150 UK small business grants to apply for right now

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.

Links to each grant can be found in the numbered headings. Please note that due to events in recent years, some of the original grants are no longer available or have been paused. Where possible, these grants have been replaced.

1. Small Business Pro grant

Here at SmallBusiness.co.uk, we’ve recently launched our all-in-one business membership Small Business Pro.

All members are automatically entered into a monthly competition that gives business owners the chance of winning a £2,500 grant for your business. 

2. The Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme

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 up to £500 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)

3. Government apprenticeships

The Government website has lots of info about apprenticeships as well as how to register and use the apprenticeship service. You’ve got different sites for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

4. Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme

Gigabit vouchers can be used by small businesses to go towards the cost of installing gigabit-capable broadband connections. SMEs can claim £4,500 against the cost of connection. Find out if you’re eligible by using the postcode checker on the website.

5. Innovate UK

Innovate UK runs a host of competitions in more niche areas. Find out more on the website.

6. Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS)

You’ll have heard of the SEIS scheme. It helps start-ups to raise money for their business. You get a maximum of £250,000 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.

7. Innovate UK EDGE

Innovate UK EDGE is offering UK business owners funded, bespoke support, to help grow their companies.

This includes:

  • exploiting innovation, intellectual property, and connections in the UK and abroad
  • entering new markets at home and abroad
  • accessing funding and finance and getting investment ready

 Early stage, growth stage or scaling business with up to 500 employees (250 in Northern Ireland) are suitable for this programme.

You can find out more about what Innovate UK EDGE offers and how to apply on their website.

8. Birmingham commercial vehicle grant

This £10m grant scheme aims to help small businesses based within the Birmingham Clean Air Zone (CAZ), wider Birmingham and West Midlands region to meet European standards.

You must have been trading for more than 12 months and own or lease heavy goods vehicles or light good vehicles that are not complaint with CAZ emission standards. You must also be able to demonstrate your use of clean air zones through your commercial operations.

The total grant package for each business is up to £180,000 – that’s up to £15,000 per heavy goods vehicle and up to 35 per cent of the maximum cost of an upgrade up at a maximum of £4,000 for each light goods vehicle.

You can find out more and register here.

9. Plug-in grant for low-emission vehicles

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.

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.

11. British Council Grants

British Council Grants fund research, travel and workshops. Have a look at their website for current opportunities.

12. Ashden Awards 

The Ashden Awards are geared at businesses around the world who have outstanding climate solutions. If you win, you could get a cash prize of up to £20,000 as well as global media coverage and connections with policymakers. Entries for 2023 are closed, but you can submit an expression of interest for 2024.

13. Countryside Stewardship

The Countryside Stewardship has 260 grants in total depending on what improvements you want to make to your business and the options can be filtered to your needs.

14. Woodland Creation Planning Grant (WCPG)

Receive a maximum of £30,000 per project for creating multi-purpose woodland.

15. UnLtd Starting Up Award

This is one for entrepreneurs who aim to solve a social issue.

You can apply for up to £8,000 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 meaningful employment or solutions to encourage healthy ageing

16. Funding and advice for space services

ESA Business Applications offers funding and support to businesses from any sector who intend to use space (satellite navigation, earth observation, satellite telecommunication, space weather, space technologies) to develop new commercial services.

Applications are open all year. Businesses can submit a proposal at any time through the Call for Proposals for Downstream Applications  or can apply to a competitive tender or a non-competitive Thematic Call for Proposals. 

17. Heritage Enterprise UK

This fund is for restoring neglected historic buildings and sites. Community organisations can get a grant between £250,000 and £5,000,000.

18. Workplace charging scheme

The Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) is a voucher-based scheme that provides eligible applicants with support towards the upfront costs of the purchase and installation of electric vehicle (EV) chargepoints.

The WCS is open to businesses, charities and public sector organisations that meet the applicant and site eligibility criteria.

The grant covers up to 75 per cent of the total costs of the purchase and installation of EV chargepoints (inclusive of VAT), capped at a maximum of:

  • £350 per socket
  • 40 sockets across all sites per applicant – for instance, if you would like to install them in 40 sites, you will have 1 socket available per site

After applying using the online application form, successful applicants are issued with a unique identification voucher code by email, which can then be given to any OZEV-authorised commercial chargepoint installer.

19. Wrap grant schemes

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.

20. Innovative Health Initiative

This firm (formerly Innovative Medicines Initiative) provides funding for health research and innovation, with opportunities in advanced therapies, voice in cancer clinical trials and more. Open calls are listed on their page.

21. Emerging Technologies Competition

Each year, the Royal Society of Chemistry welcomes applications from early stage start-ups, spin-outs and academic entrepreneurs who are developing the most novel, innovative and disruptive chemistry tech in each of these four categories:

  • Enabling Technologies
  • Energy
  • Environment
  • Health

It particularly welcomes applications from companies, start-ups and spin-outs led by black and other minority ethnic scientists. 

In addition to press coverage and exposure, winners receive a £25,000 cash prize.

22. UnLtd Scaling Up 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 £18,000 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. As before, they’re focusing their funds on building access to meaningful employment or solutions for healthy ageing.

23. CRACK IT Challenges

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.

24. Beauty Backed Trust Grant Programme

The Beauty Backed Trust has launched a Grant Programme to support the beauty industry after the Covid-19 pandemic. There are two types of grant – a start-up grant and a support grant – available for people who need extra support and guidance whilst getting back on their feet. The grant can be a mix of funding and stock or equipment.


Small Business Pro, our all-in-one solution, can save you time and money as well as offering peer support and the chance to win a monthly £2,500 grant. It will also help with the heavy lifting of managing customers, taking payments, insurance, finance and HR, plus you’ll get a host of personal wellbeing benefits.

You can find out more about Small Business Pro here.


Business grants England

25. Energy efficiency grants for East Sussex businesses

An SME may apply for a grant between £200 to £1,000 to cover a maximum 40 per cent of the total value of their energy efficiency project through the Sustainable Business Partnership CIC.

The minimum grant amount you can apply for is £200 with a total project spend of at least £500

The grant is available to any business, social enterprise or charity that:

  • Has fewer than 250 full time equivalent employees
  • Has a turnover less than £44m
  • Is not owned by a group or company that does not meet the above two criteria

To apply for a grant the SME must also have:

  • A premises in East Sussex (excluding Brighton & Hove) where the energy efficiency project will be installed
  • Received an energy audit to identify energy saving measures; provided through the LoCASE project, or through a similar scheme or a private supplier.

How to apply You can download an application form below.

Download Application Form

To apply for the grant please email your completed application form and supporting documents to info@sustainablebusiness.org.uk.

26. Adur and Worthing small business grants

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.

27. Net Zero Worcestershire 

rant funding available to help SMEs in Worcestershire to implement energy saving initiatives including LED lighting, heating and insulation and renewables.

How much?

Bromsgrove: £1,000 to £10,000

Malvern: £1,000 to £8,000

Redditch: £1,000 to £10,000

Worcester: £1,000 to £5,000 (revenue grants only)

Wychavon: £1,000 to £5,000

Wyre Forest: £1,000 to £10,000

Net Zero Worcestershire grants are awarded on a match-funded basis, meaning the SME will need to provide at least 60 per cent of the total cost of the project.

What can the grant be used for?

The grant can be used to fund a variety of business activities, including, but not limited to:

  • lighting
  • compressors
  • insulation
  • fast-shutting doors
  • renewable technology
  • heat recovery
  • heaters and boilers
  • energy efficiency equipment that leads to process improvements
  • energy management

How to apply Email grants@worcestershire.gov.uk

28. Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) vouchers

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 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.

29. New Anglia Small Grants Scheme 

The New Anglia LEP is awarding grants between £1,000 and £25,000 to entrepreneurs who want to grow their business. These would normally cover up to 20 per cent of your total project costs.

