham, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear with varying funding levels.
The Small Growth Grants scheme is inviting applications and successful grant applications will be provided 25 per cent of eligible project costs.
The minimum grant amount is £1,000 and the maximum is £5,000. For example, to receive a grant of £5,000 the total project cost will be at least £20,000. Eligible project costs include capital equipment, new premises works and fitting, new digital capability adoption and outsourcing of expertise.
The Small Growth Grant is currently open with completed applications to be submitted by May 31, 2022.
If your business innovation aim is to develop a new product or service, access new markets or gain market share, Arrow can provide access to academics, innovators and experts to help you innovate within your business. It can provide support for:
- Innovation support for start-ups
- Help with research and development
- Proof of concept and validation
- Specialist data science expertise
- Access to high-quality research facilities and equipment
If you are a small or medium enterprise looking to grow in East Sussex, Essex, Kent or Medway, you could be eligible for free in-depth business support and access to exclusive growth grant funding to help you on the way.
The South East Business Boost (SEBB) programme provides free support to start ups and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) within the South East Local Enterprise Partnership area so that they can expand.
Funding is available up to a maximum contribution of 30 per cent. Growth Grants range from £1,000 to £10,000.
The Lancashire Manufacturing Growth Fund wants to support ‘relatively significant’ projects with a value of around £10,000, which would warrant a grant of around £3,00. It’ll fund 30 per cent of your project. Again, those projects that lead to job creation and increased productivity are most desirable.
Provided by Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, small businesses based in Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire can get £1,000 grants which must be matched by at least £667 of your own funding.
Typical expenditure would include:
- Product design and development
- Specialist consultancy
- Consultancy costs to build or improve a website
Key Fund is one for socially driven businesses with community at their heart. You’ll get support with your application plus flexible grant and loan packages. Investment from £5,000 to up to £300,000 to community and social enterprises operating in the North of England and the Midlands.
Medilink Solstice is aimed at businesses in the life sciences sector who are based in the Leicester LEP area.
You’ve got three grants to choose from:
- Innovation Support Grants (up to £20,000)
- Med Tech Trials Grants (up to £50,000)
- Specialist Networking Grants (up to £3,000)
To be eligible for an AD:VENTURE grant, your business must be a pre-start, start-up or SME under three years old and looking to grow and create jobs. AD:VENTURE offers business and digital support too. It’s open to businesses in Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield and York (within the Leeds City Region).
Start Up West Yorkshire has a comprehensive business programme for businesses who have been actively trading for less than 12 months.
Start Up West Yorkshire will help you achieve your business goals, through mentoring, 121 support, webinars and workshops as well as events and development opportunities.
You’ll be matched with an expert business advisor to help you navigate the world of self-employment, and alongside your work with them, they’ll give you access to a range of exclusive webinars to help you on your way.
To be eligible for Start Up West Yorkshire, you must be:
- A resident of West Yorkshire
- Interested in setting up your own business or have a business that has been actively trading for less than 12 months
- Aged 18 or over
To register onto the programme, it’s easy! All you need to do is complete the registration form on the website or call on 03301 755 759.
This programme covers SMEs in Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Telford and Wrekin who could get a grant up to £20,000.
Funding Round 38 of the Business Growth Programme 2 (BGP2) is open for TMLEP applications only. The deadline for submission of your application is April 20 2022. Funding round 39 will open on April 25 2022. Check the website throughout the year for the latest funding round.
BGP2 offers grants of £2,500 to £1,000,000 and is designed to strengthen supply chains, stimulate innovation and help businesses grow. The programme is available to:
- Start-Up B2B Small to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) moving into or located in The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership area only
- Existing B2B SMEs moving into or located in The Greater Birmingham and Solihull and The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership areas
Grant funding is limited and subject to availability.
