There are many grant funding schemes available to support businesses to get set up, assist them in growing, or develop their ideas and innovations and assist in getting it market. Many of the grant schemes target specific locations, industries and business sizes as well as offering a variety of grant contribution rates and rules on what the grant can be used from. To help you sift through the grants available we have created this page listing a wide variety of business grants.
The table below gives a quick comparison of the top UK providers for small business grants.
Grant Name Maximum Amount Geographic Region
AD:VENTURE - Leeds City Region £25,000 West Yorkshire and parts of North Yorkshire
Agri-tech Cornwall Not stated Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly
Arts University Bournemouth Innovation Vouchers 50% of financial investment Dorset
Be Inspired at Staffordshire University £2,500 England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland graduates starting a business in Staffordshire
Buckinghamshire Business First £5,000 Buckinghamshire
NWES Up to 30% of eligible costs East of England, London and East Midlands
Business Development Grant Scarborough £5,000 Borough of Scarborough
Business Energy Efficiency Programme West Midlands £20,000 Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Telford and Wrekin, and Shropshire
Business Growth Grant Leicestershire £25,000 Leicestershire
Business Grant Scheme Mansfield District Council £2,500 Mansfield district
Business Growth Programme Greater Birmingham & Solihull £1,000,000 Greater Birmingham & Solihull, and The Marches LEP area
Research and Devleopment grants Up to 45% Scotland
SMART: Scotland Grants £100,000 Scotland
Regional Selective Assistance Not stated Scotland
Business West Grants £100,000 West of England
Elmbridge Civic Improvement Fund (ECIF) Up to 90% of the eligible costs Elmsbridge
Howardian Hills Conservation Grant Scheme Up to 100% of approved costs Howardian Hills
CITB Grants Scheme Not stated England
Coventry and Warwickshire Green Business Programme £50,000 Coventry and Warwickshire
CRACK IT Challenges £1million Not stated
D2N2 Capital Growth Fund £10,000 Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham & Nottinghamshire areas
D2N2 Growth Hub ScaleUp £1,500 Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham & Nottinghamshire areas
DE-Carbonise Project - Derby and Derbyshire £20,000 Derby and Derbyshire
DigitalCity Accelerator Programme - Tees Valley Not stated Tees Valley
Driven Programme £1,000 Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire
Duplex Investment Fund £40,000 Coventry and Warwickshire
Greater Manchester Energy Efficiency Grant £12,500 Greater Manchester
Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Energy for Business Not stated Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire
Enterprise Europe Network Not stated England, Northern Ireland and Wales
FEAST2 25% Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and South East Midlands
Fit For Nuclear Not stated Not stated
ESA Business Applications Not stated Not stated
Future Focus Programme Not stated Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly
Get Growing 2 £5,000 Hertfordshire
Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme £3,500 Rural areas of the UK
Grants for Growth Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire £48,000 Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire
Heritage Fund Grant £5 million National
High Impact Scale Up Coaching Grants £5,000 West of England
Horizon 2020 Funding Not stated Not stated
Innovation UK Varies UK
ATI Programme R&D Funding 50-70% of eligible spend UK
SMEs Transforming Food Production 35-45% of eligible spend UK
Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) 50-67% of eligible spend UK
UK and Canada Biomanufacturing In Cell & Gene Therapies £96,000 UK
ISCF Future Plastic Packaging Solutions £150,000 UK
SBRI Innovate at HS2 2020 Phase 1 £300,000 UK
SBRI AI Supporting Early Detection & Diagnosis in Heart Failure Management £120,000 UK
Faraday Battery Challenge Innovation R&D £1,050,000 UK
5G Enabled Road & Rail Transport Trials in the West Midlands £500,000 UK
Innovation Vouchers £2,500 Greater Birmingham and Solihull
Invest to Grow £250,000 East Midlands
Key Fund Not stated North of England and Midlands
Business Growth Programme £250,000 Leeds City Region
Low Carbon Workspaces £5,000 Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Hertfordshire
Manufacturing Growth Programme Not stated West Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber, parts of East Midlands and South East
Creative Europe Not stated UK
NBV Grant for Enterprise £2,500 Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Greater Lincolnshire
North of Tyne Growth Fund £200,000 Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland
Products and Process Innovation £20,000 York, North Yorkshire, East Riding and Leeds City Region
Productivity Through Innovation 30% towards a graduate salary for 12 months Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire
Worcestershire Proof of Concept £30,000 Worcestershire
Repair Grants for Heritage at Risk Not stated England
Small Growth Grants Dorset £5,000 Dorset
South East Creatives £10,000 Essex, East Sussex and Kent
Staffordshire Business Innovation Centre £5,000 Staffordshire
TALE £10,000 Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Kent and East Sussex
Tees Valley Business Start Up Programme £10,000 Tees Valley
Tees Valley Leadership and Management Programme Not stated Tees Valley
The Hertfordshire Start-Up Programme £3,000 Hertfordshire
Eden Tourism Grant £500 Eden District
* The facts and figures included here come from each company’s website and were accurate at the time of writing (November 2020) but may have since changed. Also, please keep in mind these may not be apples to apples comparisons as each provider offers different solutions. This guide should be used as a starting off point for more research on your part.
Below we profile each of the companies’ services and features in a bit more detail.
Note companies are ranked in no particular order and this no way indicates one solution is better than another.
1. AD:VENTURE Leeds City Region
Some of the features and benefits of AD:VENTURE Leeds City Region’s small business grants.
- Offers a range of financial support
- Grants and loans
- Impartial advice
- Support from an advisor
- Growth grants for businesses up to 36 months old
- Suitable for those pre-trading
- Grants from £1,000 to £25,000
- 50% contribution required
- Business plan and cashflow forecast required
- Also offers loans up to £100,000
AD:VENTURE Leeds City Region has been set up to support start-ups and those trading for up to three years. They tailor their support to your needs and will provide you with an advisor that will help guide you through the financial support available.
AD:VENTURE Growth Grant is open to any business that operates in the Leeds City Region and has been trading for less than 36 months or pre-trading. The grant offers funding from £1,000 to £25,000 to help support growth but it requires you to contribute at least 50% of the eligible costs. You will need to evidence the growth through your business plan and cash flow forecast.
2. Agri-tech Cornwall
Some of the features and benefits of Agri-tech Cornwall’s small business grants.
- Agricultural innovation support
- Innovation Grants available from £2,500
- Suitable for a variety of expenditure
- Graduate Placement grants up to £2,250
- Eligible for products and services in any sector
- Businesses need to be located in Cornwall and the Isle of Scilly
- Supports Research Development & Innovation
- Must have less than 250 employees
- Have an annual turnover of fewer than 50 million Euros
- Must promote the development of agriculture
Agri-tech Cornwall helps support businesses that bring innovation to agriculture to make it more efficient, productive, resilient, secure, profitable and protect the natural environment. This includes science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine in the form of a product, service, chemical, material, hardware or software.
Agri-tech Cornwall offers Innovation Grants that can be used for feasibility studies, commissioning research, equipment for research and development, consultancy costs. Funding starts from £2,500 with no limited stated. They also offer Graduate Placement Programme designed to help deliver an RDI project which funding can be used for recruitment and salary subsidy up to £2,250. Businesses must be in Cornwall or the Isle of Scilly.
3. Arts University Bournemouth Vouchers
Some of the features and benefits of Arts University Bournemouth Vouchers’ small business grants.
- Offers an innovation studio
- Supports start-up businesses
- Have to be located in Dorset
- Access to business support
- Use of world-class facilities and staff
- Match-funded grants
- Minimum 50% own investment required
- Suitable for small scale research projects
- Offers workshop and events
- Meet with like-minded businesses
Arts University Bournemouth Access Vouchers has been set up to support research and innovation projects in Dorset. They focus on supporting business start-ups in the region and give them access to their world-class facilities and work with their talented staff and students that can help find solutions to design problems.
Arts University Bournemouth also facilitates Innovation Vouchers which are match-funded grant that can support businesses that are undertaking Research and Innovation projects. Under this scheme, you may be able to claim back up to 50% of your financial investment in small scale research projects. The voucher schemes are supported by workshops and events.
4. Be Inspired at Staffordshire University
Some of the features and benefits of Be Inspired at Staffordshire University’s small business grants.
- Free business start-up resource
- Year-long programme of support
- Expert advice
- ERDF funded grant
- Access to key resources
- Maximum capital equipment funding of £2,500
- Can’t be used for salaries, living costs or stock
Be Inspired at Staffordshire University is a free resource designed to help business start-ups. They provide a year-long programme to support businesses which includes expert advice, training, mentoring, workshops and grants. The programme is designed to help you build a strong customer proposition and access key resources that can help you save money and time.
Be Inspired at Staffordshire University also offers a grant that is ERDF funded and is available as part of their programme. Grants will need to be spent during the 12-month period. Capital equipment funding will not be allowed over £2,500 and it can’t be used for salaries, living costs or stock.
5. Buckinghamshire Business First
Some of the features and benefits of Buckinghamshire Business First’s small business grants.
