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Funding News


Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Programme

The Social Entrepreneurs Programme offers funding to grow your organisation for a year by providing:
•A learning programme
•A grant of up to £10,000
•A community of people who run social and environmental projects

Help is available at three stages, Start-Up, Trade Up and Scale Up whether you have just an idea, you’re already up-and-running, or you’re ready to scale.
Apply by 1pm, 26 April 2017.
(March 2017)

Prince’s Countryside Fund

The Prince’s Countryside Fund is open to applications for grants of up to £50,000 for innovative projects 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 Fund is currently open for applications until 5pm on Thursday 13 April 2017.
(March 2017)

Small Business Finance Markets Report 2016/2017

The recent Our Small Business Finance Markets 2016/17 report, produced by the British Business Bank, shows that credit conditions for small businesses continue to improve, with a notable increase in the volume of asset finance and peer to peer business lending. Economic uncertainty has, however, had an impact on small business confidence, with a drop in the number of smaller firms expecting to grow in the coming year. Many small businesses are wary about seeking external finance, reflected in a continued trend of falling application rates.

The report also finds that equity investment, which can be especially important for growing businesses, remains clustered in London and the South East.

View a copy of the report.
(February 2017)

Coalfields Community Investment Programme (CCIP) – Funding Support

The Coalfields Community Investment Programme (England) Funding Support is a £500,000 fund created to support activities that tackle some of the key challenges that still remain in coalfield communities. The fund is open to projects that deliver in the top 30% most deprived coalfield communities and that will make a positive difference in addressing the following themes:

Skills: Growing the skills of people in order to increase their opportunities.

Employment: Developing pathways to increase the number of people in work.

Health: Supporting projects that increase participation in activities/services that improve the health and wellbeing of people in former coalfield communities.

The total fund value of £500,000 will be committed over the period 1st April 2017 to 31st March 2018 at four decision making Committees which will take place quarterly in April, July, October and January 2018. Applications can be submitted for up to £10,000 (with a maximum of £2,000 on capital items) for activities that will benefit a priority target region.

Eligible applications will be from voluntary and community organisations and groups working to regenerate coalfield communities. These include registered Charities, Companies Limited by Guarantee, Community Benefit Societies, Community Interest Companies, Charitable Incorporated Organisations and Community Amateur Sports Clubs

Creative apprenticeships grant scheme

A new scheme is offering grants of up to £1,500 to support Nottinghamshire based creative businesses looking to take on their first apprentice.

10 supported apprenticeships are available through the Creative Apprenticeships scheme which is delivered in a partnership between Futures, New College Nottingham and the Nottingham Craft Academy.

The scheme also provides specialist craft input from Debbie Bryan of the Nottingham Craft Academy.

Funding is only available to businesses which are based in the county of Nottinghamshire (excluding Nottingham City) and are looking to hire an apprentice for the first time. The apprentice must also live in Nottinghamshire.

Further information is available from the Nottingham Craft Academy who run drop in surgeries on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month at Debbie Bryan’s shop in the Lace Market from 4pm to 5pm.

Applications for grants to the scheme are due to close at 5pm on Friday 24 March, 2017 subject to availability.

Nottinghamshire Economic Development Capital Fund

Applications are invited from SME businesses in the County of Nottinghamshire (ie excluding the City Council area) for capital projects which will enable the business to grow and create new jobs. Individual capital grants area available between £20,000 and £250,000 and we expect to allocate up to £2.5m in this round. The first three rounds of the Fund have supported businesses to improve their premises, move into new premises and purchase new machinery; all of which have allowed the company to grow and create jobs for local people.

The closing date for applications is 4pm Monday 6th March 2017.

More information here
(February 2017)

Superfast South Yorkshire (SFSY) Connection and Innovation Voucher Scheme for Sheffield City Region

The SFSY Connection and Innovation Vouchers Scheme offer Connection Vouchers to encourage small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to take-up faster digital connectivity across the Sheffield City Region.
Vouchers will have a maximum value which will be 50% of the actual cost for the connection or innovation provided.
A Launch Event on Monday 6 February 2017 at AMP Technology Centre, Advanced Manufacturing Park, Brunel Way, Catcliffe, Rotherham, S60 5WG will provide information about the SFSY Connection and Innovation Voucher Scheme

To register your attendance please email: vuhr@uefssuhokhr.ouocesspratotyrsiec.k
(January 2017)

Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) opens

The Rural Development Programme for England has issued calls for expressions of interest for projects in rural areas. Funding will target projects in the following sectors: food processing, tourism infrastructure and business development. Expressions of interest close on 31 January 2018. There will be local briefings, please sign up to theD2N2 Growth Hub Newsletter to ensure you receive details.
(January 2017)

Carbon Trust Green Business Fund

The Carbon Trust Green Business Fund now offers a capital contribution of 30% of the total project value (maximum contribution £10,000), increased from 15%. The Fund is an energy efficiency support service for small and medium-sized companies providing direct funded support through energy assessments, training workshops, equipment procurement support and up to £10,000 capital contribution towards your energy saving equipment purchase.
Find out more about the Carbon Trust Green Business Fund
(January 2017)

Grants to Help Businesses and Community Groups in Rural Areas

Derbyshire County Council is working with Derbyshire Economic Partnership to help distribute a £1.7m funding pot from the European Union to support rural businesses in parts of Derbyshire and Staffordshire.

