Funding & Support For UK Companies

Find grants, funding and support Incentives from across the UK to help your business grow and succeed!

The Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme

Under the Youth Can Do It scheme, The Prince’s Trust is working with 18-30-year-olds to help them develop their businesses. The programme is divided into four sections: Info session, Workshop, Build your business, Launch. There is no ‘business grant’ as such available, but you can secure funding through the programme.

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 ScotlandWales and Northern Ireland.

Innovate UK Smart Grants programme

Innovate UK Smart Grants help deliver ambitious R&D innovations with significant potential for impact on the UK economy.

The current round of funding is open until May 26 2021.

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 £3,500 against the cost of connection. Find out if you’re eligible by using the postcode checker on the website.

Other Innovate UK funding opportunities

Innovate UK runs a host of other competitions in more niche areas. These include:

  • SBRI competition – Improving Hip Fracture Outcomes Using Data, phase 1
  • Commercialising Quantum Technologies: feasibility studies round 2
  • ISCF TFI: large collaborative R&D projects
  • SBRI: Improving Multimorbidity Acute Care Using Data Analytics, phase 1
  • Eureka Eurostars 2: round 15
  • ATF: moving the UK automotive sector to zero emissions
  • Knowledge transfer partnerships (KTP): 2020 to 2021, round 5
  • African agriculture knowledge transfer partnerships (KTP): 2020 to 2021, round 5

Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS)

You’ll have heard of this scheme. It helps start-ups to raise money for their business. You get a maximum of £150,000 including state aid awarded in the three years running up to the date of investment.

Make sure you meet the conditions so investors can claim and keep SEIS tax reliefs relating to their shares. Said tax reliefs will be withheld or withdrawn if you don’t meet these conditions for three years after the investment. The money must be spent within three years of the share issue.

Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS)

Like the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme, except for established businesses.

£25,000 #BusinessBoost grant competition

Simply Business has launched a £25,000 Business Boost grant for 2021. It’s designed to help entrepreneurs launch a new business or help existing SMEs bounce back from challenges posed by Covid-19. To enter, you’ll need to fill out a form on the competition website detailing why you think you deserve the grant.

You must not have a turnover of over £500,000 or have received over £50,000 in private grant funding in the past two years – this doesn’t include government grants. The closing date is September 17, 2021.

Kickstart Scheme

The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to create new job placements for 16 to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment. Employers of all sizes can apply for funding which covers:

  • 100 per cent of the National Minimum Wage (or the National Living Wage depending on the age of the participant) for 25 hours per week for a total of six months
  • Associated employer National Insurance contributions
  • Employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions

Employers can spread the start date of the job placements up until the end of December 2021.

R&D Tax Credits

R&D Tax Credits are for innovative projects in science and technology. They can be claimed by firms who want to research or develop an advance in their field. You can even claim it on unsuccessful projects.

You can apply if you have fewer than 500 staff and a turnover of under €100m or balance sheet total under €86m.

British Council Grants

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

£10,000 grants for small, ethnically diverse businesses

Fiserv has launched its Back2Business programme in the UK – including £10,000 grants for small, ethnically diverse businesses. Funding can be used for a variety of functions including technology investment, premise re-design and payroll. Each grant recipient will also be connected to local networking, support, and resources from community partners, such as the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry and its Black Business and Asian Business Associations.

In order to apply, you must be a business that is majority owned by a person from a diverse ethnic background. You must have been in business prior to January 2020, have 15 or fewer employees and have an annual turnover of less than £100,000. Applications are open to December 31, 2021.

Countryside Stewardship

The Countryside Stewardship has 244 grants in total depending on what improvements you want to make to your business and the options can be filtered to your needs.

Woodland Creation Planning Grant (WCPG)

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

Grow It Award

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

You can apply for up to £15,000 to help you grow along with a support package of one-to-one coaching, training, mentoring and access to networks. They’re focusing their funds on building access to employment, developing resilient communities and finding solutions for an ageing society.

