Looking for additional funding to help you expand and create jobs? Or do you need assistance in starting your own business?
Please see below for funding available within the district. If you are interested in any of the loans/grants available please get in touch with the Economic Development Team.
- The Business Growth Programme - Grants from £10,000 - £167,000.
- The Lets Grow Grant - Grants up to £5000
For more information on either of these projects please see below or contact the Economic Development team on 01543 464272.
Business Growth Programme
The Business Growth Programme is a European Funded scheme with 4 different grants available including:
- HS2 - for companies preparing to apply for HS2 contracts (note you do not have to be granted a HS2 project to be considered for the grant).
- Green Bridge - for companies in the Green Sector or looking to expand into the Green Markets
- Business Innovation Programme - for companies who have Innovative 'close to market' projects
- Business Development Programme - for companies preparing to expand or relocate.
For further information please visit the dedicated webpage or contact the Economic Development Team by calling 01543 464272.
Staffordshire Leader Fund
LEADER is part of the Rural Development Programme for England and is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
The programme is delivered through a Local Action Group. The LEADER Supports the Devlopment of a stronger, more innovative and sustainable rural economy in Staffordshire through supporting small scale business activities that fit the needs and aspirations of local communities.
The Grant is available to: Farmers, Growers, Foresters or other Local rural businesses and community organisations who are in the LEADER programme area and can include: Private businesses, public organisations, voluntary organisations or somebody wanting to start a business.
The Support available is available to help@ create jobs, develop rural businesses and support the rural economy. A total "2.249M has been secured for between 2015-2020. Applicants can apply for amounts between £2,500 and £40,000 (a highergrant may be awarded to projects that demonstrate exceptional economic outputs including job creation.) Grants are typically 405 of the projects total eligible costs and are paid in arrears so your application needs to demonstrate that sufficient funds are available to pay for the project until grant payments are recevied.
There are 6 priority objectives which it must deliver against:
- Increased farm productivity(£368,000)
- Support micro and small businesses and farm diversification(£737,000)
- Boost rural tourism(£368,000)
- Provide rural services(£92,200)
- Provide cultural and heritage activities(£92,200)
- Increase forestry productivity(£186,800)
For more information please contact: Ian Jackson, Staffordshire Leader Programme Manager
Growing Places Fund
Staffordshire Businesses looking to expand and create new jobs could be eligible for interest-free loans to support their plans. Firms considering a range of expansion plans such as buying or constructing new buildings, refurbishing existing premises, improving access or introducing environmental improvements are being invited to apply for help from Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnerships Growing places Fund.
The £11 Million fund is designed to boost economic activity in Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire by promoting the delivery of jobs and housing and addressing infrastructure and site constraints.
Firms are eligible for loans if they are planning a scheme worth £200,000 or more and can repay the money within four years of their project being completed. They will not be charged interest on the loan as long as the scheme complies with state aid rules. In other cases interest will be charged at the lowest commercially appropriate level.
Sucessful projects will need to demonstrate that they will generate economic growth in a short space of time with the right infrastructure in place. They will need to show that they have a solid business case, are deliverable in a reasonably short timescale, will create jobs or housing, and provide returns which can be reinvested locally by the LEP, in addition to attracting further private investment.
The latest bidding round for Growing Places Fund Loan closes on 22nd April. Further details are available by clicking on the Growing places fund tab on the Stoke and Staffordshire LEP's website www.stokestaffslep.org.uk
BCRS Business Loans
Offer loans from £10,000 to £150,000 to West Midlands based businesses who are unable to access mainstream finance from sources such as banks. They offer loans to businesses making a positive contribution to the social, environmental or economic well-being of the West Midlands. They lend to most market sectors including construction, engineering, IT services, manufacturing, service providers and wholesalers.
The loan can be used for a wide range of projects including working capital, purchasing equipment, start-ups, recruitment and marketing. Eligibility criteria apply.
For further information on the BCRS Business Loan is available on the website, which includes a pre-application screening form.