This grant project supports small and medium-sized enterprises that have been trading business-to-business for at least 24 months in Leicester and Leicestershire who are looking to grow or develop their business. Grants from £2,000 up to £25,000 are available providing 35 per cent towards the cost of capital projects (e.g. new machinery, tools, premises improvement or expansion). A business adviser is provided to support applicants throughout the process.
This one is a Yorkshire-based grant for community infrastructure projects and countryside conservation work in the Howardian Hills Area of Natural Beauty (AONB).
Assistance normally sits in the 30-75 per cent range but with this scheme you may be funded 100 per cent of your project.
Energy for Business has grants up to £8,000. They’re aimed at businesses in Nottinghamshire or Derbyshire who improve energy, reduce emissions or are introducing sustainable technologies. The organisation will fund 40 per cent, up to £8,000.
You’ve got a few conditions to bear in mind. The minimum project cost must be £2,500 and the maximum £20,000 – you’ll be given the grant once the work is completed.
LCR is offering grants of up to £7,500 for SMEs in the Liverpool City Region to enter or grow in the renewable energy supply chain.
The DE-Carbonise project aims to help small and medium sized-businesses (SMEs) based in Derby and Derbyshire to:
- Reduce carbon emissions
- Save costs
- Become more sustainable
The project also provides advice, support and funding to enable businesses to:
- Develop and implement lower carbon business processes
- Use renewable energy generating technologies
- Develop lower carbon products
DE-Carbonise is a partnership between the University of Derby, Derby City Council and Derbyshire County Council and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. Support from the project is available until October 2022.
Please submit an expression of interest to discuss further.
99. Wenta grants
Social enterprise, Wenta, provides access to grants for businesses in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Enfield. It can offer up to £3,000 via business support programmes. Find out more through its website.
The Growth Deal aims to drive business growth, give people new skills, test new innovations, invest in transport infrastructure and regenerate key sites for employment in the Black Country. It wants to maximise the economic impact of growth opportunities from the automotive, aerospace and construction sectors which prominent manufacturing areas in the Black Country. Funding is awarded on a case-by-case basis.
The only grant available is the Site Investigation Fund, aimed at private sector landowners seeking to de-risk and address uncertainty on their sites.
SMEs in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire can apply for Elevator grants to support business growth. They must be in creative or digital industries (CDI), though.
They’ll put 30 per cent towards the project spend, between £1,050 and £2,250. You must be able to stump up the cash for your side of the deal and you can’t use any additional loans or grants to pay for your project.
Businesses in Lincolnshire can bag between £15,000 and £250,000 for developments that enable the delivery of new jobs and commercial space. It’s a rolling fund that can be applied to at any time.
Growing Hull and East Yorkshire is a £1.5m business investment scheme aiming to provide capital grants to SME businesses in Hull and East Yorkshire to support and incentivise business growth, investment and job creation.
The programme builds on the success and momentum of the successful Growing the Humber business grant programme. The scheme should be considered alongside other finance options such as bank loans or asset finance.
Grants of between £5,000 and £250,000 are available to SME businesses that are able to demonstrate viability and will contribute to the wider growth of Hull and East Yorkshire. Grants below the minimum threshold may be considered as an exceptional case.
Another Proof of Concept grant, this fund gives up to £16,500 at an intervention rate of up to 55 per cent to fund an approved development project. It’s expected to close early 2023. You must be based in the Black Country, The Marches or Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire.
It’s targeted towards businesses in the following areas:
- Transport technologies (including aerospace and automotive)
- Building technologies/construction
- Advanced manufacturing including advanced engineering
- Environmental technologies
- Applied materials
- Agritech/agriculture, food and drink
- Medical technology
- Energy generation
- Defence and securities
The Retail Improvement Grant Scheme can offer small grants of up to £4,000 aimed at supporting businesses in making key improvements to their premises and retail operations. Eligible projects could include, but are not limited to: lighting and decoration improvements; minor building works; shop-front enhancements; display equipment; and payment system improvements, but does not include salaries, overheads, rent or stock.