New Enterprise Allowance

This one’s for unemployed people who want to start their own businesses. Talk to your Jobcentre Work Coach and if you’re eligible and you may get a weekly allowance worth up to £1,274 over 26 weeks as well as a mentor. You can also get it if you’re self-employed and on Universal Credit but you won’t be entitled to the weekly allowance.

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.

Architectural Heritage Fund

The Architectural Heritage Fund aims to transform high streets and town centres.

Grants vary in different parts of the country, so check what’s available before you apply. Grant totals vary as well, but can be up to £350,000.

Vistaprint 99 Days of Design

The 99 Days of Design initiative has been created to support 99 small businesses (including 14 UK businesses) with a grant of £12,000 and ‘refreshed design identities’.

Innovative Medicines Initiative

This firm provides funding for health research and innovation, with opportunities in advanced therapies, voice in cancer clinical trials and more.

Fantastic Services £5,000 (Re)start grant

Home services franchisor, Fantastic Services, has a programme offering up to £1m worth of cash grants to enable 200 people to start up their own business within the domestic service industry.

The scheme is open to applicants in all parts of the UK, with more expected to be issued in London and the south east where demand for these services has grown over the pandemic.

Each grant is worth up to £5,000 and will go towards initial business start-up costs in addition to the training programme to help grant recipients with the skills they need to successfully run their own franchise.

Do It Award

Administered by UnLtd, who also give out the Grow It Award above, Do It will help you start your social enterprise. Alongside giving you £5,000 to build your social venture, they’ll give you access to training and events, and assign you a dedicated award manager (an expert in helping social entrepreneurs to start and grow). The award manager will be there to coach you and support you to achieve your goals.

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.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

To be eligible the grant you must be a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership. You cannot claim the grant if you trade through a limited company or a trust.

You must have traded in both tax years:

  • 2018 to 2019 and submitted your Self Assessment tax return on or before April 23 2020 for that year
  • 2019 to 2020

You must either:

  • Be currently trading but are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus
  • Have been trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus

You must also declare that:

  • You intend to continue to trade
  • You reasonably believe there will be a significant reduction in your trading profit

Business Grants England

Heavy Duty Vehicle (HDV) Fund

A £10.05m Heavy Duty Vehicle (HDV) Fund has been established to support SMEs get ready for Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone.

To be eligible for the funding, your business must be an SME which has been actively trading for more than 12 months and comply with the following criteria:

  • Own or lease Heavy Duty Vehicle(s) that do not meet the Clean Air Zone emission standards
  • Eligible non-compliant Heavy Duty Vehicles (N2, N3 and M3 only) must be either:
    – Registered and located within Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone or
    – Registered and located within the Birmingham City area and conducting commercial operations within Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone or
    – Registered and located within the West Midlands area and conducting commercial operations within Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone.

You must also be able to evidence:

  • The frequency of entry to the Clean Air Zone based on current operations.
  • The current emissions standard of eligible, non-compliant Heavy Duty Vehicle(s).
  • The size of the business
  • The base location of the non-compliant vehicle(s) for the last 12 months.

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.

High Impact Scale Up Coaching Grants

These grants are ideal if you’re based in the west of England and need of a business coach. Grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 are available to businesses to help with cost of coaching in the following areas:

  • Business/Executive coaching
  • Upskilling management staff
  • Bid writing
  • Financial forecasting/management
  • Business planning
  • Internationalisation
  • Lean manufacturing
  • Consultancy based non-executive directorship

And to help businesses with COVID-19 recovery, they’ve expanded their scope to the following areas:

  • Resilience planning
  • Leadership in adversity
  • Planning for recovery
  • Repurposing manufacturing capacity

Grants are available to businesses looking to invest between £4,000 and £20,000 (excluding VAT) in one of the above areas over a course of ten months maximum. Your company must have between seven and 250 employees and have had at least two years of sustained growth.

Arun Valley Business Grants

The Local Enterprise & Apprenticeship Platform (LEAP) is offering £1,500 to private and voluntary organisations who are looking to hire an apprentice.

