Grants and funding
On this page you will find links to information about a variety of sources for financial support, whatever your business stage or needs. This list is not exhaustive: please contact the Business Support team if you are unable to find suitable sources as we may be able to signpost you to alternative funds or advice.
COVID-19 financial support
There is a range of Government financial support schemes available to businesses who have been seriously affected by the Coronavirus restrictions.
South Cambridgeshire Growth Fund
Businesses based in our area looking for help to scale and grow can now apply for financial support from our new South Cambridgeshire Growth Fund, launched on 5 July 2021.
The scheme is open to micro and SME applicants from any sector. They could be pandemic start-ups or established businesses looking to expand.
A one-off grant of between £1,000 to a maximum of £50,000 will be awarded to successful applicants.
Funding for start-up businesses
Start Up Loans provide Government-backed personal loans for business purposes. They are available to individuals over the age of 18 who are eligible to start a business in the UK. Generally loans of up to £25,000 are available at a fixed rate of interest and are repayable over one to five years.
Delivery partners for the loans in the East of England are listed below. In addition to helping applicants prepare their business plan and cash flow forecast, the delivery partners are responsible for assessing final loan applications and providing ongoing mentoring support to successful applicants.
If you are currently claiming unemployment benefit and would like to set up your own business, the New Enterprise Allowance Scheme, can provide money and support to help you start a business.
General business grants and loans
The British Business Bank’s Finance Hub offers independent information on finance options for scale-up, high growth and potential high growth businesses. It also provides information and advice to help companies to get investor ready.
The East of England Regional Growth Loan Scheme, supported by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, is available to established incorporated businesses based that have a minimum annual turnover of £100k, show strong growth potential and have a medium to long-term funding requirement to deliver that growth.
The Fredericks Foundation provide loans to start up and existing social enterprises and charities.
Better Business Finance provides impartial information and support to businesses and entrepreneurs looking to develop and grow including a searchable database of business finance providers.
The Government provides an in-depth online database of information about grants, loans and other financial assistance available to businesses in the UK.
Loans for creative businesses
Creative England offer loans to creative, digital small and medium-sized businesses at competitive rates to finance business growth.
The Arts Council has reopened its National Lottery Project Grants which will focus on supporting independent organisations, creative practitioners and freelancers.
The Arts & Culture Impact Fund is a new £20 million social impact investment fund for the UK’s arts, culture and heritage social enterprises. The fund offers loans to organisations in the arts, cultural or heritage sector of between £150,000 and £1 million, repayable over a period of up to 10 years.
Grants for rural businesses
The Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative provide grants to support the development of new and innovative ideas within the Agri-Tech sector.
The Agri-Tech Growth Fund could help you to invest in new products or processes or improvements to existing products / processes and energy efficiency to improve agricultural productivity.
The Research, Development and Prototyping Fund could help support research critical to the development of new products or processes if your business is in the Agri-Tech sector.
Research and development grants
The KEEP+ programme helps eligible small and medium-sized enterprises to develop new products or services in collaboration with universities, research institutes and the best graduate talent.
UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) offers funding and support across all academic disciplines and industrial areas from the medical and biological sciences to astronomy, physics, chemistry and engineering, social sciences, economics, environmental sciences, and the arts and humanities.
Grants to improve energy efficiency and save money
The Low Carbon Innovation Fund (LCIF) provides equity finance for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the East of England that are contributing to the low carbon economy.
Our Climate Emergency Toolkit pages have lots of advice and guidance to help businesses, communities and individuals reduce their carbon emissions and reduce waste. There is also information about available grants, funding and incentives.
The Eastern New Energy programme aims to build a stronger Local Energy and Low Carbon Economy in the East of England. It will achieve this by providing support to a range of individuals and organisations, and by understanding and addressing the barriers to the decarbonization of communities, buildings, transport, and lives.
The Workplace Charging Scheme is a voucher-based scheme designed to provide eligible applicants with support towards the upfront costs of the purchase and installation of EV charge points. The contribution is limited to 75% of purchase and installation costs, up to a maximum of £350 for each socket, up to a maximum of 40 across all sites for each applicant.
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