- Offer Growth Grants
- Provides match-funded grants up to £5,000
- Fund up to a third of the total project costs
- Suitable for projects with a minimum cost of £3,000
- Can be used for a variety of reasons
- Part-funded by ERDF
- Minimum of two people in the business
- Designed for SMEs with significant growth plans
- Need to have a minimum turnover above £100,000
- Contact them for a discussion
Buckinghamshire Business First delivers a Growth Grant that is available to Buckingham businesses. The Growth Grant is a match-funded grant that is part-funded by ERDF and can be used on projects that have a minimum cost of £3,000 with grant funding offered up to £5,000. To be eligible you need to have a turnover above £100,000 and a minimum of two people.
Buckinghamshire Business First’s Growth Grant can be used for a variety of purposes including marketing activities such as website development, SEO, social media marketing, market research, re-branding exercise and marketing collateral, as well as sales and lead generation activities, CRM software, accountancy software, consultancy and ISO accreditation.
Some of the features and benefits of NWES’ small business grants.
- Provides business support
- Covers East of England and London
- Practical advice and support
- Access to grants
- Small business grants for growing businesses
- ERDF programme grants
- Small to medium business support
- Supports growth or innovation
- Some grants over up to 30% of eligible costs
- Funding for offshore renewables
NWES provides a support programme for businesses in the East of England and London. They offer practical support and access to grants. There are three grants available in the East of England which are Norfolk and Suffolk Business Grant, ERDF programme and SCORE Business Support and Grant Funding.
NWES’ Norfolk and Suffolk Business Grant can pay for up to 30% of your eligible costs for growing small businesses. ERDF funded programmes are available to small to medium businesses for job growth and innovation. SCORE Business Support and Grant Funding is designed for supply chain innovation for offshore renewables and is available to small to medium-sized businesses.
7. Business Development Grant Scarborough
Some of the features and benefits of Business Development Grant’s small business grants.
- Designed to help the formation of new businesses
- Stimulate the growth of small and medium businesses
- For businesses in Scarborough or those relocating to it
- Must create new jobs
- Applications are considered on a quarterly basis
- Start-up grants up to £1,000
- Business expansion grants up to £5,000
- Maximum 50% towards expenditure
- Retrospective claims
- Applicants must seek advice from a business advisor first
Business Development Grant scheme is run by Scarborough Borough Council in coordination with Scarborough Jobmatch, who provide business advisors to support pre-start-ups and ongoing assistance to businesses. They offer two business support grants which are paid retrospectively and fund a maximum of 50% of the eligible costs.
The Business Development Grant scheme is designed to encourage the formation of new businesses and to stimulate the growth of small and medium-sized businesses within Scarborough Borough. Their Business Start-up Grant offers up to £1,000 and is for start-ups and those under 18-months with less 10 employees. The Business Expansion Grants are for existing business and it offers up to £5,000.
8. Business Energy Efficiency Programme West Midlands
Some of the features and benefits of Business Energy Efficiency Programme’s small business grants.
- Offers free energy and resource reviews
- Grants up to £20,000
- Suitable for businesses with under 250 employees
- Requires a minimum energy spend of £2,000
- Aids businesses to reduce their costs
- Reducing environmental impact
- Part ERDF funded
- Managed by Worcestershire Council
- Available to businesses in Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin
- Apply by email or phone
Business Energy Efficiency Programme is a programme that is run by Worcestershire Council in partnership with Herefordshire Council, Telford and Wrekin Council, Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce and Shropshire Chamber of Commerce. The programme is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Business Energy Efficiency Programme provides free energy and resource efficiency reviews for businesses with under 250 employees and a minimum £2,000 energy costs. They also offer grants up to £20,000 to help reduce energy use and the businesses environmental impact. Businesses need to in either Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin and they can apply by email or phone.
9. Business Growth Grant Leicestershire
Some of the features and benefits of Business Growth Grant Leicestershire’s small business grants.
- Offers grants to support business growth
- Grants from £2,000 to £25,000
- Funding up to 35% of total project capital costs
- Designed for SMEs that have been trading up to 24 months
- Businesses in Leicester or Leicestershire
- No more than 250 employees
- For businesses trading to other businesses
- Can be used to grow, create new products, processes or to innovate
- Can be used for premises
- Can be used for capital equipment
Business Growth Grant scheme is run by Business Gateway which is part of the national Growth Hub who provide free and impartial advice to businesses. The Business Growth Grant is designed for businesses in Leicester and Leicestershire trading for less than 24 months. These small to medium-sized enterprises must have less than 250 employees.
Business Growth Grant offers grants from £2,000 to £25,000 with a cap on the funding amount of 35% of the total project capital expenditure. The grant can be used towards growing your business, creation of new products, processes or innovation which can include innovative technologies, premise improvements or expansion, and upgrading capital equipment.
10. Business Grant Scheme Mansfield District Council
Some of the features and benefits of Business Grant Scheme’s small business grants.
- Offers a variety of business grants
- Suitable for start-ups
- Established businesses
- Most be in Mansfield District or relocating to it
- Business Start-Up Grant up to £1,000
- Business Growth Grant up to £2,500
- Shop Front Improvements Grant up to £2,500
- Vacant Shop Grant up to £2,500
- Apply online
- Requires a business plan, 12-month cash flow forecast and profit and loss
Business Grant Scheme offers a range of grants for the Mansfield District. Business Start-Up Grant for those trading for under six months, it provides up to £1,000 offering up to 50% of the eligible costs. Business Growth Grant is for small to medium-sized businesses with a growth plan and requires funding. It offers up to £2,500 funding a maximum of 50% of the eligible costs. It can be used for buildings, equipment, research and training.
Shop Front Improvement and Vacant Shop Grant is available to independent retailers to improve or repair their shop front or premises before occupying them with up to 50% of costs to a maximum of £2,500.
11. Business Growth Programme Greater Birmingham & Solihull
Some of the features and benefits of Business Growth Programme’s small business grants.
- Offers funding rounds to support businesses
- Grants from £2,500 to £1,000,000
- Designed to strengthen supply chains, innovation and growth
- Start-up businesses
- Small to medium enterprises
- Under 250 employees
- Operate on a B2B basis
- Located or moving to The Marches or Greater Birmingham and Solihull areas
- Part-funded by the ERDF
- Managed by Birmingham City Council
Business Growth Programme is a rolling programme of funding for businesses designed to help them get established or grow. Grants are available from £2,500 to £1 million to help strengthen supply chains, assist business growth and stimulate innovation.
Business Growth Programme is eligible to businesses that have been trading for over six months, have under 250 employees, and trade predominantly with business to business (no more than 20% with consumers). Start-ups must be located in or moving into the Marches Local Enterprise area. Existing small to medium-sized businesses need to be located in or moving into the Greater Birmingham and Solihull area or the Marches Local Enterprise area.
12. Research and Development Grants
Some of the features and benefits of Research and Development Grants’ small business grants.
- Help financing research
- Offers between 25-50%
- Can be used to develop products, service, or processes
- Has to be new and innovative
- Available to businesses and collaborations
- Must benefit the economy in Scotland
- Demonstrate commercial prospects
- Won’t progress without the grant
- Sole traders and charities may not be eligible
- Offers access to their specialist team
Research and Development Grants is run by Scottish Enterprise who supports businesses in Scotland to stimulate the economy and create jobs. The grant offers SMEs between 35-50% of their eligible costs and large companies between 25-40%. They also provide support to consortiums of up to six companies, but it tends not to be available to sole traders or charities.
Research and Development Grants are designed to help businesses that have a product, service or process that is new and innovative that will not be able to progress without the grant or would take considerably longer. The project must show commercial prospects and benefit the Scottish economy.
13. SMART: Scotland Grants
Some of the features and benefits of SMART: Scotland Grants’ small business grants.
- Research and development grant
- Supports high risk, highly ambitious projects
- Only available to SMEs in Scotland
- Also available to individuals and university spinouts
- Offers grants of 60-70% of the eligible costs up to £100,000
- Projects of £75,000 to £600,000 can be supported
- Can be used for feasibility testing and developing prototypes
- Will need to create intellectual property (IP)
- The project must advance technological innovation
- They also provide access to their specialist team
SMART: Scotland Grants is run by Scottish Enterprise that offers research and development grants to help businesses to get their ideas to market. The SMART grant is available to small to medium enterprises in Scotland who have a high risk, highly ambitious project.
SMART: Scotland Grants offers grants up to £100,000 with up to 60% contribution for medium enterprises for eligible costs and 70% for small enterprises. The grant can be used to fund feasibility testing to demonstrate the idea and the development of prototypes to test the idea before it goes into production. It requires you to have ownership of your ideas and create intellectual property (IP).
14. Regional Selective Assistance
Some of the features and benefits of Regional Selective Assistance’s small business grants.