On top of that you can apply for a grant of up to £2,000 but be aware that grants are limited.

New Anglia Small Grants Scheme and Growing Business Fund

The New Anglia LEP is awarding grants between £1,000 and £25,000 to entrepreneurs who want to grow their business.

Meanwhile, the New Anglia LEP has a Growing Business Fund giving up to £500,000 to local businesses who are keen to grow and create new jobs. It can cover up to 20 per cent of your total project costs.

Covid Business Recovery Fund, City of London

The City of London Corporation has launched the Covid Business Recovery Fund, worth up to £50m. The fund will focus on support SMEs which contribute to the Square Mile’s vibrancy at street level and directly provide services to returning City workers, visitors and residents. It aims to support those businesses that can show, through the grant application process, a likelihood that with support they have a reasonable chance to survive beyond the short-term.

Applicants will need to demonstrate that they provide an in-person service to the general public in either the retail, hospitality, medical or leisure sectors. Other requirements will include that the business: has had its trading premises in the City of London since at least March 20 2020, with businesses that have signed leases prior to this date being eligible; has taken steps to reduce its costs as far as practical and has taken up all available grants/loans; has actively engaged with its landlord and agreed a rent-free period or a reduction in rent; and pays the Living Wage.

Grants will be based on individual requirements after a financial evaluation but will not exceed £100,000 per business. Applications will be accepted between April 12 and June 11 2021. Funds will be awarded on a first come, first served basis. If the level of grants awarded exceeds the allocated funding, then the scheme will be closed with immediate effect.

Businesses can find further information on the fund and apply from Monday on the online portal. The City Business Library will provide support to any applicants unsure how to use the portal.

Broadland District Enterprise grant

This one is open to small businesses trading in the Broadland district with fewer than ten employees who can apply for a grant of up to £750. The only condition is that you’re expanding and developing opportunities.

You can also get a start-up grant of £750 if you’re starting up a new business but you must apply before you start trading. The grant is payable once you start trading.

Broadland District Council will need to see business accounts and quotes for the work or equipment that the grant will be covering.

TALE (Transport and Logistical Efficiencies)

TALE is a targeted business support programme, run by Haven Gateway Partnership, focuses on improving efficiency and productivity in logistics and supply chain operations for SMEs across Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Kent and East Sussex.

The TALE programme is designed to demonstrate how, through data analytic tools and techniques, business can gain insights to improve their competitiveness through a reduction of costs, introduction of new services, enhancement of customer service and acquisition of new customers, as well as ensuring businesses are protected from risks of cyber-attacks.

Grants up to £10,000 are available and all grants are up to 40 per cent of eligible project costs. The scheme ends on April 30.

Haven Gateway Partnership also runs I-Construct (Innovation in Construction). This ERDF-funded grant is for SMEs who are looking for opportunities in the construction market. It aims to help them develop new products and services which offer benefits the sector such as improving productivity and sustainability.

The free network membership give you access to a member network, a webinar and events programme, business opportunities and access to the Innovation Hub, which is worth up to £800 per year.

On top of that, you get either:

  • Nine hours of free 1:1 business mentoring and advice from I-Construct’s industry experts (worth up to £1,200 per year)
  • Grant funding between £1,000 and £20,000 to fund 30% of the development and launch of a new product or service (does not have to be repaid)

Accelerate Cheshire and Warrington

Accelerate Cheshire and Warrington is a £30m programme that has been designed to support businesses to reskill and upskill their current workforce.

To receive 100 per cent funding: this funding is available for employees who live or work in Cheshire and Warrington for a company with under 50 members of staff.

To receive 40 per cent funding: there is no restriction on the size of your business, but your employees must live or work within the Cheshire and Warrington area.