To apply for the grant, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be able to commit 25 per cent of the project value in match funding
- Must have engaged in the ‘West Sussex Retail Hub’ virtual learning programme
- Registered with HMRC/Companies House
- Have a physical shop premises in Crawley borough
- Be a small, independent businesses – maximum 50 employees and not part of a regional, national, or international chain or franchise
Applying for a Retail Improvement Grant is simple. Visit the Grant Approval website, create or sign in to an account, and complete the application form: ‘Retail Improvement Grant’.
You will be asked to provide background information on your business, some detail about the proposed retail improvement project you are applying for and some supporting evidence.
The University of Derby supplies loans between £15,000 and £250,000 to support private businesses across the East Midlands to innovate, grow and create jobs. The following objectives will be prioritised:
- It will create new jobs or safeguard existing positions in your company
- It will increase the scope or scale of your company activity
- It will improve the company’s performance
- It has not commenced and will not be achievable in the timescales proposed without Invest to Grow support
You must be able to create jobs that can be sustained for at least three years – businesses that create higher-skilled jobs are preferred. The following sectors are also preferred:
- Manufacturing (e.g. transport equipment and food and drink)
- Life sciences
- Creative industries
- Low carbon
This project provides tailored export support services to SMEs across the North West including specialist advice, events, activities and financial support towards eligible export development activities.
The North West LEPs offer a range of support to help the growth and development of your export business. This includes events to identify potential exporters, pre-export development support, a specialist internationalisation programme for research and development focused companies, sector-specific events and market visits, specialist consultancy support and match funded grants of up to £1,500 for eligible companies to help implement bespoke Export Action Plans.
The first round of our new Sustainable Tourism grant scheme is now open for applications.
The grants have been set up to support businesses with their continued recovery from the pandemic, and to encourage them to invest wisely now to create a greener future for the sector.
Grants are available to support projects that:
- Improve and promote access for all visitors to surrounding woodlands and habitats
- Strengthen visitor connections with the forest
- Protect and enhance nature to improve the visitor experience
- Raise visitor awareness of the National Forest story and future vision
The National Forest Company (NFC) is looking to offer between five and seven grants of between £1,000 and £5,000. Grants can be used to fund between 50 per cent and 70 per cent of total project costs and will require a cash match from either the applicant or from additional sources e.g. other grant funders. Grant offers of more than 50 per cent of total project costs will generally only be considered for exceptional projects or projects that can demonstrate more public benefit – please discuss your project with the NFC team before applying.
The grants are open to organisations working in the tourism and hospitality sector who define themselves as any of the following:
- Small businesses (with fewer than 50 employees)
- Local charities, social enterprises, community interest companies
- Projects developed in partnership with any of the above
The deadline for applying is 5pm Tuesday May 31, 2022.
109. ReferHer programme
Vista is partnering with IFundWomen to launch ReferHer, a programme that connects women entrepreneurs around the world with creative resources, capital and coaching at women’s co-working spaces in five global cities including London. Vista and IFW will select 10 women small business owners from London, along with their +1, to join an exclusive networking dinner at AllBright hosted by an established female entrepreneur. Those selected will receive an IFW annual membership, design and marketing support and membership/resources from AllBright, while two will also be granted £10,000 towards their business.
Women-owned small businesses can apply between March 22-April 15. Experts from Vista and IFW will review the applications and announce the 100 small businesses on April 26. The dinner series will take place in May.
With this apprenticeship fund, you can get assistance to cover the cost of training for an apprentice role, apprenticeship training for your existing workforce and funding to support employment costs for a new apprentice.
Grants of up to £750 are available to help businesses in the Harborough district take on new apprentices. Your business must have fewer than 150 employees and must not have taken on an apprentice for at least two years, though there could be flexibility on the latter depending on the circumstances.