- It is a discretionary grant offered to businesses
- Aims to create or protect jobs
- Grants are based on the size and location of the business
- Most grants are between £100,000 and £250,000
- Grant contribution varies between 10-30%
- Successful applicants tend to be SMEs
- Must involve capital investment
- The project should need funding to go-ahead
- Funding is paid in arrears and instalments in most cases
- Restrictions on aid may apply
Regional Selective Assistance is run by Scottish Enterprise and is designed to help create jobs or safeguard them. Projects should involve capital investment and will require the funding for the project to go ahead which is a key part of the assessment for eligibility. You will also need to supply a forecast and breakdown of capital expenditure.
Regional Selective Assistance offers grants that are tiered between 10-30% grant contribution based on your location and size of business. It is open to SMEs and large enterprises but generally, applicants are SMEs as the rates are more attractive. The grant amount varies but is usually between £100,000 and £250,000.
15. Business West Grants
Some of the features and benefits of Business West Grants’ small business grants.
- Offers High Impact Scale-Up Coaching Grants
- Grant of £5,000
- Available to West of England businesses
- Requires two years of sustainable growth
- Have between seven and 250 employees
- Provides a business coach or trainer
- Offers coaching in a variety of areas
- Also offers resilience and recovery coaching
- Contact them for an application form
- Also offers grants for Non-Executive Directors
Business West is a not-for-profit that helps businesses to grow and develop. They offer two grants – High Impact Scale-Up Coaching Grants and Non-Executive Directors Grant to help you recruit with a grant up to £5,000.
Business West’s High Impact Scale-Up Coaching Grants are available to businesses in the West of England that have two years of sustainable growth and have between seven and 250 employees. The scheme helps to fund business coaching or a trainer to assist with upskilling management, bid writing, financial management, business planning, internationalisation and lean manufacturing. Services have been extended to include resilience planning, recovery planning and repurposing manufacturing capacity.
16. Elmbridge Civic Improvement Fund (ECIF)
Some of the features and benefits of Elmbridge Civic Improvement Fund’s small business grants.
- Offers funding to support business growth
- Aims to boost the local economy
- Offers grants of up to 90% of the costs
- Street furniture and street scene improvements
- Shopfront and signage improvements
- Promotions and marketing initiatives
- Community improvement projects
- Implementing social distancing measures
- Apply online
- Checks on your business will take place
Elmbridge Civic Improvement Fund is designed to help support business growth and to boost the local economy. They offer grants that can offer up to 90% of the project costs depending on the project and eligible costs. Applications can be made online and once received your business will undergo some checks on Business Rates and Licensing.
Elmbridge Civic Improvement Fund can help support schemes that include street furniture and street scene improvements, shop front and signage improvements, promotions and marketing initiatives, community improvement projects which can include town centre sustainability projects, and implementing social distance measures for independent businesses on the high street.
17. Howardian Hills Conservation Grant Scheme
Some of the features and benefits of Conservation Grant Scheme’s small business grants.
- Offers grants where other funding is not available
- Only available in Howardian Hills area of North Yorkshire
- Provides support in applying for other grant schemes
- Assists on-going management of sites
- One-off capital schemes
- Grants normally provide 30-75% of approved costs
- 100% grants may be offered in some circumstances
- Assistance can be grant aid or direct works
- Some grants required a second stage application
- Applications are available online to download
Howardian Hills organisation looks after the Howardian Hills in North Yorkshire and conserves it for the future. They offer a Conservation Grant Scheme that is open for projects that are taking place in the Howardian Hills. They prefer applicants to try grants from other sources first and they will assist you in creating a high-quality application to these schemes.
Howardian Hills’ Conservation Grant Scheme is available to help organisations that need funding to provide on-going management of a site and one-off capital schemes. Their grants are available under three themes which are Natural Environment, Historic Environment and Sustainable Development and the Rural Economy.
18. CITB Grants Scheme
Some of the features and benefits of CITB Grants Scheme’s small business grants.
- Offers funding towards qualifications and apprenticeships
- Grants for training and specific projects
- Support employers with training their workplace
- Contributions to the cost of training
- Construction-related subjects
- Short course grants
- Qualification grants
- Apprenticeships grants
- Specific projects including careers, innovation and training
- Caters for small employers to larger ones
CITB Grants Scheme provides employment and skills-based training and qualifications to the construction industry. They also provide apprenticeship support and specific project support. They offer both grants and funding options.
CITB Grants Scheme is designed for employers to help them to provide day to day training to their employees. They will contribute towards the training costs under three schemes which are short course grants, qualification grants and apprenticeship grants. Funding is available for specific projects for developing careers, innovation and training through the Skills and Training Fund, Leadership and Management Development Fund and Structured Fund that support different size organisations.
19. Coventry and Warwickshire Green Business Programme
Some of the features and benefits of Green Business Programme’s small business grants.
- Funding for energy efficiency measures
- The programme has been extended to June 2023
- Supports businesses with fewer than 250 employees
- For businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire
- Assistance to save money on energy, waste and water
- Free energy and resource efficiency audits
- Supports low carbon product development
- Grants from £1,000 to £50,000
- Provides 40% intervention rate
- Part ERDF funded
Green Business Programme is a scheme that is part-funded by ERDF and is delivered by Coventry City Council, Coventry University and Coventry University Enterprises Ltd. They provide funding to assist with energy efficiency measures which include saving money on energy, waste and water for small to medium-sized businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire with less than 250 employees.
Green Business Programme offers grants from £1,000 to £50,000 and includes free energy and resource efficiency audits. They have a maximum intervention rate of 40% so you will need to fund the rest yourself. Businesses also have to have a minimum of 50% of their sales to other businesses.
20. CRACK IT Challenges
Some of the features and benefits of CRACK IT Challenges’ small business grants.
- Provides mechanisms to gain funding
- Creates challenges to resolve
- Brings collaboration between different sectors
- Delivers business improvements
- Can develop new products
- Projects can attract funding up to £1 million
- Length of the project can be up to three years
- Different industries and businesses
- Brings in academics
- Funding provided by the National Centre for the Replacement Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs)
CRACK IT Challenges provides a challenge led competition which funds different industries, academics and SMEs to collaborate to resolve scientific and business challenges. These collaborations aim to deliver business improvements or the development of new products. These projects can range up to £1 million for projects over three years.
CRACK IT Challenges are made up of three types of parties which are the Sponsors, Innovators and Funders. The Sponsor will create a challenge and will provide funding and/or resources. Innovators are businesses and academics are those that aim to resolve the challenge. The Funders are those that provide co-funding as well as contributing with resources.
21. D2N2 Capital Growth Fund
Some of the features and benefits of D2N2 Capital Growth Fund’s small business grants.
- Offers capital grant support
- Suitable for small to medium-sized enterprises
- Need to be located in Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire
- Grants from £1,000 to £10,000
- Offers a maximum of 30% of eligible costs
- Can purchase machinery, equipment and IT hardware
- You will need to demonstrate the potential for grow
- Can’t spend more than £24,999 with one supplier
- Apply online
- Can’t have benefitted from one of their other grants
D2N2 Capital Growth Fund is managed by EMB Group who delivers business support and administers government-funded business improvement projects. The D2N2 Capital Growth Fund is a capital grant fund that is designed to support small to medium-sized businesses and is part ERDF funded. It is only available to businesses operating or investing in Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire that can demonstrate growth potential.
D2N2 Capital Growth Fund offers grants from £1,000 to £10,000 towards capital expenditure with a maximum contribution of 30% of the eligible project costs. Acceptable capital costs include machinery, equipment and IT hardware. Excluded costs include vehicle purchases and revenue costs.
22. D2N2 Growth Hub ScaleUp
Some of the features and benefits of D2N2 Growth Hub ScaleUp’s small business grants.
- Offers support for scaling up businesses
- Is for SMEs in Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire
- Delivers intensive high growth support rather than grants
- Invitation only scheme
- Employees between 10-249
- Turnover between £1m-£49m
- Annual growth of over 10% for the last three years
- Coaching grants offered from £1,000 to £1,500
- Gives you access to coaching, support and peer-to-peer network
- Helps develop leadership and management skills
D2N2 Growth Hub ScaleUp is delivered by Nottingham Business School and East Midlands Chamber and is part-funded by ERDF. The programme is designed to provide small to medium-sized businesses with tailored support that will deliver intensive high growth business support in the form of practical support rather than grant funding, although coaching grants of £1,500 are available. Support is available to businesses in Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
D2N2 Growth Hub ScaleUp is an invitation-only and is offered to established businesses that require scale-up support. Through the scheme, businesses will be reviewed, develop leadership and management skills, access a peer-to-peer network, access coaching and talent.
23. DE-Carbonise Project – Derby and Derbyshire
Some of the features and benefits of DE-Carbonise Project’s small business grants.
- Provides support to help reduce carbon emissions
- Available to small to medium-sized businesses
- Located in Derby and Derbyshire
- Free on-site carbon reduction surveys
- Support for carbon reduction measures
- Technical support, consultancy and process improvements
- Grants from £1,000 to £20,000
- 40% of the eligible costs
- Part ERDF funded
- Register your interest through the website
DE-Carbonise Project is run in partnership by the University of Derby, Derby City Council and Derbyshire County Council and is part ERDF funded. The project has been designed to help SMEs in Derby and Derbyshire to reduce their carbon emissions through focused support and grants.