Please see below a list of some of the current training courses on offer:

  • Project Management courses
  • Mental Health Awareness courses
  • Management and Leadership courses
  • ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) courses
  • Digital Marketing courses
  • IOSH (Institution of Occupational Health and Safety) and Health and Safety Training courses
  • CAD and SolidWorks courses

ISfB: Go-Create grants, Oxford

Go-Create Grants are offered as part of the Innovation Support for Business (ISfB) Phase 2 programme. Go-Create Grants are available on a competitive basis from £1,000 to £50,000 and are available to eligible small and medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).

Examples of innovation projects might include:

  • Investment in product and service development
  • Technological and applied research
  • Developing pilot lines
  • Early product validation actions
  • Supporting advance manufacturing capabilities
  • First production

Applications are submitted all year round with regular deadlines throughout the year.

Coventry and Warwickshire Green Business Programme

The purpose of these grants is to invest in equipment that cuts down on carbon emissions within your business. Warwickshire District Council will fund up to 40 per cent, providing grants between £1,000 and £50,000. The grants are for installing energy efficient equipment like LED controls and renewable technologies.

Low Carbon Innovation Grants, Warwickshire

Low Carbon Innovation Grants helps companies to develop a low carbon product or invest in low carbon technology. Again, the council will cover 40 per cent of improvements, providing funding between £1,000 and £50,000. It’s intended for energy efficient upgrades and putting eco-friendly waste management systems in place.

Low Carbon Revenue Grants, Warwickshire

These grants aim to commercialise low carbon products either new to the company or to the general market. Once again, it’s 40 per cent cover but with a maximum £6,000 funding. It covers things like market research, software and manufacturing consultancy as well as intellectual property protection and certifications.

East Sussex Invest 7 (ESI7)

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.

South East Creatives Top Up grant

The Top Up grant is ideal for projects of £3,000 and £6,000, where South East Creatives could fund 35 per cent of your costs. The minimum grant that can be awarded is £1,000. The rest of the costs have to be paid from private funds and spent within one month of the grant being awarded.

If you are sole trader or company trading in the creative, cultural or digital sector this could be a great boost to your business; perhaps bringing forward plans for some new equipment that you couldn’t quite afford or buying in expertise to help increase your customer base.

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.

Business grant scheme, Elmbridge

Grants of up to 90 per cent are available from the Civic Improvement Fund. Like many others, grants will be awarded to small businesses taking up improvements such as training initiatives, marketing initiatives and improving shop fronts.

You’ll need quotes from traders, consent from your landlord and other supporting documents to apply.

Elmbridge Start-Up Fund

This is a one-off grant to go towards start-up costs, such as marketing or buying equipment. You’ll need quotes from traders and a business plan which includes a sustainability section.

Digital High Street Fund, Elmbridge

The Elmbridge Digital High Street Fund (EDHSF) offers grants to help independent high street retailers to establish or upgrade e-commerce websites.

Funding of up to 90 per cent of eligible costs, up to a maximum of £2,000, is available to independent high street retailers located within the defined primary or secondary frontage of Elmbridge town centres and high streets.

Business Energy Efficiency Programme (BEEP), Worcestershire County

Worcestershire County are providing free energy and resource efficiency reviews as well as grants up to £20,000. They’re available to SMEs throughout Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Telford and Wrekin and Shropshire. You must have a minimum energy spend of £2,000 to apply.

Greater Lincolnshire Growth Fund

Greater Lincolnshire LEP can offer between £150,000 and £500,000 in capital grant funding with the provision of between 70 per cent and 80 per cent match funding from you. Projects must be able to start within 12 months of the funding award.

The priority sectors are agri-food, manufacturing, health and care, ports and logistics, visitor economy, low carbon and digital.

Successful applicants will need to pay a due diligence fee of up to £10,000 if they wish to proceed with the funding process.

Business Growth and Digital Growth Grants (GLLEP)

Business Lincolnshire is awarding grants to SMEs looking to increase turnover or create jobs. It can contribute between 40 per cent and 50 per cent of your overall costs, ranging from £1,000 to £5,000. Your firm must be based in the Greater Lincolnshire area and your grant activity proposal must be agreed with a Business Lincolnshire adviser.

Applications can be for a capital or revenue grant.