30. Scarborough business start-up grant

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. Sterling Road The North West grant

Sterling Road’s North West Grant gives £1,000 to 25 teams per year.

The grant is focused on founders based in the North West of England, you can apply with any idea but most grants will go to software projects and traditionally overlooked founders.

The application shouldn’t take more than 10-15 minutes to complete and Sterling Road will aim to give applicants a response within 30 days.

32. I-Construct

Haven Gateway Partnership 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.

You get one of the following options:

Funding

  • Nine hours of free 1:1 business mentoring and advice from I-Construct’s industry experts
  • Grant funding between £1,000 and £20,000 to fund 30 per cent of the development and launch of a new product or service

Mentoring

  • In partnership with BRE, the Building Research Establishment. SMEs developing new to the market products and services can access technical and professional expertise to help them to launch, by providing market readiness analysis and introductions to wider industry connections (worth £1,200)

Market readiness

  • The I-Construct Enterprise Readiness events programme is for innovators and entrepreneurs. This free series will help you get from product or service ideation to business launch through over 12 hours of free support

33. Nelson Town Deal grants

The grants are to help manufacturing businesses become more resilient and to help them grow.

There are three priorities for the funding:

1.      Investment in new plant or machinery

2.      Energy efficiency/Carbon reduction

3.       Premises improvements or adaptations

In the first two years of the project (2022/23 and 2023/24) the grant funding can be for up to 50 per cent of eligible project costs. The business would meet the remainder of the cost. The maximum grant is £100,000. The intervention rate will reduce to 20 per cent in the final year of the project (2025/26). The Grants are not retrospective, i.e. any work or item that has already been ordered and/or paid for before your grant application cannot be considered for a grant.

For every £10,000 of grant, the business is expected to create one new full-time job.

In addition to jobs created we are looking for safeguarded Jobs. For every £10,000 of grant the business will need to show that two jobs, which would have been at risk without the funding, have been safeguarded.

34. OxLEP Business

OxLEP offers mentorship and support to businesses, including guidance as to what national grant funding schemes are available.

35. Malvern Hills Tourism Grant Scheme

The aim of the scheme is to help develop the local tourism industry within a number of specific areas to help increase visitor numbers and improve the visitor experience.

Eligible businesses can apply for a 50 per cent match-funded grant.

  • Cultural/Heritage Attractions – Up to £5,000

For Cultural/Heritage Attractions which need repair or restoration and/or towards a feasibility study for improving the visitor experience.

  • Attractions – Up to £2,500

Attractions and event venues can apply for a grant for projects which will help to improve accessibility for visitors with disabilities helping to ensure The Malverns is a visitor destination suitable for all. They can also apply for funding towards projects which help to improve the visitor experience and increase visitor numbers to the district.

  • Sustainable Tourism – Up to £2,500

The grant scheme will allow for more grants to be provided towards projects enabling tourism and hospitality businesses to improve their green credentials across the Malvern Hills district.

  • Festivals and Events – Up to £1,000

Town Centre festival organisers can apply for a grant to assist with festival development activities.

36. Malvern Hills Town Centre Support Scheme Grant

The aim of the scheme is to support investment by independent traders within the five town centres of the Malvern Hills district (Great Malvern, Malvern Link incl. Link Top, Barnards Green, Upton and Tenbury).

Priority will be given to projects that enhance the area, are likely to attract business and where the improvement will be long lasting (e.g., 5 years and more).

Eligible businesses can apply for a 50% match-funded grant of up to £2500 towards one, or a combination, of the following grants:

1.      Shop front Improvements – Undertaking works to improve or refurbish the shop front or internal structural improvements.

2.      Empty Shop Support – Support to bring an empty shop back into commercial use including support for equipment, anything external or internal premises related

3.      Town Centre Boost – An additional £1000 grant is available to traders or community groups to deliver town centre wide projects and promotions to drive new footfall, investment, or sustainability (there is no match funding requirement associated with this grant).

37. Malvern Hills Growth Grant

The aim of the scheme is to support growing businesses based in Malvern Hills district and enable them to make a step change in their development. Growing businesses that have been trading for at least 3 years can apply for a grant of up to £2,500 which must be match-funded, pound for pound (at least), from the business’s own resources. Only capital expenditure on an approved project/investment is eligible.

The scheme is aimed at businesses that are not able to receive support through other European funded schemes (these typically support businesses that predominantly trade with other businesses). Malvern Hills District Council reserves the right to refer the applicant to a more suitable scheme where appropriate.

Only businesses which show specific promise and clearly demonstrate how the award will make a measurable difference will be recommended for the grant.

Funding is limited, applications that demonstrate one or more of the following will be prioritised:

  • Job creation
  • Premises expansion
  • Farm diversification
  • The applicant business is a rural enterprise
  • The applicant business operates in the low carbon economy
  • The grant will be used towards expenditure that supports the business’ environmental sustainability

38. Malvern Hills Upskilling Grant

Malvern Hills District Council is helping local businesses create their workforce of the future through the Upskilling Grant Scheme. We will provide funding of up to £1,500 to help with the business cost of training new staff (i.e. apprenticeships, trainee or other).

In order to qualify the business must:

  • Be based in the Malvern Hills district postcode area.
  • Employ fewer than 250 people.
  • Pay at least the Minimum Wage to the trainee for a post of at least 20 hrs a week including training leading to a recognised qualification.
  • The apprentice/ trainee must have started their training after 1 October 2022 and have at least a 12-month signed employment contract.

You will also need to provide the following evidence:

1.      Proof of enrolment on a training course signed by the employer and training referrer/provider organisation

2.      Copy of the contract of employment

3.      Signed Grant Agreement between employer and Malvern Hills District Council

4.      Any additional evidence requested by Malvern Hills District Council

If you would like to discuss this grant, email ecodev@malvernhills.gov.uk or call 01684 862185

39. East Sussex Invest 8 (ESI8)

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.

40. Locate East Sussex

Locate East Sussex provides support and access to funding for local businesses to promote growth, including grants between £10,000 and £25,000.

41. Elevate Worcestershire growth grant

Established small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) based in Worcestershire that have accessed Elevate Worcestershire Growth Support, can access between £2,500 and £10,000 in grant funding to fund growth projects.

The grant scheme is a dedicated initiative aimed at empowering businesses in Worcestershire to take its growth to the next level. Whether you are looking to expand your operations, invest in cutting edge technology, improve your marketing strategy, or expand into new markets, you can apply for the Elevate Worcestershire Grant.

Grants are awarded on a competitive and match-funded basis, meaning the SME will need to provide at least 60 per cent of the total cost of the project. Amounts available is subject to change.

42. Worcester City Council business start-up grant

Businesses at the start-up stage or which have been trading for less than 12 months can apply for a grant of up to £500, if working from home, or £1,000, if in commercial premises, towards ‘one-off’ costs such as building works, fixtures and fittings, equipment, new website or software to help set up.  The grant must be matched funded pound for pound from the business’s own resources.

The new business must be based in Worcester.

Businesses applying for the Worcester City Council start-up grant will be expected to have received business start-up advice (ideally through the Enterprising Worcestershire programme) and must provide a business plan.

This project is funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.  The Business Start-up Grant is part of Worcester City Council’s allocation of £2.96m.

For further information and to request an application pack, contact the Worcester City Council Economic Development team either by email economy@worcester.gov.uk or call 01905 722106.

In addition, businesses operating from retail premises might be eligible for the Retail Enhancement Grant. Businesses moving into an empty unit can apply for a grant of up to £12,000 towards the cost of refurbishment.  For those already in a retail unit, there is a grant of up to £6,000 for improvements to the internal appearance, frontage or accessibility. 

43. Scarborough expansion grants

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

Eligibility

  • 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

44. Warwickshire County Council Growth Fund – Small Capital Grants

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.