DE-Carbonise Project offers a free on-site carbon reduction survey to identify ways to reduce energy consumption and then businesses can apply for energy efficiency grants of £1,000 to £20,000 with a contribution of up to 40% of the eligible costs. They also offer technical and research support to assist product and process carbon reduction through consultancy support to create process improvements.
24. DigitalCity Accelerator and Scale Programmes Tees Valley
Some of the features and benefits of DigitalCity Accelerator and Scale Programmes’ small business grants.
- Offers a free programme
- Available to Tees Valley businesses
- Designed for tech start-ups
- Assists with the acceleration of early-stage companies
- Helps to launch new products and services
- Includes seven interactive weekly workshops
- Businesses need to have been trading for 18 months
- Not suitable for sole traders
- For a business looking to grow
- Apply online
DigitalCity has been supporting digital growth and transformation in the Tees Valley for almost 20 years. They offer two free programmes called Accelerator Programme and Scale Programme. Both programmes are designed for digital businesses and tech start-ups based in the Tees Valley.
DigitalCity Accelerator Programme is designed to assist the growth of early-stage tech companies and help them launch new products and services. The Scale Programme focuses on digital business leaders and equips them with the knowledge they need to grow and increase profitability. Both programmes are delivered through a series of seven weekly workshops that will guide participants to build their skills and knowledge to progress their business.
25. Driven – ESF High Level Skills Programme
Some of the features and benefits of Driven Programme’s small business grants.
- Offers recruitment and training support
- Focuses on the recruitment of graduates
- Supports small to medium-sized businesses
- Available to businesses in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire
- Funding of up to £1,000
- Recruitment support including advertising and short-listing
- Onboarding support of recruits
- 400 hours of internship
- Develop recruits in their post
- Also offers access to their Advanced Skills Programme
The Driven Programme is run by the University of Derby to help support small to medium-sized businesses in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. The Driven Programme aims to get more graduates into employment as they offer £1,000 funding to recruit graduates who graduated in the last three years through the GRADS for D2N2 project. This is part-funded through the European Social Fund and is part of the ESF High Level Skills programme.
Driven Programme provides free recruitment and training support when a graduate is recruited. It includes advertising the role, sifting applications and short-listing as well as onboarding support. Once onboard you can receive 400 hours internship funding to train and develop candidates.
26. Duplex Investment Fund
Some of the features and benefits of Duplex Investment Fund’s small business grants.
- Offers grants and loans
- Provides access to public grants
- Assists in providing financial flexibility
- Designed to create business growth and jobs
- Grants for up to 40% of eligible costs
- Loans between £30,000 to £100,000
- Trading for two years profitably
- Based in Coventry or Warwickshire
- You will need a sound business plan or forecast
- Jobs will need to be created
Duplex Investment Fund is delivered by CWRT who is an FCA accredited lending provider. They administer the scheme on behalf of Coventry City Council, Warwickshire County Council and Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
Duplex Investment Fund combines loans and grants to enable businesses to invest and grow through providing a loan to cover capital investments allowing you to benefit from the investment straight away whilst you receive a grant for up to 40% of the cost. Businesses need to be in Coventry or Warwickshire, profitably trading for two years, have a sound business plan or forecast and will create jobs.
27. Greater Manchester Energy Efficiency Grant
Some of the features and benefits of Greater Manchester Energy Efficiency Grant’s small business grants.
- Offers energy efficiency grants
- Grants of £1,000 to £12,500
- 50% towards eligible costs
- Designed for small to medium-sized businesses
- For businesses in Greater Manchester
- Reduce your carbon footprint
- Reduce energy bills
- Must have less than 250 employees
- Turnover below £40m
- Apply online
Greater Manchester Energy Efficiency Grant is run by the Business Growth Hub and is designed to help businesses to make energy efficiency improvements to their premises to reduce their carbon footprint and energy bills. The grant is designed to assist small to medium-sized businesses in Greater Manchester.
Greater Manchester Energy Efficiency Grant can be used for a variety of energy efficiency measures including LED lighting upgrades, heating equipment upgrades, process efficiency investments and replacement drives or motors. To be eligible for the grant your business must have under 250 employees and have an annual turnover under £40m.
28. Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Energy for Business
Some of the features and benefits of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Energy for Business’ small business grants.
- Offers access to capital grants
- Suitable for small to medium-sized businesses
- For those based in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire
- Designed to help businesses that innovate to create carbon savings
- Provides product research and development
- They will work collaboratively with you
- Helps businesses to grow
- Reduce carbon emissions
- Must have less than 250 employees
- Have an annual turnover below 50 million Euros
Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Energy for Business is managed by the University of Nottingham’s Energy Innovation and Collaboration team and is part ERDF funded. The scheme is designed to offer product research and development as well as business support and capital funding. They will collaborate with you to help reduce the carbon emissions and in the process grow your business and benefit the local economy.
Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Energy for Business grants are available to small to medium-sized enterprises in Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. Your business will need to employ fewer than 250 employees and have an annual turnover below 50 million Euros.
29. Enterprise Europe Network
Some of the features and benefits of Enterprise Europe Network’s small business grants.
- Helps businesses to find funding opportunities
- Can advise on the best ways to gain finance
- Assist you with developing your business plan
- Supports pre-seed businesses
- Seed and early-stage businesses
- Growth and scaling businesses
- R&D funding grants
- Can signpost to grant schemes
- Offers a pitch training programme
- Also direct you to loans and investors
Enterprise Europe Network is an organisation that helps businesses that want to get established and grow. They support businesses in growing and innovating by helping them to access funding, find trusted partners and make global connections. They can help you to find finance and funding for your business from both the public and private sectors.
Enterprise Europe Network provides a signposting service to grants, loans and investors, venture capitalists and banks. They provide support to businesses from pre-seed through to those that are growing and scaling up. They offer business support in accessing funding, developing a business plan and pitch training.
Some of the features and benefits of FEAST2’s small business grants.
- Offers business support and grants
- Available to food and drink manufacturers
- Grant funding for production equipment
- Offers up to 25% of eligible costs
- Designed to help businesses grow, increase productivity and create jobs
- Offers up to 12 hours of food technical support
- Business mentoring from industry experts
- Industry events for sharing knowledge, best practice and experience
- Grants won’t cover past purchases
- To apply contact them by phone
FEAST2 is managed by the Food and Drink Forum in partnership with The Mallows Company and is part-funded by ERDF funding. The programme is designed to support food and drink manufacturers and provides them with access to grant funding, business mentoring, industry events and technical support.
FEAST2 grant funding can offer up to 25% of the eligible costs towards purchasing production equipment. The grant aims to enable businesses to grow, increase productivity and create jobs. The funding is not applied retrospectively so purchases should only be made once the grant offer letter has been received.
31. Fit For Nuclear
Some of the features and benefits of Fit For Nuclear’s small business grants.
- Helps UK manufacturing
- Assists with bidding for work in the nuclear supply chain
- Designed by industry leaders to stimulate the supply chain
- New build nuclear sites including engineering and components
- Operational support
- New decommissioning of facilities
- Open to businesses with no nuclear experience
- Businesses with ten or more employees
- Annual turnover above £1.6 million
- Some microenterprises may be eligible
Fit For Nuclear has been built by Nuclear AMRC and other leading industry partners to help potential businesses to bid for work in the nuclear supply chain either in new build, operation and decommissioning. They support the development of UK manufacturers in the areas of high-precision mechanical engineering, controls and instrumentation, electricals and other components.
Fit For Nuclear can help businesses that have no nuclear experience as long as they have more than ten employees or an annual turnover above £1.6 million, however, some microenterprises may be eligible if they provide a niche product or service.
32. ESA Business Applications
Some of the features and benefits of ESA Business Applications’ small business grants.
- Offers funding and support to businesses
- Open to all sectors developing technology for space and agriculture
- Offers thematic opportunities
- Can submit an open application
- Offers Zero Equity Funding
- Funding from 60,000-2 million Euros
- Tailored project management support
- Access to their network and partners
- Can use ESA branding to assist credibility
- Supports business in Europe
ESA Business Applications is managed by ESA Space Solutions who offer business applications, business incubation and technology transfer. They support businesses in Europe who are developing their business using satellite applications and space technology.
ESA Business Applications offers business applications on thematic opportunities and open applications. They provide Zero Equity Funding that offers from 60,000 to 2 million Euros per activity, a personalised consultant, technical and commercial guidance and access to their network of partners. They will also let you use the ESA brand to increase your credibility. Applicants can look to use spaceflight technologies, satellite communication, satellite navigation, satellite earth observation and space weather.
33. Future Focus Programme
Some of the features and benefits of Future Focus Programme’s small business grants.
- Offers a support programme
- Assistance in identifying opportunities
- Supports innovation
- Access to labs and trips
- Conduct bespoke business research
- Grants designed to purchase items
- Coaching support
- Assistance with recruitment
- Insight events
- Apply online
Future Focus Programme is managed by Unlocking Potential and it is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The Future Focus Programme has been developed to help businesses that want to accelerate their growth and minimise risk.