The RDPE is as it sounds: a programme to develop agricultural and forestry sectors. Within the programme, there are a number of grants for farming ammonia reduction, countryside productivity and rural broadband.
Business Grants Wales
The main providers of grants in Wales are the Welsh Government, the UK Government, the EU, local authorities and charities.
The finance locator on the Business Wales website is a great starting point for looking at the grants and other types of funding available in Wales, allowing you to filter and sort your results by funding type, source, geographic area, application status and so on to see the most relevant options for your business.
The BG Effect Business Fund is a series of tools from BGCBC business development officers. It includes business start-up drop-in sessions, practical help and support from a volunteer team, links to programmes and Government support organisations and a local network of contacts, knowledge and resources.
This business development grant is to help companies to start up a business for the first time. Business start-ups in all business sectors may be considered. The applicant must be setting up the business in the Caerphilly County Borough.
Eligible costs could include:
- Capital equipment
- ICT equipment
- Development of websites
- Building works to business premises
The business must not have started prior to application and approval. It’s a discretionary grant and can provide 50 per cent of eligible project costs to a maximum of £500.
On hold at time of update. Check website for more details.
The Caerphilly enterprise fund can support new and established businesses and community enterprises throughout the County Borough.
Eligible project costs can include:
- websites and e-commerce sites
- feasibility studies
- business planning
- one off marketing costs
- capital equipment
- IT hardware and software
- property and infrastructure improvements to commercial, industrial and retail premises
If you are a start up business you will need to submit a business plan together with the application form.
If you are an existing company you will also need to submit trading accounts.
116. ReAct for Businesses
ReAct is a redundancy support which helps businesses connect with people who have lost their jobs. The programme can help you pay their wages and get them into role-specific training.
You’ll receive £3,000 in quarterly instalments for the first 12 months to help cover their wages plus up to £1,000 for any job-related training. The scheme will cover those who are either on formal notice of redundancy or those who have been made redundant in the past three months.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council offer grants when funding allows, however, these schemes are discretionary and may have restricted eligibility.
The aim of the Enterprise Investment Fund is to support sustainable economic growth across Rhondda Cynon Taf. The grant programme provides financial assistance for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs), including start-ups as well as existing businesses, and for both private and social enterprises. Grants are as follows:
- Commercial Premises – Minimum £1,500 up to a maximum of £10,000
- Homed Based Premises – Minimum £500 up to a maximum of £1,500
The Enterprise Investment Fund has an Intervention Rate of a maximum of 50 per cent of eligible project costs (excluding VAT).
Please note expenditure incurred before grant approval is not eligible for funding.
The grant is available to businesses who pay council tax or national non-domestic rates. You must also have, or will have, public liability insurance.
Gwynedd County Council is keen to help SMEs to get ISO accreditation for their business. The funding goes towards the cost of working with a consultant to get necessary certification. Unfortunately, the cost of the certification isn’t included.
A discretionary grant to support the growth of Conwy businesses, social enterprises or farm diversification projects. Up to 50 per cent of the eligible project cost, with a minimum grant of £200 to a maximum of £1500. This maximum may be increased for exceptional projects meeting specific criteria
Who can apply?
- New business (trading at least three months)
- Businesses with a trading address in the county of Conwy
- Established business
- Social enterprise based in the County of Conwy
What type of business? (This list is not exhaustive)
- Agricultural (if diversifying into an additional commercial or social enterprise)
What projects are eligible?
Projects which will help the business to achieve one or more of the following:
- Employ extra staff
- Increase turnover
- Increase profitability
If approved, you will need to provide the following before payment can be released.
- Copies of receipts and bank/credit card statement showing payment
- Signed terms & conditions and claim form
- A signed agreement to provide a short progress report 12 months after receipt of the grant payment
Providing all documentation is received, payment is usually made within 14 days. If you would like more information or want to apply, please email email@example.com
Grants of up to £5,000 are available outside the city centre and up to £10,000 for city centre businesses – up to a maximum 50 per cent of eligible expenditure. Elements of these grants are discretionary based on various economic and wellbeing objectives.