45. Premises Improvement Grants, Pendle

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.

46. 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
  • Infrastructure
  • Skills and training

Apply using the link above.

47. Independent Retailer Grant

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.

48. Repair Grants for Heritage at Risk

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.

49. Small Business Grant Scheme, Crawley

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.

50. Enterprising Worcestershire Start-Up Grant

Funding from £1,000 to £5,000 is now available for Small to Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) businesses based in Malvern Hills district that have been trading for less than 36 months.  

Grants are awarded on a match-funded basis, meaning the SME will need to provide at least 60 per cent of the total cost of the project.  

51. Reigate and Banstead Business Support Grant

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.

52. Get Growing 2, Hertfordshire 

Hertfordshire Growth Hub’s Get Growing 2 service supports local businesses that are ready to grow again. It is fully funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and offers a package of tailored support to businesses, helping them to become more profitable, competitive and grow.

To be eligible for this support you must:

  • Be an established SME (including third sector organisations, social enterprises, and trading charities) in Hertfordshire
  • Have five or more full-time equivalent employees
  • Be able to demonstrate potential for growth
  • Or be able to demonstrate potential for growth following support to stabilise the business and help minimise the impact of Covid-19

Eligible businesses are supported by an experienced growth account manager. They will work closely together reviewing all aspects of the business, looking at the challenges and opportunities that exist to produce a realistic growth plan for the business. Areas where additional support will benefit the business are also identified, as well as providing access to all the benefits that our website has to offer, including on-demand videos and live webinars.

For more information, please email enquiries@hertsgrowthhub.com

53. DIT Internalisation Fund

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. You must be funding 40 or 50 per cent of the total cost of the project yourself.

• 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

54. Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) grants scheme

The CITB has grants and funding schemes available throughout England.

55. WM SME Grant Programme

The West Midlands Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) Grant Programme (WMGP) has launched, and funding round 2 is now open.

To be considered for this grant, you must submit your application form before May 31, 2023.

Funding round 3 will open on June 1, 2023.

This grant is for:

  • Start-up SMEs based in the West Midlands Region (grants of £2,500 to £7,500 are available)
  • Existing SMEs based in the West Midlands Region (grants of £5,000 to £100,000 are available)

We expect most applications to apply for an average grant of between £10,000 to £20,000, and only in exceptional circumstances will grants of up to £100,000 be awarded. This is to make sure that the limited WMGP budget is given to as many businesses as possible.

Businesses from all sectors are eligible for consideration, except for:

  • Charities
  • Those of a political or religious persuasion
  • Activities involving pornography or clairvoyance
  • Any business activity that is illegal or deemed unsuitable for public support by Birmingham City Council

Training and skills development are also ineligible because provisions for these activities will be supported through different funding routes.

Business projects can be considered for:

  • New business start-ups
  • Expanding and growing existing businesses
  • Inward investment
  • Developing new markets opportunities
  • Innovation, including new product development
  • Capital investment
  • An increase in the productive capacity of new and existing premises through new property builds, refurbishment and extensions
  • Digital projects

To support your application, the Growth Hub advisor will need to complete a free business advisor diagnostic.

When we receive your application, your details will be shared with the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) business advisor to arrange a free business diagnostic appointment.

All the documents needed to apply for this grant are available. It’s strongly recommended that you check the eligibility criteria to make sure that you qualify for consideration before approaching a business advisor and completing a grant application.

You can download the WMGP eligibility criteria and other WMGP documents.

If you want to receive the WMGP application, you can email wmgp@birmingham.gov.uk.

The guidance provided within the downloads will help you to complete the application form. It is important that you make sure that you follow the guidance closely to prevent delays with your application.

56. Tees Valley Apprenticeship Support Grant

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
  • Logistics
  • Health and Biologics
  • Digital and Creative
  • Business and Professional Services
  • Construction
  • Health Care
  • Culture and Leisure
  • Education

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

57. North of Tyne Growth Fund

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.

58. Net Zero Grant Programme, Birmingham

The Net Zero Grant Programme (NZGP) has launched, and funding round 2 is now open, so submit your application form before the closing date of May 31, 2023 to be considered (next round will open on June 1, 2023).

NZGP is open to Small to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) from all sectors which are based within, or relocating into, the Birmingham City Council local authority area.

Prior to applying for NZGP, all applicants must have undertaken a free energy audit/diagnostic/on-site carbon reduction survey prior to submission of an application. Please note that we are currently awaiting confirmation of the energy diagnostic survey provider and will update this webpage with contact details as soon as they are available.

Businesses from all sectors are eligible for consideration, except for charities, those of a political or religious persuasion, activities involving pornography or clairvoyance and any business activity that is illegal or deemed as unsuitable for public support by Birmingham City Council.

Training and skills development are also ineligible as provision for these activities will be supported via alternative funding routes.

59. Manufacturing Growth Programme

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). Projects must be completed, claimed and paid for within four months of grant confirmation.

60. Mansfield business start-up grant

The Business Start-Up Grant (up to £2,500) is available to individuals looking to start a business in the Mansfield district or have been trading for less than six months. The grant can be used towards start-up costs including the purchase of machinery and equipment, business stationery and marketing costs such as advertising and web design. The maximum £2,500 grant can cover up to 50 per cent of the total eligible cost of the project (excluding VAT).

What the grant can be used for

  • Capital assets such as plant, equipment or machinery – the grant will not contribute towards costs associated with leased or rented equipment (vehicles, stock and consumables are excluded)
  • Office equipment and furniture including purchase of computer systems
  • Shop fittings and refurbishment
  • Security equipment and installation
  • Business stationery
  • Advertising and other marketing costs including web design
  • The grant will only contribute towards 12 months of on-going costs, e.g. web hosting, licences, etc

61. Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund

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)

62. Mansfield Business Growth Grant

The Mansfield Business Growth Grant (up to £2,500) is available to established businesses based in the Mansfield district and which produce a viable growth plan that demonstrates potential job creation. Businesses can use this grant for support in developing a Growth Plan and for costs involved in its implementation.

The spirit of the grant is the need for support to overcome barriers to growth. Applicants will be required to demonstrate that there is a need for this support to enable their business to grow.

The maximum £2,500 grant can cover up to 50 per cent of the total eligible cost of the project (excluding VAT).

What the grant can be used for

  • Land and buildings, including refurbishment
  • Plant, machinery and equipment costs – the grant will not contribute towards costs associated with leased or rented equipment (vehicles, stock and consumables are excluded)
  • Costs relating to research and development work e.g. product development, including production of proto types and research of new marketing opportunities
  • Costs associated with staff training, to improve skill levels, in order to introduce the proposed developments into the business
  • The grant will only contribute towards 12 months of on-going costs, e.g. web hosting, licences, etc

63. Buckingham Business First Grants and Vouchers

Buckinghamshire have a plethora of options for grants for manufacturing, growth, innovation and other areas. Check Buckinghamshire Business First to see what’s available.

64. Mansfield Shop Front Improvements

The Shop Front Improvements Grant (up to £2,500) is for independent retailers, already occupying premises in the Mansfield district, which want to make alterations or repairs to their shop front to enhance its appearance. A maximum £2,500 grant is available to cover up to 50 per cent of the total cost of the project, excluding VAT

What the grant can be used for

  • Replacement shopfront, windows and doors
  • Reinstatement of traditionally styled shop fronts, sash windows and doors
  • Painting of existing shop fronts and upper floors (excluding render)
  • Replacement gutter and downpipes
  • Replacement signage
  • Costs associated with planning permission and building regulations fees
  • Architects fees

65. Mansfield Vacant Shops Grant

The Vacant Shops Grant (up to £2,500) is open to independent retailers taking occupation of a vacant retail property in the Mansfield district. It’s hoped that the grant will help reduce vagrancy rates of shops across the district by encouraging more retailers, making areas for attractive to shoppers and increasing footfall. The maximum £2,500 grant can cover up to 50 per cent of the total eligible cost of the project, excluding VAT.

