Funding Focus #1: Biomedical, Arts and Charity Grants Over £25k

From innovation incentives to grants for creative projects, there’s a rich landscape of funding available for your organisation. You may already be familiar with mainstream government business grant schemes, such as Innovate UK’s popular Smart Grants, and you’ll almost certainly know about R&D tax credits.

But what else is out there?

Welcome to the first article in our new Funding Focus series, designed to shine a light on some great funds you may not be aware of.

Grantify has helped hundreds of businesses successfully win funding, and we track dozens of grants, awards and other subsidies every year.

Each month, our experts will highlight schemes available across the UK, to inspire your growth.

This month, we’ve chosen three fantastic grants, all with a national scope and awards starting at £25K, in our first Funding Focus.

  1. Biomedical & Energy Catalysts (Innovation)

Biomedical research

Type: UK government grant

What: The UK government runs the Biomedical Catalyst programme, with two different Catalyst Programs for UK businesses in the biomedical and energy sectors.

Since 2012, the Biomedical Catalyst has awarded more than £250 million in funding to over 300 projects.

The scheme offers grants to UK businesses to develop innovative health and care projects.

Who: UK-based SMEs can apply for projects taking place in the UK. You can apply alone or collaborate with others.

Awards: Grants of between £25,000 and £10,000,000 are available.

Eligible Projects: Projects should focus on disease prevention and management, disease detection and diagnosis tailored treatments that change a disease or offer potential cures.

They should also meet the programme’s overarching objectives to fund initiatives invested in creating new knowledge or developing groundbreaking or innovative products.

When: The scheme opens for applications 2-3 times annually.

Links: Applications can be made online, and more information on when and how to apply can be found on

2. British Council Grants (Arts, education and society)

British Council research grants

Type: UK government grant

What: The British Council administers grants through The Newton Fund, which builds research and innovation partnerships with partner countries to support their economic development and social welfare, and to develop their research and innovation capacity for long-term sustainable growth.

The fund is managed by the UK’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

There are various streams of funding available, each with different criteria.

Who: International research workshops can apply for projects based in the UK.

Awards: Funding amounts vary depending on the individual project, but there is a total UK government investment of £735 million up until 2021, with matched resources from partner countries.

Eligible Projects: The programmes have different criteria and focus on various countries and endeavours.

For an idea of what might be funded, past grant calls have included:

  •   Gulf Science Innovation and Knowledge Economy
  •   Creative Economy – Project Evaluation and Guide
  •   Building robust data management, data repository and curation systems

When: Funding calls and programmes are on a rolling basis. 

Links: Visit the British Council’s website for information on open calls.

3. Garfield Weston Foundation (Charitable)

Garfield Weston charity

Type: Charitable foundation grants

What: The Garfield Weston Foundation is a charitable foundation that aims to support organisations working to help those in need.

It supports a wide range of causes across the UK, donating over £80 million annually.

Who: The foundation offers support to small community and volunteer projects to large national organisations.

However, it does state a preference for funding charities directly delivering services and activities to those in need, and is especially keen to see applications from charities in the Welfare, Youth and Community sectors, and also in regions of economic disadvantage.

Awards: The foundation runs two grant schemes, with two levels of award.

  • Regular Grants – For applications below £100,000.
  • Major Grants – For applications of £100,000 or more.

Eligible Projects: The foundation supports a wide range of charitable activity in the following categories:

  • Arts
  • Education
  • Youth
  • Health
  • Museums & Heritage
  • Community
  • Environment
  • Faith
  • Welfare

The common theme is that applications should demonstrate they are meeting a need effectively with clear outcomes and benefits, good leadership, sensible business plans and a commitment to excellence.

Capital, Revenue (often called ‘core costs’) and Project work costs will all be considered.

When: For regular grants, applications can be made on an ongoing basis to the Trustees of the Foundation. Major grant applications are reviewed at one of the Foundation’s eight Board meetings a year.

Links: Full application guidelines can be downloaded from the foundation’s website.

Read Next

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