Businesses don’t always have the funds required to support their sustainability and growth. Whether it’s for new equipment, the training of staff or for a strategic growth project, there ARE limited sources of grant funding available to businesses in Norfolk, Suffolk and the surrounding areas.
At WLP, we know and understand just how crucial grants could be to your business. With that in mind, we have put together a list containing some of the grants available to businesses in and around Norfolk and Suffolk to help you. This list isn’t exhaustive and often more than one Grant might seem relevant to your business, so do contact us for help and information on how your business might be best placed to apply for grant funding.
If you have plans to grow your business, you could benefit from a grant of between £1,000 and £25,000 through the Small Grant Scheme. In replacing the previous Micro Grant Scheme, the Small Grant Scheme includes a raised ceiling for funding (from £10,000 to £25,000) and extension to allow businesses in the tourism and accommodation sector to apply.
The grant covers up to 20% of the total cost of your plans and some areas in Norfolk and Suffolk may be eligible for a 30% contribution. To qualify for a grant, your business must be an established and growing Micro, Small or Medium-sized business based in either Norfolk or Suffolk. You must also either be ready to expand your business, planning to introduce a new product/service, or looking to improve productivity or efficiency.
The Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP) is a £9.2m ERDF funded programme focused on providing support to manufacturing SMEs interested in growth. The programme is in place to support the costs of working with an external expert/coach of your choice, to implement a pre-agreed Growth/Improvement Action plan.
The average supported project value is £4,000, up to 35% of which would be covered by the grant funding. Larger grants may be considered for exceptional cases (subject to panel approval) for projects demonstrating significant job/new product growth and higher level of applicant contribution (ie >65%).
The Growing Business Fund is aimed at small and medium sized businesses across Norfolk and Suffolk who are looking to grow and create new jobs. Eligible businesses can apply for grants between £25,000 and £500,000, but there is also a small grants scheme which offers grants between £5,000 and £25,000. The grant covers up to 20% of the total cost of the expansion project, which can be used to leverage funding from other sources such as banks and other financial organisations.
Run by the New Anglia LEP, the Oil & Gas support scheme aims to help participating companies survive the current downturn in oil and gas prices. “The long term objective is to restore participating companies to a position of stability/sustainability, and ideally to set a growth trajectory”. Companies that meet the eligibility criteria will be able to access grant aid, so they can bring in specialist support to help their company.
To access a grant, your business must be registered in the UK and have a base in either Norfolk or Suffolk. The size of grant awarded depends on the size of your business. Companies with 1-4 employees can access up to £600, 5-49 employees up to £1,500 and 50-249 employees up to £3,000. Participating companies are expected to contribute at least 50% towards the costs.
The Agri-tech Growth Initiative helps businesses within the sector to invest in new markets, improve productivity and the progression of research and development. It’s available across the Eastern area and provides grants between £10,000 and £150,000 to support product development and improve agricultural productivity. Funding can cover up to 25% of the total project cost.
There is also a Research, Development and Prototyping Fund, which helps to support the research and development of new products or processes with grants of between £10,000 and £60,000. Funding can cover up to 50% of the total project cost.
Examples of businesses that have been successful in applying for this grant include food and drink producers and growers, bespoke equipment and chemical manufacturers and innovative IT companies who supply to the agricultural sector.
The LIFT programme is available until Spring 2020 and focuses on organisations in the rural areas of Norfolk and North Suffolk. The total pot available is just over £1m. This is available to eligible projects in grants of between £5,000 and £50,000, covering up to a maximum 50% of delivery costs (match funding). The programme is funded by the European Social Fund (ESF), with financial support from Norfolk County Council, Broadland District Council and South Norfolk District Council.
LIFT is a three strand employability and skills delegated grant scheme, for voluntary, community and social enterprises (VCSE), as well as an other relevant organisations. The aim is to fund strong and innovative projects that can create new employment and enhance the local rural economy in the Norfolk and North Suffolk area.
Signpost 2 Grants was created by the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP to support the growth of local businesses. To be eligible, your business must be located in Cambridgeshire, Peterborough, Rutland, West Norfolk, West Suffolk, North Hertfordshire, South Holland, South Kesteven and Uttlesford.
If you are seeking to make a capital investment in your business, with plans to grow and employ more staff, Signpost 2 Grants could be for you. Grants of between £2,000 and £20,000 are available, covering up to 20% of the total investment. As mentioned before, this grant aims to support local business and job growth. Therefore, as a guideline, every £10,000 of grant awarded must create at least 1 new job.
The Business Energy Efficiency Anglia project offers a package of support to help small and medium sized businesses in Norfolk and Suffolk implement energy efficiency measures that will deliver cost savings.
Grants will fund 28% of the costs of the measure, up to a maximum of £20,000. Grants so far have awarded to measures including lighting, insulation, renewables, high-efficiency machinery and heating systems. Expert independent advice is available to help identify the best measures for your business.
If you are located within the Greater Cambridge and Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership area and are interested in this grant, please visit www.beecp.org