What the grant can cover

  • Improvements to premises
  • Fixtures and fittings
  • Equipment and furniture (vehicles, stock and consumables are excluded)
  • Up to two months rental payments
  • Security equipment and installation
  • Business stationery
  • Advertising and other marketing costs, including web design
  • The grant will only contribute towards 12 months of ongoing costs, e.g., web hosting, licences

Eligible costs include improvements to premises, fixtures and fittings, rental payments, insurance premiums, advertising and marketing costs.

66. Made Smarter, West of England 

Fully funded bespoke assessment, delivered by the National Composites Centre, enabling SMEs to see the benefits industrial digital technologies can offer their business.

Eligible businesses will be able to access match funded grants for SMEs to invest in digital technology hardware or software and/or specialist advice to implement projects.

Eligible businesses will be able to access leadership and management training, and student internships, delivered by the University of the West of England, to ready your workforce for a digital future.

Eligibility

  • You are a manufacturing organisation
  • You are a small and medium-sized organisation and have fewer than 250 employees
  • You are based in the West of England (Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol or South Gloucestershire)
  • You are able to provide funding towards financial and skills support measures

Businesses that are likely to get the most value out of this programme will have a minimum of two employees.

67. Hull Business Energy Efficiency Scheme

You can receive funding of up to £15,000 towards replacing existing inefficient systems and equipment within your business, and installation of new smart systems to help you save energy.

As well as being a small business, you must agree to have an on-site energy assessment and attend at least one workshop or networking event to be eligible.

68. Big House Elevator Grant

Nottingham Trent University Big House programme offers creative and digital SMEs based in the Nottingham or Derby area a grant worth up to £3,000 to be spent on freelance support, whether it’s web developers, software developers, product designers, marketing support or legal expertise.

Minimum total project cost: £2,500

Minimum grant: £1,000

Maximum grant: £3,000

Maximum total project cost: no maximum project cost but the maximum grant awarded will only ever be £3,000.

69. Eden Tourism Grants

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.

70. Bucks Rural Business Grant

The Bucks Rural Business Grant is a new programme funded through the Defra Rural England Prosperity Fund that provides investment for micro and small enterprises in rural areas, including for net zero infrastructure and farm business diversification.

  • Individual grant amounts will be from £2,500 to £300,000
  • Grants will initially be offered at 40% of the total eligible project value
  • Projects will need to be approved before expenditure can be incurred

This is a two-year scheme and projects will need to be completed, having evidenced spend and claimed funding awarded, by March 2025.

Just over £1.8 million has been allocated across the two-year programme to help Buckinghamshire’s rural businesses with building costs and equipment.

Typical projects eligible for funding include, but are not limited to:

  • farm diversification
  • tourism initiatives
  • food and drink processing
  • forestry
  • other rural enterprises

To apply, email William.Dallimore@ngagesolutions.co.uk or call 01494 927167 / 07802 411040

71. Business Transition to Net Zero Grant, New Anglia

Business Transition to Net Zero Grant is aimed at businesses in Norfolk and Suffolk with ambitions to reduce their carbon footprint and increase productivity.

Grants between £25,000 and £100,000 are available, with a maximum intervention rate of 20 per cent of the cost of the development. To be awarded the minimum of £25,000, you must show total project costs of at least £125,000.

The scheme will fund capital developments, rather than LED lighting or the supply or installation of solar panels. Eligible schemes will include those which improve productivity for the business and supply chain and make use of clean and/or renewable energy production and the recycling of goods and materials.

You will be taken though a consultancy to develop a decarbonisation plan, if you don’t have one already, and these will include aspirations for energy efficiency, water efficiency, waste reduction, and a reduced impact on the natural environment.

To be eligible for grant funding, you must meet the following essential criteria:

• Employ fewer than 250 people and have a turnover of less than EUR 50m or annual balance sheet less than EUR 43m
• Be a trading enterprise and have at least two years’ worth of accounts
• Be based in Norfolk or Suffolk
• Be ready to invest or expand in the local area
• Must not have been a company ‘in difficulty’ on December 31, 2019
• Must not be subject to pending striking off or insolvency action
• Your business does not fall into one of the following sectors: primary agriculture (including processing and marketing of agricultural products), horticulture, fisheries, aquaculture, forestry, coal, steel, shipbuilding, care, education, retail, hospitality or accommodation.

The grant is for capital developments, the following are examples of what they cannot fund:

• Core running or staff costs (revenue costs)
• Solar panel supply and/or installations
• Premises costs
• LED lighting
• Vehicles (energy efficient or fossil fuel)
• Intangible Assets – IP, Patents, Trademarks, Trade Names
• Any costs incurred before a grant offer is made
• Items not directly needed to deliver the proposed work
• The replacement of items and consumables including laptops and software
• Website creation
• WMS/CRM platforms or equivalent
• Land purchase
• VAT, unless this cannot be recovered
• Any projects that can be funded from other LEP grant schemes
• Repeat applications, including from linked companies

To apply, contact New Anglia Growth Hub via 

72. Funding for farmers and land managers

This is a page detailing several grants and funding opportunities for farmers and land managers.

Click on the link above to find out more about this grant and others for farmers and land managers.

73. Carbon Reduction Grant

If you have a small or medium-sized business in Greater Manchester, you may be eligible for the Energy Efficiency Grant which is between £2,000 and £25,000 (before VAT), with grant funding covering 50 per cent of the costs of your energy efficiency improvements. The maximum grant value awarded is £12,500.

The grants are available for a limited time on a first-come-first-served basis and can go towards, for example:

  • A new LED lighting system for your premises
  • Heating equipment upgrades
  • Replacement drives or motors
  • Process efficiency investments

Energy Efficiency Grants are available to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Greater Manchester subject to business and project eligibility and the scale of CO2e savings expected from the project.

Complete the short form on the website to kick off your application. 

74. Low Carbon Opportunities Programme, Worcestershire

This programme offers free renewable energy/low carbon innovation assessments along with grants to SMEs in Worcestershire (and grants only to SMEs in Shropshire). SMEs will be encouraged and enabled to adopt lower carbon technologies – or the grant can help businesses in the clean innovation or those developing low carbon solutions alongside their normal business operations.

Some sectors such as primary agriculture and finance are not eligible.

75. Lancashire Manufacturing Growth Fund

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 £3,000. It’ll fund 30 per cent of your project. Again, those projects that lead to job creation and increased productivity are most desirable.

76. Resilience and Innovation Grant

Up to 50 per cent match-funded grants of between £5,000 and £50,000 for trading small businesses in Southeast Midlands. Businesses must be looking to strengthen their business performance and resilience in response to cost-of-living challenges; increase innovation levels: and enhance sustainability as part of the transition towards a net-zero economy.

The closing date for the second round of grants closes at 5pm, 15 November 2023.

The total Resilience and Innovation grant fund allocation is £1.9 million.

77. Scarborough Business Development Grant Scheme

Grants of between £1,000 to £5,000 to help new start-up and established SMEs looking to grow or relocate to the Borough of Scarborough.

Any grant will be cover up to 50 per cent of eligible project costs.

Upcoming application deadlines are 24 November 2023 and 23 February 2024.

78. Ad:venture Growth Grant

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.

79. Boiler Upgrade Scheme

With this scheme, you can get a grant to cover part of the cost of replacing fossil fuel heating systems with a heat pump or biomass boiler throughout England.

You’re eligible if:

  • Own the property you’re applying for (including if it’s a business, a second home or a property you rent out to tenants)
  • Have installed your new heating system on or after April 1, 2022
  • Be replacing fossil fuel heating systems (such as oil, gas or electric)

You’re still eligible if you’ve already had funding to make your property more energy efficient, for example by insulating it.