The grant is available towards the following elements:
- First year’s rent when taking on commercial premises. (Eligible businesses are start-ups, or existing businesses who are taking on additional/larger premises or those who have been trading from home and are relocating to commercial premises)
- Plant and equipment
- ICT equipment and software
- Website development and related training
- Accredited training (short courses for up-skilling staff members)
- Business/IT consultancy, professional fees and accreditations
Rural businesses will get support from this fund. It will help develop new and existing premises for them with a view to creating new jobs. The grant will either be based on £20,000 per job created or up to the following intervention rates: small businesses 45 per cent and medium businesses 35 per cent. The maximum grant is £128,000 unless it’s an exceptional case where funding may be increased.
The programme offers support to high growth pre-revenue firms and SMEs. You must be able to grow turnover by at least 20 per cent a year, generate at least ten new jobs in three years. Start-ups are also accepted but they must have been trading for 12 months and must be looking to achieve the levels of growth mentioned above.
123. Green Port Hull
This one’s open to businesses in the green tech, low carbon and renewable energy sectors, with grants starting from £10,000 available. Your aim should be to increase productivity, skills and employment.
You can use the money in the following areas:
- Launch a new business
- Modernise, expand or re-organise an existing business
- Upgrade a business by introducing innovative new technology or processes
- Take a new product from development to production
A joint initiative funded by UK Steel Enterprise and administered by Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council. The grant is aimed at supporting new businesses trading from six months up to three years old, to develop and expand. The maximum grant award for business is £1,000 and applicants must be able to fund 50 per cent of the total funding required.
Another joint initiative with by UK Steel Enterprise, this is a flexible grant scheme administered by Bridgend County Borough Council providing financial assistance to new or existing micro-businesses (fewer than ten employees and a turnover or balance sheet total of less than €2m) that are located, or are planning to locate, in the Bridgend County Borough.
The Kick Start Grant is a discretionary grant and can provide up to 50 per cent of eligible projects costs. The minimum grant is £250 and the maximum grant available is £4,000.
The WTIF is provided by the Welsh Government in partnership with the Development Bank of Wales, bringing together both grant and commercial funding into one combined package of financial support. Its key objective is to finance capital investment projects in the tourism sector in Wales which will have a positive impact on both the sector and the Welsh economy.
WRAP Cymru have implemented changes to the £6.5m Circular Economy Fund, which are designed to support even more organisations and more quickly.
In addition to funding the use of recycled materials in products, WRAP Cymru is now able to support preparation for re-use, refurbishment and re-manufacturing activities in Wales. These include the production of sustainable goods to aid the global fight against coronavirus.
Eligible projects must:
- Increase the use of recycled plastic, paper / card or textiles in existing or new products (projects seeking to use other recycled materials will be considered on a case-by-case basis); or
- Extend the lifetime of products / materials through preparation for re-use, refurbishment or re-manufacturing activities.
Organisations of any size, which are operating in Wales, may apply for a capital grant to invest in infrastructure and equipment for eligible circular activities. Small Scale grants are now available from £25,000 to €200,000 (the maximum de minimis threshold) and Large Scale grants are available from €200,000 to £750,000.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Welsh Government are offering grants of £10,000–£50,000 (in 2020-21) for capital projects in Wales that will acquire, restore and enhance nature.
They are particularly looking for projects that can be seen “from your doorstep”. This means where people live, work, access public services, travel (including roadside verges and roundabouts) and spend their leisure time (including public open spaces).
The Local Places for Nature scheme will offer:
- Up to one year of grant funding for nature projects worth up to £50,000. In certain circumstances we can fund up to £100,000 (discuss before applying).
- Up to 100 per cent funding
- Decisions within eight weeks of application
The grant programme will remain open until funds are exhausted.