Future Focus Programme combines a range of practical and financial support for businesses in Cornwall and the Isle of Scilly. Their support programme will assist you in identifying opportunities and to innovate and develop your business through access to labs, trips and insight events. They can offer grants to support the purchase of items, coaching and recruitment. To find out more apply online.
34. Get Growing 2
Some of the features and benefits of Get Growing 2’s small business grants.
- Offers support to Hertfordshire businesses
- Designed for SMEs
- Tailored packaged of support
- Grants up to £5,000
- Up to 45% of eligible expenditure
- One-to-one advice
- Part ERDF funded
- Helping businesses to stabilise and grow
- Allocates a dedicated account manager
- Register your interest online
Get Growing 2 is managed by the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and is part ERDF funded. The scheme is designed for Hertfordshire SMEs wanting to grow their business. During 2020 they have extended their support due to the pandemic to include helping businesses to stabilise their operations and increased grant levels from £2,000 to £5,000.
Get Growing 2 offers a tailored package of support designed to help businesses to grow and develop through a combination of advice and grants. The grants they offer can be used for up to 45% of eligible expenditure. They will allocate you a dedicated account manager and will give you one-to-one advice.
35. Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme
Some of the features and benefits of Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme’s small business grants.
- Provides support in accessing gigabit-capable broadband
- Vouchers up to £3,500
- For SMEs and homes
- Designed for rural businesses only
- Gain high-speed broadband connections
- Online postcode checker
- Will tell you which suppliers are active in your area
- New connections must be over 30Mbps
- You must have less than 250 employees
- Evidence of your SME or sole trader status will be needed
Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme is run by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and is designed to help businesses and homes to access gigabit-capable broadband connection. It was created by the government to assist the rollout of high-speed broadband connections to support the digital growth in the UK.
Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme offers vouchers worth up to £3,500 to SME businesses to access fast and reliable internet connection. You may be eligible if your broadband speed is below 100Mbps and you live in an eligible area, which you can check on their website. You may need to group your voucher with other businesses in your area.
36. Grants for Growth Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire
Some of the features and benefits of Grants for Growth’s small business grants.
- Offers capital and revenue grants
- Available to businesses in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire
- Grants from £10,000 to £160,000
- Intervention rates vary from 10-30%
- Minimum project cost of £35,000
- Match finding from yourself or equity funds is needed
- Can be used for expansion of business premises
- Purchase of plant, equipment and machinery
- Part ERDF funded
- You can express an interest through the website
Grants for Growth is delivered by Stoke-on-Trent City Council and is designed for businesses based in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire to offer gap funding. The scheme is part-funded by the ERDF and it aims to assist businesses in growing and to create new employment opportunities.
Grants for Growth offers capital and revenue grants that can be used for a variety of purposes including the expansion of business premises and the purchase of plant, equipment and machinery. Grants are available for projects that have a minimum cost of £35,000 and the grant amount is dependent on an invention rate that varies from 10-30%. Grants are available from £10,000 to £160,000.
37. Heritage Fund Grant
Some of the features and benefits of Heritage Fund Grant’s small business grants.
- National Lottery funded grants for heritage
- Grants from £250,000 to £5 million
- Open to not-for-profit organisations
- Also to partnership led not-for-profit organisation
- Grant application needs to be built in two phases – development and delivery
- A contribution of 5-10% is required
- Can submit an expression of interest online
- You will be invited to submit a development phase application
- Four funding rounds are held each year
- Decision made on applications within four months
Heritage Fund Grant is funded by the National Lottery and is open to organisations or projects that are not-for-profits or led by a not-for-profit organisation. They offer grants from £250,000 to £5 million for heritage projects which require a contribution of 5% below £1 million and 10% above it.
Heritage Fund Grant projects need to be made up of two phases – development and delivery. To access the grant, you need to make an expression of interest and then you will be invited to make a development phase application which happens four times per year. They review all applications within 12 weeks and decisions will be shared within four months.
38. High Impact Scale Up Coaching Grants
Some of the features and benefits of High Impact Scale Up Coaching Grants’ small business grants.
- Offers grants to support businesses who are scaling up
- Designed to help scale up and grow your business
- Provides a business coach or trainer
- Grants up to £5,000
- Available to businesses in the West of England
- Can help you formulate plans
- To be eligible you have to be an aspirational business
- Demonstrate two years of sustained growth
- Have between seven and 250 employees
- They are offering increased support during Covid-19
High Impact Scale Up Coaching Grants are managed by Business West who offer business support to businesses in the West of England. They support businesses through a combination of a grant up to £5,000 and coaching opportunities to assist businesses in scaling and growing.
High Impact Scale Up Coaching Grants provide businesses with the support of business coach or trainer who can help you to formulate and review your plans including contingency plans during the Covid-19 pandemic, bid writing, financial management and internationalisation. To be eligible your business needs to demonstrate that you are aspirational, have two years sustained growth and have between seven and 250 employees.
39. Horizon 2020 Funding
Some of the features and benefits of Horizon 2020 Funding’s small business grants.
- Research and Innovation programme
- Offering 80 million Euros of funding over seven years
- Designed to stimulate innovations and breakthroughs
- Assists in getting ideas from the lab to market
- Funding and tender opportunities are published on a dedicated website
- Apply online following the instructions provided
- Requires at least three partners in the proposal
- Submit your application by the published deadline
- Applications will be evaluated by a panel of experts
- A grant agreement will be drawn up with the project requirements
Horizon 2020 Funding is an EU programme focusing on Research and Innovation which is a seven-year funding pot of 80 million Euros. The programme has been designed to help businesses and stimulate innovation resulting in breakthroughs that assist in getting ideas from labs into the marketplace.
Horizon 2020 Funding information is published on the funding and tender opportunities website where applications are made, guidance and instructions for completing the application are held and submission deadlines. A panel of experts will review the applications and decide before a grant agreement will be drawn up outlining duration, budget, rates and obligations.
40. Innovate UK
Some of the features and benefits of Innovate UK’s small business grants.
- Runs a range of innovation competitions
- Open to UK businesses
- Competitions have very specific requirements
- Target different business sectors
- Some opportunities are collaborative projects
- Funding contributions are often tiered based on business size
- Grant contribution often ranges from 50-70%
- The projects must promote development and innovation
- There are fixed deadlines on each project start, end and length
- Visit the website for details of specific opportunities
Innovate UK runs a variety of innovation competitions that promote the advancement of UK industry which could drive efficiencies, develop new products, create new processes and reduce environmental impacts. These competitions are very specific to the industry and the requirements and will be tied to specific targets or aims.
Innovate UK’s competitions tend to provide grant contributions from 50-70% of the eligible project costs which the contribution level is linked to the size of the businesses bidding for the funding. The competitions have fixed deadlines which includes the closing date, commencement date, end date and the project length. Below we have listed some of the current opportunities.
41. ATI Programme R&D Funding
Some of the features and benefits of ATI Programme R&D Funding’s small business grants.
- £8 million funding pot for industry-led civil aerospace projects
- Requires collaborative R&D
- Designed for SMEs
- Competitive process
- Submit an expression of interest first
- For projects between £300,000 and £1.5 million
- Funding is for 50-70% of eligible costs
- Credible projects with a route to market
- Meet the UK Aerospace Technology Strategy Accelerating Ambition
- Full guidance is provided
ATI Programme R&D Funding is part of Innovate UK and is a specialist programme that is designed to drive growth and innovation in industrial led civil aerospace projects. There is an £8 million funding pot that is for collaborative projects that involve research and development for SME businesses.
ATI Programme R&D Funding has a competitive process which requires an expression of interest first then you will be invited to compete against others for the funding. They fund projects that have an eligible expenditure of £300,000 to £1.5 million, have a creditable route to market and address the priorities in UK Aerospace Technology Strategy Accelerating Ambition.
42. SMEs Transforming Food Production
Some of the features and benefits of SMEs Transforming Food Production’s small business grants.
- Funding for transforming food production
- Designed for UK registered SMEs
- Projects must aim to strive for net-zero emissions
- Project size of £1-3 million
- Start by 1st October 2021
- Completed by 31st March 2023
- Grants for 35-45% of eligible funding
- Can provide you with commercial acumen
- Support with leadership, market access, skills and resources
- Competition closes 13th January 2021
SMEs Transforming Food Production is a programme that is part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and is managed by Innovate UK. It is designed to assist food producers who are striving to meet net-zero carbon emissions. It is a competition that is available to UK registered businesses who are micro, small or medium-sized.
SMEs Transforming Food Production can provide you with support on leadership, market access, skills and resources. Projects must have an eligible project spend between £1 million to £3 million on experimental development. Grants are available for 35% of eligible costs for medium-sized organisations and 45% for micro and small organisations.
43. Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP)
Some of the features and benefits of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP)’s small business grants.