80. Green entrepreneurs fund, Derbyshire

This is a grant fund to help businesses, organisations communities and individuals interested in developing skills in the green economy and investing in green energy and carbon reduction schemes.

The green entrepreneurs fund, which is being run in collaboration with the University of Derby, is made up of three funding streams:

 Green entrepreneurs small grant fund

Grants of between £6,000 to £20,000 are available for proposals for alternative energy, clean fuel and carbon reduction projects.

To be eligible, projects must have a minimum spend of £15,000 and there is a maximum intervention rate of 40 per cent. A total of £500,000 has been set aside for this fund.

Green entrepreneurs demonstrator grant fund

£1.2m has been earmarked for a small number of high-quality, larger scale carbon-cutting projects in Derbyshire. This fund is open to larger scale projects that are designed to encourage solutions beyond the mainstream of current thinking.

The maximum grant available through this fund is £200,000.

Green entrepreneurs scholarship fund

This fund will support individuals to retrain with skills to enable them to enter the field of low carbon, green energy. Individuals can access up to £1,500 for training costs. £100,000 has been set aside for this fund.

The scholarship grants will allow individuals to study around their existing responsibilities. It will enable them to obtain the skills and qualifications they need to change their career or progress in employment. The study can take place either online or face to face or a combination of both.

Applicants are encouraged to contact the careers service and discuss their plans before applying for a green entrepreneur programme scholarship grant.

81. Conservation grant scheme, Howardian Hills

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.

82. Workplace Travel Service: Grants

Benefit from up to £25,000 financial support to help meet the costs of workplace travel improvements such as electric vehicle charge points, cycle parking, showers, pool bikes, car sharing and car parking management.

You’re eligible if your business is inside the Nottingham City boundary. Take a look on the webpage for what the grant will and won’t support.

83. The Growth Fund

The Growth Fund is a £4.5m programme of investment part-funded by ERDF that supports SME growth in Gateshead, South Tyneside or Sunderland. 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.

84. 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.

85. Growth Deal funding, Black Country

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.

86. Big House graduate talent grant

If you are a creative and digital SME based in the Nottinghamshire or Derby area, Nottingham Trent University can offer funding to help you recruit NTU graduates with a 20 per cent salary contribution for up to five months of a graduate placement.

To find out more about hiring a graduate and receiving a grant for your business, get in touch with the team at bighouse@ntu.ac.uk.

87. Growing Hull & East Yorkshire Business Investment Grants

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.

88. The Smart Concept Fund, Wolverhampton

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

89. West Sussex Retail improvement grant scheme

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.

Requirements

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.

90. Invest to Grow, Derbyshire

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
  • Construction
  • Logistics
  • Engineering
  • Technology
  • Creative industries
  • Low carbon

91. B&CE, construction industry

Does your organisation support people with education and training in construction? Good news. You may be eligible for a corporate grant from the B&CE Charitable Trust.

Grants are available for projects that either promote careers in the construction industry or lead to accredited qualifications.

We encourage applications from not-for-profit organisations, excluding public sector. However, if you’re unsure, please get in touch.

If you’d like to find out more about our grants for organisations or make an application, please get in touch – email us at charitabletrust@bandce.co.uk.

We also provide grants to help individuals get back into construction or to retrain in another skill if there’s an occupational health requirement. Find out how to apply for grants for individuals for education or training.

92. Salford Skills for Business Apprenticeship Fund

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.

93. ECITB Engineering Training Grants

Engineering training grants are funded by the industrial training levy and used to meet the needs of employers and the wider industry.

Grants that are paid employers to subsidise training costs for their workforce. The ECITB also pays grants to training providers who provide the training, tests and qualifications that industry requires.

The ECITB works with employers to identify training needs and to drive up skill levels across the industry. Eligible employers can access a wide range of engineering training grants to support the training they require.

Some grant money is invested in strategic projects that benefit the wider industry, for instance a project to recruit more apprentices to our graduate retention programme for the oil and gas industry, which has helped to secure graduates skills during the economic downturn.

Grant support is available for a range of training activities. The ECITB prioritises funding for training that improves the productivity and safety of the engineering construction workforce and also training that develops skills that are transferrable across industry.

These areas of training include:

  • New entrant training – apprenticeships, graduate development and workers transferring across industry sectors.
  • Craft/technician skills (e.g. Mechanical Joint Integrity)
  • Safety training (excluding the CCNSG safety passport)
  • Leadership, management and supervisory development.
  • Competence assurance (e.g. vocational qualifications and technical tests)
  • Contractual requirement (e.g. works access and plant operations)
  • Project management, project controls and commercial awareness
  • Design training (e.g. CAD and BIM)

Some training, such as safety passports required to gain access to sites and to ensure a worker can travel overseas, is excluded from grant support. This includes:

All in-scope engineering construction companies are eligible for support from engineering training grants, whether they pay the training levy or not. The levy contribution or size of a company has no bearing on the decision to award a grant. Small and medium-sized companies may be exempt from levy payments but are eligible to receive training grants.

  • The ECITB can also award grants to employers, training providers, individuals and other institutions that are not in-scope but are part of the engineering construction industry.
  • The ECITB must agree to fund training before the activity takes place.
  • If an employer does not seek a commitment for funding beforehand there is a risk the grant will not be paid.
  • Apply for grant funding either via an ECITB Approved Training Provider or directly through the ECITB’s online member services portal (MSP). If you are not already a registered MSP user contact msphelp@ecitb.org.uk
  • Employers should make their claim for grant funding as soon as possible after the training has taken place.

For further information please see the ECITB’s grant policy here.

94. Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE)

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.

95. Accelerated Business Growth Grant Scheme, Newport

The City of Newport Accelerated Growth Grants Programme comprises grants valued between £25,000-£75,000, available for businesses, worth up to 50 per cent of total expenditure, towards capital investment activity which either allows a well-established, new to the region, business to set up premises in Newport; or allows an existing Newport-based business to accelerate its growth ambitions.

If you think you will be making an eligible investment in the next six weeks, that you can demonstrate will lead to business growth and further job creation, please provide an outline of your project to business.services@newport.gov.uk

96. Website Development Grant, Swansea

This is a grant with the objective of adopting a new technology through online/website development. The grant can fund costs relating to the creation of a business website for the first time or enhancement to an existing site.

The maximum grant available is £1,500. The grant will require applicants to provide 50% of costs in match funding. All applicants will be required to provide a business plan/summary and a 12-month cash flow forecast.

For further details and to request an application form, please email growthgrant@swansea.gov.uk.

97. Caerphilly Business Start-Up grant

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
  • Marketing
  • Building works to business premises
  • Training

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.

98. Carbon Reduction Grant, Swansea

This is a grant with the objective of enabling businesses in Swansea to work towards net zero carbon. The grant can fund costs including renewable energy generation, energy conservation measures and changes to manufacturing processes which result in carbon reduction; applicants must be able to calculate their forecast carbon savings.

The maximum grant available is £10,000. The grant will require applicants to provide 50 per cent of costs in match funding. All applicants will be required to provide a business plan/summary and 12-month cash flow forecast.

For further details and to request an application form, please email growthgrant@swansea.gov.uk.

99. Caerphilly Enterprise Fund

The Caerphilly enterprise fund can support new and established businesses and community enterprises throughout the County Borough.

The fund can cover revenue costs and the maximum grant is £2,000 at an intervention rate of 50 per cent.

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.

100. Supplier Development Grant, Swansea

This is a grant with the objective of providing a new service upon undertaking training to gain a sector recognised accreditation. This will aid businesses in Swansea wishing to bid for public sector and/or larger scale contracts.

The maximum grant available is £1,000. The grant will require applicants to provide 50 per cent of costs in match funding. All applicants will be required to provide a business summary and 12-month cash flow forecast.