In Scotland there are a few larger organisations who offer a number of different funding opportunities.
Better Business Finance: A portal that provides impartial information and support to businesses and entrepreneurs looking to develop and grow. Use this search to find out exactly what grant funding is available to your business with a complete list of known grants in Scotland.
Scottish Enterprise: A non-departmental public body which encourages economic development, enterprise and innovation in Scotland. For all grants and funding information please click here.
Business Gateway: Offers advice and guidance to start-up companies and established companies across Scotland. See below for specifics on grants and funding.
Scottish government: Search for business funding and advice.
Business Grants Scotland
The Scottish Growth Scheme is a package of financial support of up to £500m for Scottish businesses. It’s backed by the Scottish Government and aims to help businesses grow.
This funding will be provided through a series of initiatives which businesses can access for investment. The level of funding depends on which initiative you choose.
The Scottish Venture Fund invests in companies from start-ups, early-stage to expanding businesses seeking funding to develop products and/or markets.
This fund can invest alongside sophisticated private sector investors on equal terms, up to a maximum of 50 per cent of the total funding package on a commercial basis. This flexible equity gap fund invests alongside private sector investors, offering equity funding from £10,000 up to £2m.
The Open Fund has separate funding strands for individuals and organisations within the creative industries.
- Funding available for between £1,000 and £100,000
- The fund aims to enable individuals and organisations to explore ways of working that will help them to adapt and respond to the current changing circumstances
- The overall budget for the Open Fund for Individuals and the Open Fund for Organisations totals £7.5m of National Lottery money
- The fund is open all year round, with no deadlines and can support activity for up to 12 months.
Funding for individuals
Freelance and self-employed artists and creative practitioners in Scotland can apply for projects supporting the development of their practice. You may apply for funding to work with others if your practice is collaborative. You must have a UK bank account.
Funding for organisations
This fund is for organisations and groups based in Scotland whose work or project involves the arts, screen and creative industries. All applicants must have a UK bank account.
The Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre’s (IBioIC) Facilities Access Fund will allow businesses to apply for grants of up to £10,000 to support critical research and development projects.
Projects must be led by an industrial partner and can cover a range of biotechnology applications such as biorefining, food and drink, biomanufacturing, waste management, textiles and agritech. The grants will enable companies to secure timely access to the facilities and expertise vital to expediting innovations.
Companies looking to access the fund are invited to get in touch with IBioIC to discuss their application in the first instance, before having their submission assessed on its economic contribution, technical viability and additional benefits for Scotland such as job creation or environmental impact.
This new fund aims to provide support to businesses whose main income comes from the wedding and civil partnerships industry, which has been significantly impacted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s provided by the Scottish Government and administered by Scottish Enterprise, South of Scotland Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
The fund offers a fixed grant amount based on turnover. The funding tiers are:
- A £5,000 grant for businesses with a pre-COVID-19 turnover between £10,000 and £49,999
- A £10,000 grant for businesses with a pre-COVID-19 turnover between £50,000 and £99,999
- A £15,000 grant for businesses with a pre-COVID-19 turnover between £100,000 – £249,999
- A £25,000 grant for businesses with a pre-COVID-19 turnover of more than £250,000
The Scottish Wedding Industry Fund Top-Up will support businesses whose trade was impacted by the measures to control the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in December 2021 and January 2022. Eligible businesses will receive an additional 12.5 per cent of their original grant awards.
You do not need to complete an application for this fund – eligible businesses will be contacted directly by the relevant enterprise agency for their area from Thursday 20 January 2022. You will be contacted by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Scottish Enterprise or South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE), depending on the geographic area in which your business is located.
Businesses which received:
- £5,000 will receive an additional £625
- £10,000 will receive an additional £1,250
- £15,000 will receive an additional £1,875
- £25,000 will receive an additional £3,125
The Workplace Innovation Grant is paused until the new financial year.