They’re available through:

Lincolnshire Growth Hub Business Growth Grant (Enterprise)

For purchasing equipment, software and specialist consultancy support.

Lincolnshire Growth Hub SME Digital Growth Grant (DGG)

For funding the implementation of internal ICT solutions like cloud data storage or ecommerce platforms as well as digital systems. It’s a fixed grant of £1,000 with an intervention rate of 50 per cent.

Business Innovation Fund, West of England

The Business Innovation Fund supports businesses from a wide range of sectors to help develop innovative projects and products that not only fulfil market demand, but also deliver industrial growth.

  • Grants of £20,000 or £50,000 to invest in innovation
  • Support and guidance to move from concept to commercialisation
  • Collaborate with our region’s leading research institutions
  • Advice on intellectual property, testing and research and development roadmaps
  • Development of a bespoke research, development and innovation action plan for your business

You can apply if:

  • Your business is based in the West of England – Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset or South Gloucestershire
  • You are able to match fund the cost of your project
  • You’re a small or medium sized enterprise with a staff headcount lower than 250
  • 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.

 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.

Scarborough Business Development Grant Scheme

Business start-up grants are on offer for start-ups and business less than 18 months old with no more than ten employees. The grant can go towards the cost of necessary equipment and machinery, extension, adaptation of facilities and marketing. Up to £1,000 can be awarded on one project per year.

Expansion grants are open to established businesses in the area looking to grow as well as new businesses who are attracted to working in the Borough area. The fund is primarily targeted at revenue schemes rather than capital projects. Up to £5,000 can be provided for a project in one financial year.

You can’t apply for both grants.

ReLondon Circular pilot grants

With funding from the London Mayor’s Green New Deal Fund, the ReLondon Circular pilot grants have launched for SMEs in the capital. The scheme aims to support small businesses with circular economy projects as part of their Covid-19 recovery plan. Successful applicants will receive a grant of between £10,000 and £15,000 and may get 12 hours of additional support from an ReLondon business advisor to design and deliver the pilot.

Applications will be open until 23:59 on July 18, 2021.

Independent Retailer Grant

Provided by Test Valley Borough Council, the Independent Retailer Grant supplies £1,000 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 and secondary shopping areas of Andover and Romsey. They must be class A1 or A3 buildings.

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.

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.

FEAST2, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and South East Midlands

The Food & Drink Forum, in partnership with The Mallows Company, has secured ERDF funding to offer a range of useful services to food and drink manufacturers until September 2021.

Grant funding is available to eligible businesses looking to purchase production equipment to help increase their growth, productivity and create jobs. The FEAST2 project can offer businesses up to 25 per cent of grant funding to support these purchases, though certain conditions apply.

Businesses will be required to complete and submit a grant application form together with three quotes for each piece of equipment.

Growing Enterprise, Lincolnshire

The NBV Grant for Enterprise supports the growth or diversification of existing micro, small and medium sized businesses based in Greater Lincolnshire. The fund can provide capital and revenue grants to trading businesses for a specific project or investment.

You will be required to pay the supplier for the full cost of the project before claiming the grant element and therefore it is imperative that funds are in place to cover these costs prior to submitting the application. No retrospective applications will be considered.

This offering from University of Lincoln is made up of a grant between £1,000 and £2,500.

Malvern Hills Enterprise Scheme

The Enterprise Scheme aims to support new and young businesses. The scheme will encourage the occupation of vacant commercial premises, help regenerate town centres, stimulate entrepreneurship, create new jobs and enhance the sustainability of new businesses.

Pre-start and new businesses trading for less than 36 months can apply for a grant of up to £500 or £1,000 if they meet the following criteria:

  • The business is in or moving into premises that are liable to business rates
  • The business employs or will employ two or more FTE employees (in addition to the applicant)
  • The business operates in the low carbon economy
  • The grant will be used towards expenditure that supports the business’ environmental sustainability

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.

NBV Grant for New Businesses, Nottinghamshire

The NBV grant is for businesses based in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Greater Lincolnshire.