Tel: 0345 313 8410
Virgin Start-up Loans
Budding entrepreneurs looking to launch a new business can access a loan of between £500-£25,000 to fund their brilliant new idea.
Tel: 0845 6787 826
BGIN Business Growth Investment Network
Investment and support company providing financial support and investment opportunities, linking companies up to Business Angel investment and expertise. BGIN is a free service funded by Stoke and Staffordshire Growth Hub and administered by Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the Stoke and Staffordshire LEP. Finance ranges from £5,000 to £250,000. Angel investors also act as non-executive directors and can bring specific expertise (e.g. legal, accountancy, human resources, marketing and useful contacts.
National Rail Supply Fund
A national £20m fund to help businesses tap in to the UK’s Growing rail supply opportunities was launched by Finance Birmingham on 1st February 2016.
The National Rail Supply Fund was announced alongside the launch of Rail Supply group strategy by the Departments for Transport and Business Innovation and Skills.
The fund supports the aims of the strategy by helping businesses across England take advantage of the expansion and modernisation of the UK’s rail network, including High Speed Two (HS2). It will help both existing and new suppliers to increase and strengthen their capabilities, productivity and international competiveness, leading to increased levels of employment and investment.
The fund will offer loans £0.5m to £2m to businesses, particularly those needing funding towards capital, new capital expenditure and product launches.
It builds on the success of the national Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative which was also delivered by Finance Birmingham.
The fund has been set up to help those businesses out there that might already be part of the rail sector supply but also to those that will be new to rail.
Tel: 0800 032 3488
Small Business Fund
RBS and Natwest offers fixed rate loans from £1,000 to £250,000 with no arrangement fee. £55m has been made available for small businesses in the West Midlands. The aim of the loan is to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses. Free workspace, hands on mentoring, a start up ‘bootcamp’ that gives up to 18 months free advice, support and funding clinics.
Tel: 0345 600 2230 (RBS) or 0345 711 4477 (Nat West)
Start up Loans
Government backed loan scheme which will provide funding for start up businesses, including those which have been trading for up to 12 months. Applicants must be 18 or older. Dependent upon the business idea, the business plan and financial forecast, the scheme will lend up to £7,500. The annual interest rate is 6% and the payback period is 1-5 years. Assistance is available through local delivery representatives
Tel: local delivery representative Ben Dyer: 07809 484 733
RGF Growth Fund
The RGF Growth Fund is open to SME’s across the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP area where businesses are looking to develop and grow and have a trading track record and good management team. The loan or equity fund of up to £1million is geared for creation and safeguarding existing jobs and eligible for all business sectors. Funding is provided for all uses including: working capital, new capital expenditure, headcount and acquisitions. Repayments are made up to 5 years with up to 5 years capital repayment holidays. Asset back is not necessarily required and depending on the risk (security and historical backing) the rates are between 8% and 12%.
RGF Mezzanine Loan Fund
The Mezzanine Loan Fund (MLF) is managed by Finance Birmingham on behalf of Birmingham City Council and is a GBER State Aid Scheme for SME’s of any sector (including property) in the West Midlands region or companies expanding into the West Midlands region. The MLF has up to £56m available for investment in amounts of up to £2m which can be used for any use except Research and Development.. Investments are made on commercial terms in loan instruments. Repayments are made up to 5 years with up to 5 years capital repayment holidays. Asset back is not necessarily required and depending on the risk (security and historical backing) the rates are between 12% and 25%.
National Tooling Funding Programme
A £24m fund open to manufacturing companies/tool makers seeking a loan of £50k to £1m. Created to help toolmakers and component manufacturers fund the design, development and manufacture of tooling or the expansion of tooling capacity.