Scottish-based businesses who want to introduce innovative practices in their workplace
The fund can contribute up to £5,000 towards activities that will allow a business to introduce new and innovative workplace practices. To get the grant, the project must fulfil at least two of the following three criteria:
– People: To support motivating staff beyond pay. For example, recognising the benefits of diversity, reward and supporting learning and development
– Place: To support improving or maintaining a positive workplace culture, creatively use physical space to improve how employees work together, offer training associated with integrating technology which enables employees to share knowledge
– Practice: To support work practices to become fair, responsible and improve productivity. For example, flexible working practices, creating self-managed teams and a culture of leadership and coaching.
Scottish-based businesses who wish to do a collaborative tourism marketing campaign can apply. VisitScotland wants to ‘work with businesses to help them build digital capability, market and measure outputs and success more effectively. We encourage applications for integrated marketing campaigns that will show visitors, through creation and promotion of inspiring digital content, that ‘Scotland is Now’.’
Successful applications must demonstrate:-
- A strong digital focus and creation of digital content
- Strong strategic alignment
- An innovative approach
- Effective partnerships and collaboration
- Achievable and measurable growth targets
- A sustainable approach
- Project viability and deliverability
Scottish businesses developing events that will generate significant TV and media coverage and/or create significant economic impact for Scotland. Any events programme that plays an integral role in developing domestic tourism across Scotland. However, there is ‘no specific remit for supporting productions, conferences or exhibitions’
Funding streams are currently being reviewed due to COVID-19 but keep an eye on the website or further details.
Funding is not provided for core costs but rather for ‘additionality’ or supporting new activity specifically designed to grow events
It can also be offered for marketing and PR costs, in order to grow the brand and reach new target audiences as well as enhancing media coverage
Funding may also be offered to improve the visitor experience of the event.
Useful link: – Looking for funding? Find the right finance for your business here
NESTRANS supports development of travel plans in Aberdeen City and Shire. Applicants can bid for up to £10,000 in matched funding to support sustainable transport initiatives.
138. Scottish Edge
The current EDGE19 round is closed but EDGE20 opens in July 2022.
Scottish EDGE is ‘a competition aimed at identifying and supporting Scotland’s up-and-coming, innovative, high-growth potential entrepreneurial talent’. Winners can receive up to £100,000 in funding plus a business support package to help them make the most of any grant money.
The main categories within which awards are made are: Science and Tech, Creative, Social Enterprise, and Circular Economy businesses.
This scheme is focused on providing financial support for businesses involved in the creation of either new woodland spaces or the sustainable management of existing woodlands. It is managed by the Scottish Rural Payments and Services agency and Scottish Forestry.
The FWDF is open both to UK Apprenticeship Levy paying employers and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Scotland.
Where specific training needs cannot be provided via a local college, Levy payers have the option to access funding through an independent training provider (via SDS), the total fund available through this route being £2m. SMEs can work with either their local college or with the Open University to access training up to the value of £5,000.
By accessing the FWDF, employers in Scotland:
- Have the flexibility to choose the training that best meets their needs
- Can use the Fund to address priority skills gaps
- Can access tailored training in high-quality learning environments
- Engage and motivate existing employees by offering them high quality training to bring the greatest benefits to your organisation
The CBFS is managed by Arts & Business Scotland, an independent charity. The fund offers pound for pound match funding for eligible projects of between £1,000 and £40,000 (excluding VAT) and is available across two tiers:
- Smaller funds of between £1,000 and £3,000
- Larger funds of over £3,000 and up to £40,000
Its aims are to encourage businesses to sponsor arts and heritage activity within Scotland while building new business sector partnerships over a minimum two to three-year commitment.
The Fife’s financial support covers businesses in the area looking to invest and grow. The fund amount is up to 70 per cent or £10,000, whichever is the smaller cost. It’s fully repayable and must be paid back over an agreed period except for some small funds which are a mixture of repayable and straight grant funded support.