For further details and to request an application form, please email developmentgrant@swansea.gov.uk

101. 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 of up to £750 for the first 12 months to help cover their wages plus up to £1,000 for any job-related training. An additional £1,000 (up to £250 per quarter) is available if you recruit a disabled person or a young person aged 18-24. If you recruit a young disabled person an additional £2,000 (£500 per quarter) is available. The scheme will cover those who are either on formal notice of redundancy; or those who have been made redundant in the past 12 months; or someone who will become unemployed in the next 12 months for reasons other than redundancy.

102. Placemaking grants, Swansea

Grants of up to £30,000 are available for improving small commercial and district shopping centres across the city and county of Swansea which are outside the city centre (subject to subsidy control rules).

All schemes will need to be completed by 30 November 2024.

All schemes will require at least 30 per cent of the total project costs to be match funded from another source.

The schemes considered will focus on the built environment and include interventions such as the refurbishment and repurposing of empty and derelict buildings, improving biodiversity through green infrastructure, and improvements to public spaces.

The purpose of the investment is to boost the variety of services on offer in towns; create flexible working and living space; celebrate and preserve local heritage so that it is safeguarded for future generations; and increase access to services and leisure.

103. Enterprising Communities – ARFOR Programme Support Fund

Grants are available to commercial, social, cooperative enterprises and community enterprises that aim to preserve and increase local prosperity in areas considered strongholds of the Welsh language, namely Anglesey, Gwynedd, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire (the ARFOR region).

Grants of £5,000 to £75,000 are available, to fund up to 70 per cent of total project costs. All projects must be completed by December 31, 2024. Applicants are required to provide at least 30 per cent of their total project costs from other sources.

Supported projects and activities will contribute to the following programme objectives:

  • Create opportunities for young people and families (<35 years old) to stay in or return to their indigenous communities – supporting them to succeed locally by engaging in enterprise or developing a career and ensuring a livelihood that fulfils their aspirations.
  • Create enterprising communities within Welsh-speaking areas – by supporting commercial and community enterprises that aim to preserve and increase local wealth by taking advantage of the identity and unique qualities of their areas.
  • Maximise the benefit of collaborative activity – by establishing a mindset of learning by doing and continuous improvement, learning from an activity within individual areas and then extending it, but tailoring it to local circumstances.
  • Strengthen the identity of communities with a high density of Welsh speakers – by supporting the use and visibility of the Welsh language, encouraging a sense of place and local loyalty, together with increasing awareness of what is common across the region.

Applications may be made at any time.

Application details and further information can be found on the websites of the four county councils comprising the ARFOR region, and from the ARFOR programme website.

104. UK Steel Grant, Swansea

A grant scheme in partnership with UK Steel Enterprise Ltd offering up to £1,000 for new start-ups or businesses which are under two years old in the Swansea Council area. However, the grant will only cover 50 per cent of the eligible project costs and the minimum grant payable is £250. 

Grant funding covers items such as equipment, qualifications, accountancy, software, web development and tools.

The funding pot is limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. For further details, please contact startupgrant@swansea.gov.uk.

105. ISO Grant Scheme, Gwynedd County

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.

106. Property enhancement development grant (PEDG), Swansea

This is a grant scheme that has been established to target derelict or vacant properties in the Swansea area to bring them back into beneficial use and to insure good quality building and shop front enhancements.

The amount of any financial support offered via the PEDG grants to applicants is a maximum of 40 per cent and will be assessed on an individual case by case basis, taking account of the economic and environmental benefits which the project provides. To qualify for the grant the completed scheme must accommodate new jobs.

Financial support through the PEDG grants will normally be the minimum contribution required to bring the project forward. Items that are eligible for a grant include:

  • Building facades
  • Roofs
  • Shop fronts
  • Floors
  • Ceilings
  • Staircases
  • Rewiring
  • Signage

Ineligible items include fixtures and fittings, areas not visible to the public, major structural repairs and normal maintenance. For further information email business@swansea.gov.uk.

107. Conwy business support grant

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)

  • Manufacturing
  • Retail/wholesale
  • Agricultural (if diversifying into an additional commercial or social enterprise)
  • Tourism
  • Services

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 business@conwy.gov.uk

108. Start-up Business Grants, Newport City

Grants of up to £2,500 are available outside the city centre and up to £5,000 for city centre businesses – up to a maximum 50 per cent of net costs. 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

109. Business Growth Grant, Swansea

This is a grant with the objective of supporting business growth through introduction of a new product or service in the Swansea area. The grant can fund costs including but not limited to equipment, IT systems and machinery. 

The maximum grant available is £50,000 based at an upper limit of £5,000 per job created and/or safeguarded. Jobs created and/or safeguarded, the new product or service and the proposed spend must all be directly linked. All applicants will be required to provide a business plan/summary and a 12-month cash flow forecast.

For further details and to request an application form, please email growthgrant@swansea.gov.uk.

110. Accelerated Growth Programme

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.

111. Neath Port Talbot start-up grant

Business grants are available to assist new business start-ups in the Neath Port Talbot area only when they do not meet the eligibility criteria for other grant sources, such as Welsh government. Funding is available to businesses operating on both a full-time and part-time basis. Part-time businesses must be operational for at least 16 hours per week. Funds are discretionary and applications considered on a case-by-case basis.

For more information, please email spfbusiness@npt.gov.uk

112. Cardiff Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Part of the cost of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership is funded by a grant from Innovate UK or other government co-funders that you apply for in a competitive bid for submissions (there is a success rate for applications of around 90%). The remainder of the project cost is met through a cash payment by your organisation.

Project costs are variable, but can typically be around £80,000 –  £100,000 per project year. For Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises the grant rate is 67% of the project cost; for large companies 50%; and for third sector organisations the grant rate is 75%.

The cost of a KTP is comparable to employing a well-qualified graduate, but includes so much more:

  • Access to the exceptional resources of the university
  • A dedicated team to deliver a strategic project
  • Expert academic input bringing a breadth and depth of knowledge to support the graduate and the project
  • The input of a highly experienced Knowledge Transfer Adviser who is there at every stage to support and help the project succeed
  • The partnership introduces new capabilities and embeds knowledge
  • The risk of developing the innovation project is shared with the government co-funders
  • The wider support and opportunities offered by links to Innovate UK KTN.

To apply for a Knowledge Transfer Partnership companies should:

  • Be UK registered and of sufficient size to support the project.
  • Have the financial capacity to make the required contribution to the 
cost of running a Knowledge Transfer Partnership
  • Be aware that Knowledge Transfer Partnerships can have a long-term legacy that can be measured over five years, as well as shorter term impact.
  • Be able to show that their project demonstrates Impact, Innovation, Challenge and Cohesiveness

Find out more about the eligibility criteria for KTP here.

In the first instance, you should talk to a Knowledge Transfer Adviser who can answer all your questions about Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, checking the feasibility of your idea and its suitability for funding. Advisers can then help find an academic partner and draw up a grant application with you.

Locate and contact your local Knowledge Transfer Adviser on this map of KTA locations or from the list here.

113. Swansea pre-start grant

This is a grant with the objective of supporting start-up businesses in the Swansea area. The grant is available to pre-start businesses only and can fund costs including but not limited to equipment, training, accreditation and marketing. 

The maximum grant available is £10,000. The fund offers up to 95 per cent of the project costs for the first £1,000 of expenditure and 50 per cent for expenditure between £1,000 – £10,000.  All applicants will be required to provide a business plan and a 12-month cash flow forecast.

For further details and to request an application form, please email startupgrant@swansea.gov.uk.

114. Wales Tourism Investment Fund (WTIF)

The Welsh Government, in partnership with the Development Bank of Wales, has launched a new £50m Wales Tourism Investment Fund (WTIF), which brings together both commercial and grant funding into one combined package of financial support.