- Commercial rate of interest (6-8%)
- Debenture with full priority to existing finance providers
- Repay the loan when you get paid for the tooling by OEM/Tier 1
- Need to have firm orders for tooling from OEM/Tier 1
- Unable to fund all/part from current Bank facilities
The Grow on Growth Fund
Is a new £2m RGF funded initiative led by the Research and Enterprise Department at University of Lincoln. The scheme enables early stage businesses located in business incubation environments to ‘fly the nest’ and create secure sustainable high quality jobs. This acts as a funder of last resorts. The fund is intended to support incubates reach their next stage of expansion and growth by offering grants for the following purposes: capital investment in property, buildings and refurbishment, commercial rents, plant, machinery & equipment, IT and new technology, staff recruitment and training costs. The grant rate is 40% of project value, the minimum grant is £20,000 (40% of £50,000) and up to £100,000 (40% of £250,000).
Tel: 01522 837847
Creative England Business Loans
Creative England are supporting digital creative SMES to finance business growth through the provision of interest-free loans via the regional Growth Fund. Businesses based in the North, the Midlands and the South West of England with a turnover over £200,000 will be able to apply for a loans of between £50,000 and £200,000 which is then repaid over 3 years. The loan repayments in the first year are minimal followed by 24 equal repayments over the final 2 years. The loan must be matched 50:50 with other finance, sourced by the company. A small arrangement fee of 5% of the loan value will be charged to cover assessment, due diligence, legal, and administration costs. All successful applicants will be obliged to repay any loan in full. The programme is interested in job creation and safeguarding vulnerable jobs. For every £7000 Creative England loans, they require companies to safeguard and / or create at least 1 job.
BIC - New product development
£5400 is available for specialist advice at a 40% intervention rate for Staffordhire Business Only.
Eligible projects are:
- Research & Development Fees
- ICT Advice
- Legal & Financial
- Market Research
- IPR Fees
- Project Management
- Product Design and Development
- Product Launch
- (other projects will be considered)
Make It Stoke & Staffs – Grants for Growth
- Grants provided will cover both capital and revenue items that will allow applicants to grow in the market place and subsequently create new jobs.
- Grant funds can be used for premises expansion or the purchase of plant, machinery and equipment and development including advice and consultancy, initial market development, technical feasibility studies and industrial property rights costs.
- Grants are available between £10,000 up to £250,000 on a variable intervention rate of 10% up to 30% for capital and up to 60% for revenue, which must be matched by your own private sector or other equity funds. The grant rate provided is dependent on the GAP in funds, jobs created and the state aid solution applied.
- The total project cost should be at least £40,000 to allow the minimum funding of £10,000 to be granted.
- Please note you will need to pay for your project in the short term as grant can only be claimed in arrears.
- Jobs created need to be FTE of 36 hours a week and to last for 12months / 3 years depending on the state aid solution. Grant paid per job created will average £9,400 per job.
- The application window will operate from 13 September 2016 until February 2019.
Who can apply?
The fund could be applicable to you if you are:
- An existing company based in Stoke-on-Trent or Staffordshire
- An eligible company determined by sector – see more information below
- Wishing to undertake research to develop a new product or improve an existing one
Investing in new premises expansion or new machinery/equipment to grow in the market place
The following sectors are ineligible to receive grant under the scheme:
- Aid to fisheries and aquaculture and primary agricultural production.
- Aid towards the processing and marketing of agricultural products which assistance is passed to primary production.
- Aid to the coal sector except for the purpose of training aid, research and development and environment aid.
- Regional aid to the steel sector, shipbuilding and synthetic fibres sectors and transport.
In addition to the restrictions listed above applications from the following sectors are unlikely to be approved for a grant due to the risk of negative impact on existing jobs and business. However, all applications will be considered on their overall merit.
- Passenger Transport
- Health Service (including medical services and residential care)
- Public Sector
- Franchise operations
- Ministry of Defence Funded Contracts
- Residential property development and investment
- Financial Services
- Professional Services
Type of Business
Grants are available for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SME’s) who will have been trading for more than 12 months before applying. If an SME is part of a group or where company directors’ have interests in other companies this needs to be taken into consideration when deciding on the size of the company. In all cases, to qualify as a commercial activity at least 50% of income or profits must be derived from business trading.