Funding is intended to be used for measures like product development and property improvements as well as training and market development.
This scheme will give you at grant of up to £2,000 if you’re looking to improve productivity and profitability through staff training.The workforce upskilling grant can be a 100 per cent contribution so if the total cost of the training is £2,000 or less, they’ll cover the full amount.
Orkney Islands Council fund the New Business Start Up Grant and can give you £500-£1,500. The main condition is that applicants must be developing a new start-up business and build a full-time sustainable enterprise.
The council is looking to target tourism, food and drink, renewable energy, lifeline local service providers and community-based social enterprise companies. Franchise businesses are also eligible.
This grant is for people in West Dunbartonshire to get up to £500 support with their business start-up costs. You must put forward a business plan and provide proof of trading such as evidence of a business bank account and identification like a passport or birth certificate.
Northern Ireland Business Grants
This Proof of Concept Grant Fund from Techstart is a pre-commercial grant awarding fund. It supports entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland with grants to explore the viability and commercial potential of an innovative concept.
Techstart gives out concept grants of either up to £10,000 or a concept plus grant of up to £35,000. Concept Grants are awarded on a quarterly basis while Concept Plus Grants are awarded every four months.
Applicants can get up to £10,000 to go towards staff training for firms involved in manufacturing or internationally tradeable services. Just be aware that it’s only open to Invest Northern Ireland customers.
If you’re able to show that you intend to sell outside Northern Ireland, are actively working towards growth plans, and will contribute to increasing productivity and innovation in Northern Ireland, you could become a customer of Invest NI.
You’ll also need to have an actual turnover greater than or equal to £250,000 and external sales greater than or equal to 25 per cent or £250,000.
Expected to reopen early summer 2022.
The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs is a government department in the Northern Ireland Executive. Its Forestry Grant Scheme for 2014-2020 as four main objectives for businesses involved in: expanding forests, protecting existing forests, woodland management and the ‘agri environment’.
Brexit Readiness Vouchers give you financial support up to £2,000/€2250 towards professional advice relating to Brexit matters like movement of labour, goods, services and currency management.
Your company must be a registered small business in order to be eligible.
The fund supplies capital grants for non-agricultural micro, small and social enterprises in rural parts of Derry City and Strabane Council.
Potential applicants must go to a mandatory pre-funding workshop and be ‘investment ready’ – that means having a business plan, planning permission, match funding and quotations or tenders in place for capital grants before you apply.
The support includes 50 per cent funding and grants between £500 and £90,000 depending on the size or activity of the business and marketing grants from £500-£5,000 (up to £10,000 for e-commerce).
Business Finance in Northern Ireland
In addition to the grants mentioned above, we should also mention that there are a number of government managed SME funding available operated under the aegis of Invest NI, Northern Ireland’s inward investment agency. The agency oversees £186 million worth of debt and equity funding, beginning with seed stage through to Series A and, ultimately, equity funding. The main funds are:
Small Business Loan Fund
The NI Small Business Loan Fund gives loans between £10,000 and £100,000 to small businesses in Northern Ireland.
Growth Loan Fund II (ERDF)
A £30m loan fund designed to support export-focused Northern Ireland SMEs demonstrating growth or strong growth potential.
Growth Finance Fund
A £30m loan fund designed to support export-focused NI SMEs demonstrating growth or strong growth potential.
The Co-Fund NI is a £50m equity fund for early-stage start-ups that will co-invest alongside business angels or private investors.
Clarendon Fund Managers (CFM) manages the £17.7m Co-Fund II on behalf of Invest NI.
Development Funds I & II
Development Funds are usually for established companies and they typically won’t invest in early-stage ventures. If you have previously raised £150-£300,000, then the Development Funds can provide follow-on funding.
For more detail on these funds, head over to our guide to small business funding Northern Ireland.