- Targets partnerships between businesses and educational institutes
- £10 million funding pot
- UK registered businesses and not-for-profits
- Knowledge base partner – higher or further education institutions, RTOs and Catapults
- Aims to stimulate innovation and knowledge sharing
- Grants can fund 50-67% of eligible costs
- Projects should last between 12 to 36 months
- Projects costs should be under £75,000
- You should employ one or two graduates for the project
- Competition closes 27th January 2021
Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) is managed by Innovate UK and it is providing £10 million funding pot for businesses partnering with higher or further education institutes, RTO and Catapult. These partnerships aim to deliver a specific and strategic project that drives innovation and creates a knowledge transfer.
Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) will partially fund projects that cost no more £75,000 and the grant can provide 50% of eligible costs for large businesses and 67% for micro, small and medium-sized businesses. The funding should be used to recruit one or two graduates to work on the project and it should last between 12 and 36 months.
44. UK and Canada Biomanufacturing In Cell & Gene Therapies
Some of the features and benefits of UK and Canada Biomanufacturing In Cell & Gene Therapies’ small business grants.
- Collaborative working opportunity
- Targets process improvement in biomanufacturing
- Designed for specific gene and cell therapies projects
- Projects should cost no more than £128,000
- Length shouldn’t exceed 24 months
- Grant contribution of up to 75% of eligible costs
- It must start by 1st May 2021
- Suitable for UK registered SMEs, academics, catapult, charity, public sector or RTO
- Projects must be done in and benefit the UK
- Competition ends 23rd December 2020
UK and Canada Biomanufacturing In Cell & Gene Therapies is a programme that is delivered by Innovate UK in partnership with the National Research Council of Canada. It targets UK registered SMEs who are working in gene and cell therapies.
UK and Canada Biomanufacturing In Cell & Gene Therapies looks to fund projects that focus on process improvement for adeno-associated virus-based gene therapy, or the deployment of processes for analytical technologies to perfusion-enabled lentiviral vector manufacturing. Projects eligible costs can’t exceed £128,000 and the project length should be under 24 months. The grant can cover up to 75% of the eligible costs.
45. ISCF Future Plastic Packaging Solutions
Some of the features and benefits of ISCF Future Plastic Packaging Solutions’ small business grants.
- This is for the development of smart and sustainable plastic packaging
- Designed for UK registered businesses
- Funding pot of up to £2 million
- Part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund
- Must deliver the targets of the UK Plastics Pact
- Grants between £50,000 to £150,000
- Grant contribution of up to 50-70%
- Projects must start by 1st June 2021
- Completion by 30th November 2022
- Competition closes 20th January 2021
ISCF Future Plastic Packaging Solutions is managed by Innovate UK and is part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and offers up to £2 million of funding. It aims to deliver smarter and sustainable solutions for plastic packaging for consumer products to reduce their environmental impact. It must also deliver the targets in the UK Plastics Pact.
ISCF Future Plastic Packaging Solutions offers grants of £50,000 to £150,000 per project which can be shared between partners. The grant contribution rate for eligible project costs is up to 70% for micro or small organisations, up to 60% of medium-sized organisations and up to 50% for large organisations.
46. SBRI Innovate at HS2 2020 Phase 1
Some of the features and benefits of SBRI Innovate at HS2 2020 Phase 1’s small business grants.
- Supports HS2 through innovation in design and construction phase
- Funded by HS2
- Deliver innovation and drive efficiencies
- Up to £30,000 for feasibility studies
- Fund up to 10 projects
- To start by 1st March 2021
- End by 31st May 2021
- Should last no longer than three months
- Open to organisations of any size
- Competition closes 16th December 2020
SBRI Innovate at HS2 2020 Phase 1 is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition and is funded by HS2. It is designed to deliver innovation and drive efficiencies in the project and processes in the design and construction phase. This phase has an allocation of £300,000 which they anticipate funding up to 10 projects with up to £30,000 funding for feasibility studies.
SBRI Innovate at HS2 2020 Phase 1 projects should commence no later than 1st March 2021 and be completed no later than 31st May 2021 and last no longer than three months. This competition is open to organisations of all sizes as single businesses or partnerships.
47. SBRI AI Supporting Early Detection & Diagnosis in Heart Failure Management
Some of the features and benefits of SBRI AI Supporting Early Detection & Diagnosis in Heart Failure Management’s small business grants.
- For the development of AI tools
- Should provide accessible heart failure data
- Funded by NHS Scotland
- Provides 100% funding
- Access to advice from a range of organisations
- Potentially a two-phase competition
- Grants up to £10,000 in phase one and £40,000 in phase two
- Commencement on 1st February 2021
- Last for up to three months
- Competition closes 9th December 2020
SBRI AI Supporting Early Detection & Diagnosis in Heart Failure Management is a competition run by Innovate UK under the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) and is funded by NHS Scotland. It offers 100% funding and access to advice from NHS Tayside, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board and the University of Dundee Health Informatics Centre.
The competition is likely to be a two-phase project – phase one a feasibility study and phase two prototype development and testing. Grants up to £10,000 in phase one and £40,000 in phase two. Phase one projects should commence on 1st February 2021 and last no longer than three months.
48. Faraday Battery Challenge Innovation R&D
Some of the features and benefits of Faraday Battery Challenge Innovation R&D’s small business grants.
- Innovation in electric vehicle battery technology
- For UK registered businesses
- Share of £10 million grant funding
- Projects between £300,000 and £1.5 million
- Three to 12 months in length
- Completed by 31st March 2022
- This is for the feasibility stage
- Support the design, development and manufacture of EV batteries
- Suitable for businesses of all sizes and collaborations
- Competition closes 9th December 2020
Faraday Battery Challenge Innovation R&D is part of UK Research and Innovation and is managed by Innovate UK. It offers a pot of £10 million grant funding to UK registered businesses for innovation in electric vehicle battery technology for feasibility studies and R&D as part of the Faraday Battery Challenge.
Faraday Battery Challenge Innovation R&D will support innovation for the design, development and manufacture of battery technology for electric vehicles to accelerate their development. Projects must have total eligible costs between £300,000 and £1,500,000 and the feasibility projects can run from three to 12 months but must end by 31st March 2022.
49. 5G Enabled Road & Rail Transport Trials in the West Midlands
Some of the features and benefits of 5G Enabled Road & Rail Transport Trials’ small business grants.
- For the development of 5G enabled transport innovations
- Open to UK registered businesses
- Funding pot up to £2.5 million
- Project funding up to £500,000
- Provides up to 25-60% of the eligible costs
- Up to 12 months in length
- Commence by 15th March 2021
- Completed by 21st March 2022
- Suitable for businesses of all sizes
- Competition closes 2nd December 2020
5G Enabled Road & Rail Transport Trials is a partnership project between the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the West Midlands Combined Authority which are investing up to £2.5 million in innovation projects. The competition process is managed by Innovate UK. The aim is to improve road and rail operational efficiency, create better-connected transport or improve the passenger experience.
5G Enabled Road & Rail Transport Trials requires projects to consult with Transport for West Midlands for integration with physical road or rail networks and data. Projects can claim up to £500,000 grant funding and funding will vary between 25-60% of the eligible costs.
50. Innovation Vouchers
Some of the features and benefits of Innovation Vouchers’ small business grants.
- Designed to drive innovation and growth
- Aimed at SMEs
- Used to develop new processes, systems, products and services
- Grant funding up to £2,500
- Provides funding up to 50%
- Access external expertise
- Offers a range of business workshops
- Covers Great Birmingham and Solihull
- Managed by Aston University
- Part-funded by ERDF
Innovation Vouchers is a scheme that is designed to help small to medium-sized businesses that want to drive innovation and growth. The scheme is managed by Aston University in partnership with Birmingham City University and is part-funded by ERDF. They provide vouchers to businesses in Greater Birmingham and Solihull.
Innovation Vouchers can be used to develop new processes and systems that can improve the efficiency of the business as well as bring new products and services to the market. Grants are available up to £2,500 but they need to be match funded to at least 50%. Participants can access external expertise through their knowledge base organisations and business workshops.
51. Invest to Grow
Some of the features and benefits of Invest to Grow’s small business grants.
- A scheme designed to support innovation, growth and job creation
- Grants and loans between £15,000 and £250,000
- Supports business across the East Midlands
- Managed by the University of Derby
- Available to SMEs, large enterprises, sole traders and partnerships
- Develop and improve products and services
- Expand or upgrade premises, machinery and equipment
- Innovate products, processes and systems
- Available to a wide variety of sectors
- You need to make an expression of interest online first
Invest to Grow is a programme run by the University of Derby and provides grants and loans to private businesses in the East Midlands including SMEs, large enterprises, sole traders and partnerships. The programme is funded by the repayment of loans which is used to invest in other businesses. The programme is designed to stimulate innovation, assist growth and create new jobs or safeguard existing jobs in the region.
Invest to Grow can be used to develop or improve products and services, expand or upgrade premises, machinery and equipment, and innovate products, processes and systems to create efficiency, growth and profitability.