The Programme Team can provide support and assistance to the company to prepare an application, purchase equipment and services in compliance with European procurement regulations and to identify a suitable and compliant state aid solution.
For more information on the Programme including Applicant Guidance and an Application Form please call the Programme Team for an informal chat: Angela Kidney T: 01782 231586 Vanessa Darlington T: 01782 233671 or email G4G@stoke.gov.uk w: http://www.makeitstokestaffs.co.uk/
European Regional Development Fund
The programme is part funded by European Regional Development Fund. It aims to provide grant funding to qualifying applicants to incentivise them to grow and create 213 new private sector jobs in Staffordshire by June 2020. £2m programme funding is available for grant payments to June 2019 to release £4.5m from private sector investment.
Make It Stoke & Staffs SBEN LCBEP - The Low Carbon Business Evolution Programme
The Low Carbon Business Evolution Programme (LCBEP) will help businesses across Stoke on Trent & Staffordshire LEP reduce their carbon footprint and increase energy efficiency.
This project is part funded with support from the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2014 – 2020 and delivered by Staffordshire County Council in partnership with Keele University and Staffordshire University
Support to businesses will start with free specialist low carbon advice in one of the following areas:
- Improving energy efficiency
- Innovative ways to make your business low carbon
- Developing new low or lower carbon products and services
- Environmental management system gap analysis
Opportunity to apply for LCBEP Low Carbon Enterprise Grant of £2,000 - £10,000
- Capital grants that enable investment to help make your business ‘low carbon’. For the installation of energy efficient measures in buildings, processes, products and services which will reduce carbon.
- Revenue grants for further low carbon specialist advice e.g. environmental management systems, energy management systems, carbon foot printing, renewable energy feasibility.
- Applicants must demonstrate greenhouse gas savings as a result of the grant.
Subsidised LCBEP internship - Enlist the knowledge and expertise of a post graduate placement for 12 weeks through our cost effective internship programme. An intern can support the implementation of recommendations made through the specialist low carbon advice.
Your business must meet the definition on a Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) and be located within the administrative area of Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire LEP.
Small to Medium sized businesses are enterprises that:
Employ fewer than 250 full-time equivalent persons.
Have an annual turnover not exceeding 50 million euro and/or have an annual balance sheet total not exceeding 43 million euro.
Additional eligibility criteria apply; our experts will guide you through the process according the specific needs of your business, please click here for more details or give us a call on 01785 278108.
Property Investment Programme
Grants of up to 200,000 euros for SME's in the GBSLEP area
The grant is designed to help businesses to improve their commercial premises by providing financial support towards the cost of building improvement works. The primary purpose of the scheme is to increase and or improve business accommodation and to help create new employment opportunities.
Funding is targeted at eligible Small and Medium sized Enterprises located in the GBSLEP area delivering activities within the B1 & B2 planning catergories (manufacturing and processing, office uses, business to business activities).
Eligible works include: for example, extensions to commercial premises, new build, internal and external structural works which lead to increased commercial floor space and new jobs.
All funding is discretionary and is managed by Birmingham City Council in accordance with ERDF guidelines.
Grants will be payable at up to 40% of eligible project development costs, subject to a maximum of 200,000 euros, approximately £170,000
Applications are on a first come first served basis.
Call: Ashfaq Ashraf - 0121 464 9861
Javed Iqbal - 0121 303 3710
Tony Cole - 0121 303 4095
The Lets Grow Grant
The Lets Grow Grant is a 50% match funded grant of up to £5000 to help businesses grow and expand.
The grant can help businesses purchase Captial equipment including (but not limited to): office furniture, electrical equipment, machinery or vehicles.
The Business must be paying business rates (or will be) to the Cannock Chase District, trading for at least 6 months, be in the eligible sector and have not committed to the expenditure already.*
For more information please contact the Economic Development Team on 01543 464272.
* Note there are further eligibility criteria
Last Updated: 08/01/2019