The new fund will provide patient capital to tourism businesses of between £100,000 and £5 million for qualifying projects
Repayment term is between 10-15 years, and can include seasonality payment breaks.

Cash can be used either to upgrade existing, or create new, high quality assets in the tourism sector.

How to apply

The fund includes a two stage application process. The first stage includes an expression of interest form and, if successful at this stage, the business will then be invited to make a full application.

Please email WTIF@gov.wales or call 0845 010 8020 for more information.

115. Transforming Towns Place Making Grant, Ceredigion and Powys

Ceredigion County Council has secured funding alongside Powys County Council from the Welsh Governments’ Transforming Towns Programme to help support capital investment to regenerate a number of our towns across Mid Wales.

The Transforming Towns Place Making Grant offers support for a wide range of projects, from green infrastructure developments to internal and external commercial and residential improvements for business owners.

Potential projects will need to satisfy eligibility criteria which will include demonstrating clear links to a current Town Place Plan or Town Centre Strategy. Also, potential projects will need to satisfy the Transforming Towns Place Making Grant Framework criteria.

Applicants can discuss potential projects with their local project officer who can advise whether the project could be eligible and help with the expression of interest process.
The grant will run for three years commencing 01/04/22, with projects needing to complete by 01/03/25.

The scheme is open to private businesses, including developers, third sector businesses, and the public sector. It is not available to private individuals.

116. Community Innovation Denbighshire

Innovators and entrepreneurs with sustainable project ideas are being urged to apply for grants that will drive post-Covid economic recovery in Denbighshire.

Led by Cadwyn Clwyd and Denbighshire Voluntary Services Council (DVSC), the £600,000 Community Innovation Denbighshire project will focus on encouraging micro firms, community groups and social enterprises in rural and urban areas to put forward proposals that will deliver regional and environmental benefits.

Supported by Denbighshire County Council and part-funded by the UK Government through the £220m UK Community Renewal Fund, support is available for 25 organisations or individuals who can apply for a £5,000 grant they will match-fund to trial new products, systems, and services.

For more information, email admin@cadwynclwyd.co.uk or call 01490 340500.

Business grants Scotland

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.

117. Scottish Growth Scheme

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.

118. Scottish Venture Fund

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.

119. National Lottery Open Fund for Organisations

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 organisations to do creative activity such as a specific project or production, a programme of creative work or a period of research and development.
  • The fund is open all year round, with no deadlines and can support projects that last up to 18 months

120. Young EDGE

Young EDGE is a competition aimed at entrepreneurs in Scotland aged between 18-30 with a cash grant prize of up to £15,000.

The Scottish Edge Young competition is aimed at companies run by those aged between 18 and 30.

121. Low Carbon Manufacturing Challenge Fund

Paused for new enquiries

Are you looking to grow your Scottish manufacturing company by developing low carbon products, processes or services? The LCMCF supports projects that will speed up the transition to a low carbon economy in the manufacturing industry. Grants with a minimum value of £150,000 are available.

Your idea can include, but is not limited to:

  • The development of a new product, service or technology that will reduce emissions, energy consumption, waste production and decrease the use of raw materials in the manufacture, and/or end use, of the existing alternative
  • The development of new business models based on the principles of a circular economy. Through circular supplies, resource recovery, product life extension or use of sharing platforms, for example

Funding will be available from May 19 2022 until March 31 2026.

122. CAN DO Innovation Green Heat Feasibility Call

The Green Heat Innovation Support Programme is looking for innovative ways to deliver a decarbonised heat supply chain.

We’re looking for new products or processes that can improve the thermal performance of heated buildings at a price which is affordable to consumers. Solutions can be new or retrofitted, as long as they aim to improve heat sustainability in domestic and commercial buildings.

Funded by Scottish Government, and managed by Scottish Enterprise as a national Scotland CAN DO innovation challenge call, it’s open to any eligible company in Scotland.

Grant support for 100 per cent of the eligible project costs is available. This will allow companies to undertake detailed analysis, design, and assessment of the technical and commercial feasibility of their proposed solution over a period of three to four months. The project submission deadline is 22 December 2023.

Grants between £30,000 and £50,000 are available for companies in Scotland. The size of grant is based on the actual cost to the company. Each application is assessed according to the requirements provided in the challenge details.

Deadline for applications is 12pm on July 7 2023.

To apply, download and complete an application form on the website linked above. Send the completed form to enquiries@scotent.co.uk by the deadline.

123. Regional Selective Assistance funding

RSA is a discretionary grant aimed at encouraging capital investment and job creation in Assisted Areas of Scotland, classified as Tiers 2 and 3. The grant is available for businesses who want to develop a project in these areas.

Depending on the location of your project and the size of your business, different levels of RSA are available. 

We can typically support up to 35 per cent of the eligible costs for a small/medium sized enterprise (SME) and 15 per cent of the eligible costs for a large enterprise.

Projects must last between six and 36 months, and the minimum grant considered is £100,000.

To apply, fill in a form on the website linked above and the team will review and send feedback on your project proposal.

124. International Events Funding Programme

Through this programme of investment, the EventScotland team fund major, world-class events which are raising the profile of Scotland’s Perfect Stage around the world.

They support events though this programme in a number of ways: working in partnership with local authorities and governing bodies on bids to secure major international properties for Scotland; communicating directly with event organisers for annual events where they have an established relationship, and; actively looking for new and existing events to bring to Scotland for the first time.

If you would like to discuss any opportunities further, please contact through the link above.

Useful link: – Looking for funding? Find the right finance for your business here

125. NESTRANS Sustainable Travel Grant Scheme

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.

126. Scottish Edge

Scottish EDGE is a competition aimed at identifying and supporting Scotland’s up-and-coming, innovative, high-growth potential entrepreneurial talent.

The Scottish Edge competition offers funding of up to £100,000 on a split grant/loan basis.

The application process consists of each business completing the Scottish EDGE online application form and producing a 3-minute video presentation.

The next application window opens in January 2024.

127. Forestry Grant Scheme

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.

128. Flexible Workforce Development Fund

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

129. Inverclyde Council Business Assistance Grant

This discretionary fund from Inverclyde Council provides financial assistance to help businesses in the area achieve specific business growth objectives. The fund can cover up to 50 per cent of eligible capital expenditure costs, with a maximum contribution of £5,000.

Applicants must submit:

  • A business plan
  • A one-year cashflow projection
  • Evidence of trading status
  • The last full year’s accredited accounts and up-to-date management accounts
  • Three quotes for project costs
  • Proof of business insurance
  • An uncensored copy of a bank statement, dated within the past 3 months, that clearly shows the name of the account holder, the account number and sort code
  • A description of the works to be undertaken and how these contribute to the development of the business

If the business is operating from commercial premises, you must also submit evidence of ownership of a lease. If the grant is for building works, you must also clarify if planning permission and a building warrant are required.

You will need to meet with a business adviser from Business Gateway Inverclyde before you receive an application form.

You are eligible if:

  • Your business is trading from an address in Inverclyde
  • Your business has been trading for at least 6 months
  • Your business operates in a sector where there is unlikely to be a significant impact on other local businesses
  • You have attended a one-to-one meeting with a business adviser from Business Gateway Inverclyde

130. Fife Financial Support to Businesses

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.

131. Workforce Upskilling Grant

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.

132. Orkney Islands New Business Start Up Grant

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.

133. West Dumbarton Business Start Up Grant

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.

134. Cycling Infrastructure Fund

The Cycling Infrastructure Fund provides grants to help tourism businesses, social enterprises and community groups that own visitor-facing assets to invest in cycling infrastructure.

This will help improve facilities for cyclists using the Kirkpatrick Coast to Coast route or riding at the 7Stanes trail centres.

The minimum grant amount is £3,000 and the maximum is £25,000. Grants can cover up to 100 per cent of your total eligible project costs.

The funding can be used for the purchase and installation of cycling infrastructure at premises owned by the applicant.

