There are a number of funding opportunities available for local businesses. Some are only for certain areas, some are for rural, not urban, businesses and some are for very specific projects. An outline of the funds available at the moment is given below.
The Velocity Business Support Programme is a free business support service for local businesses. Velocity provides advice and guidance to ambitious small to medium-sized businesses that want to go further. In addition to free one-to-one advice from local business advisers, the service offers a business development grant of up to £10,000 and capital grants of up to £50,000. Free local business workshops are also available. See www.VelocityBusinessSupport.com or telephone 0300 0123435.
LEADER is designed to support rural businesses to create jobs and support the rural economy. Projects must fit one of the themes below:
Agricultural productivity (innovation)
Micro & small businesses support and farm diversification
Cultural & Heritage Activities
The usual maximum grant is 40% of total project costs, but higher percentages are possible if the project is not-for-profit (a museum, for example).
Grants are available between £10,000 and £100,000.
This is a rolling programme so applications can be made at any time.
This funding is European so will be available until the UK’s departure form the EU.
The Prince’s Countryside Fund seeks applications to support activity that results in a long-term positive impact on rural communities by helping the people that live and work in the countryside. The current grant programme aims to tackle the following key rural issues:
To improve the prospects of viability for family farm businesses
To sustain rural communities and drive economic vibrancy
To support aid delivery in emergency and building resilience
The maximum grant is £50,000.
Funding is available in funding rounds. The next round opens in September 2017.
The Carbon Trust Green Business Fund gives energy efficiency support, energy assessments and funding for small and medium-sized businesses. Up to £10,000 is available as a capital contribution towards your energy saving equipment purchase.
Young people starting a business
The Prince’s Trust works with 18 to 30-year-olds to turn big ideas into a business reality through their Enterprise programme. They offer training and mentoring support and access to funding and resources.