52. Key Fund
Some of the features and benefits of Key Fund’s small business grants.
- Offers grant/loan packages
- Designed to help community and social enterprises
- Assistance to help start-up, grow or become more sustainable
- Suitable for new enterprises
- Aims to create new jobs and re-invigorate communities
- Offers investments from £5,000 to £300,000
- Grants of up to £50,000
- Available to businesses in the North of England and the Midlands
- Helps to access other grant opportunities available in the area
- Loans funded by a variety of partners
Key Fund is a social enterprise helping community and social enterprises in the North of England and Midlands to access funding. Funding is for start-ups, growth or increases sustainability to create new jobs and re-invigorate communities.
Key Fund offers a combination of grants and loans. Northern Impact Fund offers up to £150,000 with up to 20% grant funding. Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund offers up to £150,000 with up to a third grant from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Community Business Fund offers up to £150,000 with up to a third grant from Power to Change. They also offer standalone and Property Fund loans up to £300,000.
53. Business Growth Programme
Some of the features and benefits of Business Growth Programme’s small business grants.
- Supports businesses to grow and create new jobs
- Grants between £10,000 and £250,000
- Grants will be between 10-20% of the eligible costs
- Available to SMEs and large businesses in the Leeds City Region
- Suitable for businesses relocating to the area
- Can be used to fit out and refurbish buildings
- Utilise for plant, machinery and equipment
- Should create permanent jobs in the region
- To apply complete an enquiry form
- Applicants must have been established for at least 12 months
Business Growth Programme is managed by Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership. The funding is available to SMEs and large businesses in the Leeds City Region who have been established for at least 12 months and businesses can apply if they are relocating to the region.
Business Growth Programme offers grants from £10,000 to £250,000 with a grant contribution rate of 10-20% of the eligible costs. The grants are designed to help businesses to fit out and refurbish premises, and purchase plant, machinery and equipment. The project must create jobs in the region with one job per £7,500-£12,500 grant received.
54. Low Carbon Workspaces
Some of the features and benefits of Low Carbon Workspaces’ small business grants.
- Offers match-funded grants
- Grants between £1,000 and £5,000
- Funding up to a third of the eligible costs
- Projects must cut carbon emissions
- Designed for SME businesses
- Available in Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Hertfordshire
- Can also reduce costs and waste
- Must quantify carbon reduction which they will help you to do
- Can be used for a variety of energy efficiency measures
- Apply online registering your interest
Low Carbon Workspaces is a programme that is designed to help businesses to reduce their carbon footprint and energy usage which can help reduce energy costs and waste. The key pre-requisite for this scheme is that all projects must cut carbon emissions. Their programme is available to Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Hertfordshire SMEs.
Low Carbon Workspaces can be used to fund lighting systems, solar PV, equipment upgrades, heating and cooling upgrades, energy management and building fabric improvements. They may also fund other measures not listed. The application will require a carbon reduction measure which they will assist you in calculating.
55. Manufacturing Growth Programme
Some of the features and benefits of Manufacturing Growth Programme’s small business grants.
- Supports improvements in manufacturing
- Helps in understanding and removing growth barriers
- Available to SMEs in manufacturing
- Covers the West Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber, parts of the East Midlands and South East
- Grant funding is available to support you
- Dedicated and experienced support manager
- Tailored business support
- Comprehensive business diagnostic tool
- Access to experts
- Can assist you in creating a detailed action plan
Manufacturing Growth Programme is delivered by Economic Growth Solutions to provide support for the manufacturing sector. The programme aims to provide you with support and insight so that you can understand and remove the barriers that are preventing your growth.
Manufacturing Growth Programme is available to manufacturing SMEs in the West Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber, parts of the East Midlands and South East. As part of the programme, participants will be allocated a dedicated and experienced Manufacturing Growth Manager who will tailor the support to your needs. They will use a comprehensive business diagnostic tool to help create a detailed action plan.
56. Creative Europe
Some of the features and benefits of Creative Europe’s small business grants.
- Offers a range of funding opportunities
- Media sub-programme for the media industry
- Culture sub-programme for cultural and creative sectors
- Cross-sector funding
- Provides funding, training and network opportunities
- Many programmes run until 2027
- Offers free advice and support
- Open to all UK businesses operating in the target sectors
- Provides workshops, seminars and industry events.
- Can assist in accessing other EU funding
Creative Europe is the European Union’s programme that has been designed to support cultural, creative and audio-visual sectors. They provide free advice and support to UK based applicants with specialist advisors across the country who run workshops, seminars and industry events.
Creative Europe’s Media sub-programme supports film, television, new media and video games. It offers funding, training and networking opportunity to support the growth of these businesses with a variety of programmes running until 2027. The Culture sub-programme supports the cultural and creative sectors offering funding largely to collaborative projects. Some projects including the cross-sector funding projects may have closed and some are yet to open.
57. NBV Grant for Enterprise
Some of the features and benefits of NBV Grant for Enterprise’s small business grants.
- Supports the growth and development of businesses
- Caters for micro, small and medium-sized businesses
- Available in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Greater Lincolnshire
- Must be currently trading
- Excludes retail
- Grants between £1,000 and £2,500
- A maximum grant of 25% of eligible costs
- Part ERDF funded
- Complete an expression of interest online
- If successful you will need to complete a full application
NBV Grant for Enterprise is designed to cater for established micro, small and medium-sized businesses that are based in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Greater Lincolnshire. It is open to businesses that operate as a business to business or business to consumer services but excludes retail.
NBV Grant for Enterprise offers grant funding of between £1,000 and £2,500 with a maximum grant contribution of 25% so minimum project spend must be over £4,000. The scheme is part-funded by ERDF. To apply you need to complete an expression of interest first and if successful you need to complete a full application which they will support you in completing.
58. North of Tyne Growth Fund
Some of the features and benefits of North of Tyne Growth Fund’s small business grants.
- Supports businesses to expand
- Programme with £4.6 million funding
- Available to businesses in Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland
- Open to businesses wanting to establish themselves in the target area
- Must be an existing business
- Part ERDF funded
- Grants offer up 30% of eligible spend
- Minimum project size of £134,000
- To apply you need to fill in an enquiry form
- An advisor will contact you to discuss the project
North of Tyne Growth Fund is a £4.6 million programme that has been designed to support the growth of small to medium-sized businesses and is part ERDF funded. They offer grants that can provide up to 30% of eligible expenditure. They support businesses in Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland or those wanting to establish themselves in the area.
North of Tyne Growth Fund is only available to existing businesses. To apply for a grant, you will need to complete an enquiry form, email or phone them. A project advisor will get in contact with you and discuss your business, project and eligibility.
59. Products and Process Innovation
Some of the features and benefits of Products and Process Innovation’s small business grants.
- Provides a programme with grants and workshops
- Offers up to 40% capital grants
- Up to £20,000 funding
- Can be used for equipment purchases
- Caters for SMEs
- Available in York, North Yorkshire, East Riding and Leeds City Region
- Firstly you will need to complete an expression of interest form
- They will assist you in completing an application
- Provide procurement support
- Part ERDF funded
Products and Process Innovation project is designed to help encourage innovation and economic development. They offer grants and workshops that can help you to develop your business. It caters for small to medium-sized businesses in York, North Yorkshire, East Riding and Leeds City Region.
Products and Process Innovation offers capital grants that can be used to purchase equipment. Grants are available from £8,000 up to £20,000 with a maximum contribution of 40% of the eligible spend. To apply for a grant, you need to complete an expression of interest form and if successful you will need to complete an application form which they will support you with.
60. Productivity Through Innovation
Some of the features and benefits of Productivity Through Innovation’s small business grants.
- Provides tailored business support
- Provided by the University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University and the University of Derby
- Aims to drive productivity improvements
- Targets SME businesses
- Available to those based in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire
- Fully funded graduate placements
- Up to five days consultancy
- Offers between 20 and 30% grant funding
- Funding for bespoke collaborative research
- To find out more you should email their team
Productivity Through Innovation is a programme run by the University of Nottingham alongside Nottingham Trent University and the University of Derby. They provide support to small to medium-sized businesses that are based in Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
Productivity Through Innovation aims to drive productivity improvements that can result in increased turnover, profitability and competitiveness. Through the programme, you can access a range of support which includes up to four fully funded postgraduate placements of 200 hours, 20-30% grant towards a graduate salary for up to 12 months, up to five days consultancy from academic experts, and funding for bespoke collaborative research.
61. Worcestershire Proof of Concept
Some of the features and benefits of Worcestershire Proof of Concept’s small business grants.
- Supports businesses to turn ideas into reality
- Helps to investigate, progress, protect and commercialise ideas
- Prove economic potential
- Grants up to £30,000
- Maximum contribution of up to 40%
- Part ERDF funded
- Fund machinery and building works
- Support market research and marketing
- Assists in IPR protection, accreditation and prototyping
- Business Manager will support you
Worcestershire Proof of Concept is a grant programme that has been designed to assist SME’s to investigate, progress, protect and commercialise business ideas from the early stages. This is delivered in partnership with the Central Technology Belt and part ERDF funded
Worcestershire Proof of Concept programme offers grants up to £30,000 with a maximum contribution of up to 40% of the eligible project costs. The grant is designed to help prove the innovation has economic potential and can fund machinery, building works, market research, IPR protection, prototyping, accreditation and marketing. The programme will support you with a Business Manager to assist you with your application.