Examples of eligible infrastructure include:

  • secure bike storage
  • bike racks
  • external electrical sockets to be used as charging facilities by cycle tourers
  • secure bike locks for customer use
  • a bike wash
  • drying equipment for drying clothes, rucksacks, panniers, and footwear
  • clothes washing facilities for visitors
  • bike maintenance facilities, such as repair stations

The fund will accept applications from Thursday 5 October 2023 until Friday 31 January 2025, or until all funds are distributed – whichever is earlier.

135. Start-up grants for new businesses in Shetland

The Shetland Business Start-Up Grant Scheme provides funding of up to £4,000 to newly established businesses in Shetland.

Financial assistance is provided to applicants that can demonstrate they have aspirations to establish a new full-time business in Shetland.

To apply, you should have a business plan and a 2-year cash flow forecast, which a Business Gateway adviser can help you with.

Grants may be awarded for:

  • capital costs
  • marketing costs
  • training costs

This grant is jointly funded by Shetland Islands Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

136. East Renfrewshire SBA Get to Zero Grant

The SBA Get to Zero Grant provides funding for businesses in East Renfrewshire to invest in sustainable products and services, to help them become more efficient and reduce carbon emissions and energy loss. Businesses can receive a grant of up to £10,000.

The SBA Get to Zero Grant provides funding of up to £5,000 with no match funding required. An additional grant of up to £5,000 is available if you can provide 50% match funding in the same amount as the grant.

Measures could include:

  • low energy heating and lighting systems 
  • improved insulation for roof and building 
  • solar, ground or air source heat or solar thermal technology 
  • waste management or recycling 
  • equipment that demonstrates a significant energy saving through its installation

137. Glasgow City Council Green Business Grant

The Green Business Grant helps businesses in Glasgow fund projects that will help them achieve net zero carbon emissions and result in long-term, sustained reductions in energy bills.

The Green Business Grant is a non-repayable grant of up to £10,000, which will cover up to 50 per cent of the total cost of a project.

The grant will close to new applications on 20 December 2024 or when the budget is fully allocated, whichever is earlier.

138. Pounds for Purpose

Up to £500 in grant funding is available for individuals aged 16 to 26 who are looking to explore a business idea that addresses social issues in Scotland.

139. West Lothian Council Trade Development Grant

The Trade Development Grant has been developed to help businesses in West Lothian grow beyond their local market. Funding is available to help businesses to attend trade exhibitions in a wide range of industry sectors. Businesses that meet the criteria can receive funding to cover up to 50 per cent of eligible costs, to a maximum of £2,000.

To register interest and find out more, please email invest@westlothian.gov.uk

140. Renfrewshire Digital Development Grant

The Digital Development Grant can provide match funding to small and medium-sized businesses in Renfrewshire to cover up to 50 per cent of their costs to develop and implement new digital systems. Grants of £1,000 up to £10,000 are available.

This discretionary grant can support digital projects which are new to the business. To qualify, you must operate from a commercial premise in Renfrewshire.

Business grants Northern Ireland

141. Proof of Concept Grant Fund

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 up to £10,000, which are awarded every three months.

142. Skills Advancement Grant

Applicants can get up to £15,000 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.

143. DAERA forestry grants

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’.

144. Acumen Funding

The Acumen programme aims to enhance the capacity and capability of SMEs to take the first formal steps onto the export ladder by helping to fund an experienced and skilled sales resource to help businesses to identify new opportunities and win new sales in the cross-border market.

There are two funding options available under the Acumen programme.

Full-time sales support

Acumen offers a valuable contribution towards the cost of a full-time sales resource, for a 12-month period, up to a maximum of €21,562/£17,250.

A full-time sales resource must be an individual directly employed by the business and not a contractual representative. They can reside within the same or opposite jurisdiction to your business, whatever option works best for your business.

Part-time sales support

Acumen offers a valuable contribution towards the cost of a part-time sales resource, for a 6-12-month period, up to a maximum of €11,500/£9,200.

A part-time sales resource can be an individual directly employed by the business or alternatively a contractual representative e.g. experienced sales agent, consultant or a lead generation company. They can reside within the same or opposite jurisdiction to your business, whatever option works best for your business.

Apply through the website.

145. Vacant to Vibrant Capital Grant Scheme

Belfast City Council have opened a pilot capital grant scheme to incentivise both property owners and potential occupiers to bring vacant Belfast city centre spaces back into use and support the city centre’s revitalisation.

Property owners, businesses, social enterprises and cultural and voluntary organisations wishing to renovate or repurpose a vacant space can apply.

Applicants will be expected to contribute a minimum of 10 per cent match funding to the grant if successful and must have the ability to deliver the scheme within nine months of receiving the Letter of Offer.

Grants from £2,500 to £25,000 are available to support the occupation of vacant city centre premises.

It is anticipated that the following capital costs will be covered:

  • Smaller financial support to pop-up shops and meanwhile test space
  • Larger grants to encourage uptake of vacant units for a minimum of two years
  • External capital works to façade to improve look and feel of the high street
  • Internal capital works to make a vacant property fit for purpose and support long-term occupation
  • Diversification of property’s unoccupied space to help existing businesses survive

Email your application with all supporting documentation (listed on the website) to vacanttovibrant@belfastcity.gov.uk. The Vacant to Vibrant pilot capital grant scheme is open until July 2024, or until funding has been exhausted. Applications will be awarded funding on a first-come, first-served basis.

146. Concept Plus Grant

Concept Plus is a follow-on grant from the Techstart Proof of Concept Grant Fund offering up to £35,000 to entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland.

147. Employer Led Upskilling Programme (Small Grant Scheme)

A grant of up to a maximum of £500 per employee for businesses interested in providing a workplace training initiative for their employees. You can apply for up to four employees in your business. The workplace training provider must be based in the Ards and North Down Borough Council area.

The grant scheme opens on Friday, 10 November 2023 and the submission deadline is 4pm on Monday, 27 November 2023.

For more information email Imp@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk

148. Renewable Energy Fund

The Renewable Energy Fund will support sports clubs with infrastructure upgrades such as solar energy systems, air and ground source heating systems, sustainable water recycling solutions, and floodlight upgrades.

At the Development Award stage, Sport NI will fund 50 per cent of development costs up to the value of £3,000; at the Project Delivery stage, Sport NI will fund 80 per cent of project delivery costs up to the value of £30,000.

To find out more go to either Sport Northern Ireland or email ref@sportni.net

149. Fit for Future Scheme

Grants worth up to £20,000 designed to help bring vacant properties back into use and support revitalisation across the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area.

Eligible total capital spend must be in excess of £5,000

The deadline for expressions of interest is midday on Friday, 17 November 2023.

For more information email fitforfuture@armaghandbridgecraigavon.gov.uk

150. Town Centre Experience Fund

Grants worth up to £2,000 to support local organisations to create a new experience in their town centre.

Through the fund, groups of traders/town centre stakeholders are encouraged to work together to introduce new experiences, initiatives, activities, marketing, or event development for their respective town centre and encouraging them to target times of the year outside the usual peak times.

Applicants must be based within the town centre of Ballymoney, Ballycastle, Ballykelly, Bushmills, Coleraine, Cushendall, Dungiven, Garvagh, Kilrea, Limavady, Portrush and Portstewart.

The Town Centre Experience Fund can provide funding of up to 100 per cent costs up to a maximum of £2,000. Match funding is not a requirement.

For more information call Catrina McNeill on 07517 988161 or email Catrina.mcneill@causewaycoastandglens.gov.uk

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

Loans range up to £100,000 for existing businesses and up to £15,000 for start-ups 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.

Equity funding

Co-Fund NI

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

For companies who require larger sums of cash, there are the £48m Development Funds I & II. These are managed jointly by VC firms Crescent Capital and Kernel Capital.

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.

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