Funding Focus is our new spotlight series all about discovering what grants, schemes and other great funding initiatives are out there that you may not be aware of.
Have you missed any? Catch up now!Funding Focus #1 Funding Focus #2
This month, we’ve picked some great regional schemes. National schemes often pull focus, but there are plenty of great grants available in specific areas of the UK. With a regional scope, you might even find it easier to win funding, and don’t think regional means small – these schemes all offer awards of over £25,000.
Coventry and Warwickshire Innovation Programme
Type: County council grant
What: Warwickshire County Council administers funding to SMEs to develop innovative new-to-the-market products, services or technologies.
Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund and it is delivered and funded by Coventry City Council, Warwickshire County Council and Coventry University Enterprises Ltd, the programme supports businesses from a range of sectors including advanced manufacturing and engineering, digital technology, assistive technology and many others.
Who: Eligible applicants must be registered companies which meet the EU definition of an SME, and be based in Coventry & Warwickshire.
Awards: Grants of up to £50,000.
Eligible Projects: Grants are available to support:
- Developing and testing new products or services including prototyping.
- Acquiring and protecting intellectual property.
- Access to finance with grants of up to £50k.
- Networking opportunities with other innovative businesses and supply chains.
- Referrals to other specialist innovation support programmes.
- Workshops and 1:1 support.
- Not have already been awarded grant funding through the current Innovation Programme (2019-2021).
- Be able to provide a copy of their latest audited accounts for 12 months cash flow forecast, if applying for a small grant.
- Be able to demonstrate being engaged in predominantly business to business (B2B) activity.
Links: To apply, applicants are encouraged to contact Coventry Council.
2. Warwickshire County Council Growth Fund: Small Capital Funds
Type: County council funding
What: This scheme offers small capital grants to small businesses with growth plans where loans or other sources of finance are not appropriate.
The funding is part of a new £3 million package of business loans and grants agreed by the County Council to support Warwickshire’s businesses.
Who: Micro and small enterprises can apply. A micro-enterprise is defined as an enterprise with fewer than 10 employees whose annual turnover OR balance sheet does not exceed €2 million. A small business is defined as a business with fewer than 50 employees whose annual turnover OR balance sheet does not exceed €10 million (about £7.9 million).
Applicants must be based in the county of Warwickshire.
Awards: Grants of £5,000 and £35,000 are available, up to a maximum of 30% of the total eligible costs.
Eligible Projects: Applications are welcomed particularly from early stage businesses and businesses with the ambition and characteristic to scale-up.
Priority will also be given to applications working in:
• Advanced manufacturing and engineering.
• Creative industries.
• Digital media and gaming.
• Connected and Autonomous Vehicles.
• Low carbon technologies.
• Professional services.
• Tourism and culture.
Applications from businesses that are led by women are also encouraged.
The scheme can only support capital costs. These could include:
- The refurbishment or extension of property, for the purposes of expanding the business, not a move to like-for-like premises.
- The purchase of new equipment and machinery (including finance leases with an
obligation to buy).
- Architect, engineer or consultant fees for the project (up to 15% of the project’s total costs).
- The purchase of dedicated computer software including development costs where they are directly attributable to bringing a computer system or other computer-operated machinery into working condition.
Other Requirements: Applicants must also be able to demonstrate ‘significant growth potential’, defined as being an existing business seeking to increase turnover by 20% over the next three years or a new start-up expecting to employ three more staff or generate £300,000 annual turnover within three years.
When: Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.
Links: The application process is competitive and those projects offering the greatest return on investment are more likely to be supported.
Applicants should contact the County Council on 01926 412709 to discuss the suitability of their project and get a copy of the application form.
3. Lincolnshire Growth Hub SME Digital Growth Grant (GLLEP)
Type: A Business Lincolnshire Growth Hub scheme, part funded through the European Regional Development Fund 2014-20 programme.
What: Grants are available through Business Lincolnshire for SMEs working in Greater Lincolnshire, to create new jobs or significantly increase your turnover.
Awards: Grants of £1,000 – £5,000 are available, and can contribute between 40% and 50% of overall costs. The application can either be for a capital or revenue grant, but a mixture of both types of expenditure in a single application will not be considered.
Eligible Projects: Grants can be used to fund the implementation of internal ICT solutions such as e-commerce platforms; website; cloud data storage storage solutions; digital management systems, or any other equipment, software and specific consultancy support not available through programmes operating in the GLLEP area.
Projects must be able to demonstrate the intention to grow and improve, for example, through creation of increased turnover, increased jobs and/or the introduction of new products, services or processes.
Requirements: Eligible applicants must be an SME as defined by the EU definition:
- Fewer than 250 employees.
- A turnover less than or equal to €50 million OR
- A balance sheet total less than or equal to €43 million.
They must also have been trading for at least 12 months.
Application: To apply, you need to be working with a Growth Hub Advisor who will endorse the application and collect evidence of outputs.
Links: Full information can be found on Business Lincolnshire’s website, including contact details to connect with a Growth Hub Advisor.