62. Repair Grants for Heritage at Risk
Some of the features and benefits of Repair Grants for Heritage at Risk’s small business grants.
- Supports the repair and conservation of listed buildings
- Also assists with scheduled monuments and registered parks and gardens
- Focuses on sites with the greatest need and highest at risk
- Projects should not be able to go ahead without the grant
- Available to those who own or manage historic sites
- Local authorities responsible for sites
- Organisations encouraging conservation of historic environments
- Needs to be listed on the Heritage at Risk Register
- Offers a range of other grants
- Contact your local office to discuss your application
Repair Grants for Heritage at Risk is a grant programme that helps to protect and save historic sites in England. They can provide grants that can be used to repair and conserve listed buildings, scheduled monuments and registered parks and gardens. Projects should reduce the risk that historic sites face.
Repair Grants for Heritage at Risk is focused on those sites which are in the most need of repair and they tend to support projects that would be unable to go ahead without the grant funding. You need to apply through your local office, and they advise that you discuss the project with them first.
63. Small Growth Grants Dorset
Some of the features and benefits of Small Growth Grants Dorset’s small business grants.
- Provides support to grow businesses
- Assign a personal Business Growth Consultant
- Tailor a support package to you
- Provides support events
- Offers grants up to 25% of eligible costs
- Grants range from £1,000 to £5,000
- Open to businesses in Dorset
- Part-funded by the ERDF
- Can be used for equipment, premise works and fitting
- Adoption of new digital capability and outsourcing expertise
Small Growth Grants Dorset are managed by the Dorset Growth Hub and is part ERDF funded and it covers businesses in Dorset. You can access support from their Business Growth Consultants and their support events as well as apply for grant funding.
Small Growth Grants Dorset offers grants that support business growth for those that have been trading for 12 months or more. Grants range from £1,000 to £5,000 with a maximum grant contribution of 25% of the eligible costs. The grants can be used for equipment, works on new premises and fittings, the adoption of new digital capability and the outsourcing of expertise.
64. South East Creatives
Some of the features and benefits of South East Creatives’ small business grants.
- The scheme is specifically for creative businesses
- Designed for schemes of £3,000 to £4,000
- Grant contribution of up to 35% of eligible costs
- Maximum funding of £10,000
- Helps to improve your start-up capacity
- Developing a new product or service
- New equipment
- Assistance in improving business efficiency
- Support an increase in turnover
- Also offers mentoring and expert advice
South East Creatives was developed by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership and is part-funded by the ERDF. It targets creative businesses only and aims to help them grow. They offer grants, internships, digital and data expertise, workshops and mentoring.
South East Creatives offers grant funding of up to £10,000 although it suits smaller projects of £3,000 to £4,000. The maximum grant contribution rate is 35% of the eligible costs. The grant can be used to improve start-up capacity or business efficiency, increase turnover, to help develop a new product or service and buy new equipment.
65. Staffordshire Business Innovation Centre
Some of the features and benefits of Staffordshire Business Innovation Centre’s small business grants.
- Helps businesses to evaluate and develop products and ideas
- Offers grants up to £5,000
- Maximum 37% grant contribution
- Designed to help you research and develop products or services
- Available for businesses in Staffordshire
- To be eligible you need to operate on a business to business basis
- Available to new start-ups
- Part-funded by ERDF
- Complete an expression of interest
- Can be used for a variety of purposes including strategy, advice and support
- Also offers a range of workshops
Staffordshire Business Innovation Centre is part of a European network of centres that help businesses to evaluate and develop ideas, products and technologies, and is part-funded by ERDF. They offer a range of business workshops that assist businesses in developing ideas and getting them to market.
New Product Development Grant offers up to £5,000 with a maximum grant contribution of 37%. The grants are available to business to business companies and you can be either an established business or one that has an idea that it is yet to start up. Grants can be used to get IPR, IT support, seek external advice on development and marketing.
Some of the features and benefits of TALE’s small business grants.
- Supports logistics businesses
- Offers free support and funding
- Designed to improve efficiency and productivity
- Provides webinars
- Grants up to £10,000
- Free 9-hour mentoring package
- Maximum 40% grant contribution
- Available to SMEs with less than 250 employees
- Projects must involve data analytics as part of the logistics function
- Funding can be used for devices, software and consultancy
TALE stands for Transport and Logistics Efficiencies and they support businesses in the logistics industry. They provide support through grant funding, access to experts and webinars. They offer two grant schemes – TALE LITE offers £1,000-£2,000 and TALE offers £1,000-£10,000 with 40% maximum grant contribution.
TALE LITE grant offers support in purchasing software and consultancy advice for projects from £2,500 to £5,000. TALE grant provides support in purchasing software, consultancy and equipment for projects of £2,500 to £25,000. Projects must involve the embedding of new data analytic tools and techniques. They also offer a free 9-hour mentoring package to assist you in strengthening areas of your business.
67. Tees Valley Business Start Up Programme
Some of the features and benefits of Tees Valley Business Start Up Programme’s small business grants.
- Designed to help new businesses to get started
- Supports Tees Valley businesses
- Allocates a business adviser
- Will develop a tailored package of support
- Grants up to £10,000
- Offers a range of start-up workshops
- Targets high-growth businesses
- Social enterprises
- Young people aged 18-30
- Specific sectors
Tees Valley Business Start Up Programme supports businesses in the Tees Valley area in getting set up and established and grow employment opportunities. They will allocate you a business adviser who will discuss with you your needs and then they will develop a tailored package of support.
Tees Valley Business Start Up Programme offers Start-Up, Scale Up grants which offer grants up to £10,000 to those meeting the criteria. It caters for those wanting to set up a high-growth business, starting a social enterprise, young people aged 18-30, or setting up a business in advanced manufacturing, chemical and process, low carbon or oil and gas, automotive, healthcare or logistics.
68. Tees Valley Leadership and Management Programme
Some of the features and benefits of Tees Valley Leadership and Management Programme’s small business grants.
- Designed to help businesses to develop and upskill their staff
- Caters for businesses in the Tees Valley
- Partnered with NBSL and Calderdale College
- Develop leadership and management capacity
- Offered to SMEs
- Fully funded training
- Helps to fill skill gaps, improve productivity and boost business growth
- Bespoke training programmes
- Training is offered through the Skills Support for the Workforce project
- Part ERDF funded
Tees Valley Leadership and Management Programme is run by Tees Valley Business to help develop businesses through training and upskilling staff. The project is delivered in partnership with NBSL and Calderdale College and is part-funded by ERDF. Training is delivered by a range of local professional training providers.
Tees Valley Leadership and Management Programme has almost £7 million of funding to support businesses and to develop their leadership and management capacity that will assist business in filling skills gaps, improve their productivity and help boost business growth. They can provide access to training as well as create bespoke training programmes tailored to your business.
69. The Hertfordshire Start-up Programme
Some of the features and benefits of The Hertfordshire Start-Up Programme’s small business grants.
- Provides free support for business start-ups
- Designed for Hertfordshire residents
- Grants of up to £1,000 for start-ups
- Grants of up to £3,000 for early-stage businesses
- 12-hours free business support
- Workshops and networking events
- One-to-one business advice
- Incubation workspace
- Tailored advice and support
- Part ERDF funded
The Hertfordshire Start-up Programme is managed by Wenta in partnership with STANTA and Dacorum Borough Council on behalf of the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and is part-funded by ERDF. The programme offers a variety of business support tailored to the needs of business start-ups which includes grants, events and advice.
The Hertfordshire Start-up Programme offers grants of up £3,000 which include £1,000 Start-Up Grant for new businesses and £3,000 Growth Escalator Grant for existing businesses in the first stages of operation. They provide workshops and networking opportunities to build skills and knowledge, one-to-one business advice from experts, and incubation workspace that provides office facilities and on-site business advisor.
70. Eden Tourism Grant
Some of the features and benefits of Eden Tourism Grant’s small business grants.
- Provides support to organisations promoting tourism
- Offers marketing grants
- Maximum grants of £500
- Open to businesses and social enterprises
- Need to outline the event or project
- Provide costings for the activity
- Demonstrate own funding and community support
- Show how the local area will benefit
- Applications will be considered in two weeks
- Delivered by Eden District Council
Eden Tourism Grant is delivered by Eden Tourism which is part of Eden District Council. The grant has been designed to promote tourism in the Eden District and offers grants of up to £500.
Eden Tourism Grant is available to businesses and social enterprises who are delivering events, activities and projects that will stimulate tourism. You will need to fill in an application form which draws out the details of the activity, the projected costs and split of funding, how the community will benefit and their support, and the partners you are working with. You will also need to show how you will measure the outcomes of the activity.