Businesses and community groups in rural areas of Derbyshire Dales and High Peak have until Friday 31 March 2017 to apply for grants from £2,500 to £35,000 through the county council’s Peak LEADER Rural Grants Scheme.

Grants are available to help fund:

  • Farm productivity and improvement
  • Farm diversification
  • Micro and small business support
  • Developing rural services
  • Small scale culture and heritage developments and improvements
  • Rural tourism – new small tourist attractions
  • Forestry improvements (woodland management)

Apply here

Applications will close on Friday 31 March 2017.
(January 2017)

New support for employment and skills

Three new sources of support have been launched for employers engaging new staff or developing the skills of existing staff

EMPLOY LOCAL offers support and incentives to employers across the D2N2 area who provide employment and training to people who are currently out of work, leading to sustained employment including apprenticeships. Up to £4000 may be available on a staged payment basis
For more details email: epo@b-riigc.kmlydctann.ou

SKILLS LOCAL provides support and incentives to employers across the D2N2 area to provide work related training for their low skilled workers including the development of higher skills pathways such as apprenticeships and graduate placements. Up to £4000 may be available on a staged payment basis.
For more details email: aa.arntnlanietcmdmfrigo@erdrc.o

The D2N1 Youth Engagement programme offers incentives for employers taking on young people aged 16 – 24 who are currently not in education, employment or training.
For the young person, personalised support will include careers advice and guidance, mentoring, provision of motivation and confidence building support, work experience and work tasters, volunteering to develop personal skills and competencies, enterprise activities to inspire participants and raise aspirations leading to referral to appropriate education, employment or training provision. Up to £4000 may be available on a staged payment basis.
For more details email: ae.odcsil.oulxfr@tklsc.k
(January 2017)

D2N2 Digital Growth Programme

The D2N2 Digital Growth Programme is a ERDF Funded programme, running from 2016 - 2019.

The programme has been designed to offer SME businesses in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire the opportunity to advance the skills and knowledge base of their employees in areas from marketing to information technology, as well as offer access to grant funding to be used to advance business operations through the use of technology.

The programme includes seminars, action planning workshops, one-to-one consultancy support and grant funding to help businesses invest in ICT and transform business processes. A series of launch events will take place during February and March 2017. The D2N2 Digital Growth Programme launch seminars will walk attendees through the registration process and provide an overview of the D2N2 Digital Growth Programme outlining the real benefits associated with signing up.
(January 2017)

PRS for Music Foundation - Open Fund for Organisations

The Open Fund for Organisations supports new music projects led by promoters, talent development organisations, venues, curators and large performance groups.

Projects must involve the creation, performance and promotion of new music and enable songwriters, composers, or solo artists, bands, producers and performers of all backgrounds to develop creatively and professionally.

Support is available to any organisation whose project fits with all three funding priorities:
1.To support the creation, performance and promotion of outstanding new music in any genre
2.To enable the UK’s most talented music creators to realise their potential
3.To inspire audiences

The Open Fund is available to any not-for-profit organisation based in the UK with an eligible project

Grants of up to £10,000 are available to support touring, recording, promotion and marketing, commissions of new music by UK-based creators, exciting community projects involving high-quality music creators, music creator residencies and live programmes featuring new UK music.

First deadline for PRS for Music Foundation - Open Fund for Organisations for 2017 is 6 February.
(January 2017)

Innovation Challenge Fund

Part of the Department for Transport’s innovation funding, the Innovation Challenge Fund is designed to support the development of innovations that use or enable science, engineering and technology to address specified DfT policy goals.

Grants of up to £90,000 are available to UK-based research organisations or businesses of any size and can fund up to 100% of the cost of a project (dependent on the type and size of the organisation and category of research being undertaken), with up to 30% of the grant available at the beginning of the project.
The latest call includes three separate competitions to support development of technologies, methods or processes to help address DfT policy goals on:

•realising the benefits from unmanned and remotely piloted aircraft systems (drones)
•doubling cycling by 2025
•improving driver training

The deadline for the Innovation Challenge Fund is 13 February 2017.
(January 2017)

British Business Bank expands partnership with Funding Circle

British Business Bank Investments Ltd, the commercial arm of the government-owned British Business Bank, will today (5 Jan 2017) begin lending a further £40m to UK small businesses through the direct lending platform, Funding Circle. The news follows the success of the programme to date, where more than 10,000 businesses across the country have benefitted from £60m of government lending through Funding Circle, creating an estimated 30,000 new jobs (according to research carried out for Funding Circle by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) in August 2016). The Funding Circle model has opened up small business lending to a wide range of investors, improving competition in the market and reducing dependency on bank lending. This latest investment is recognition of the efficiency of the direct lending model, and its ability to channel much-needed funds to the real economy, whilst providing investors with attractive, stable returns.
Find more information here
(January 2017)

Seraphim Capital launches pioneering space tech fund

Seraphim Capital has launched the world’s largest ever, early-stage, space-sector, venture fund. The fund – focussed on early stage space-related technology businesses – is targeting an £80m final close during the next two quarters and is backed by a £30m investment from the British Business Bank (made under its Enterprise Capital Funds (ECF) programme) alongside smart capital from leading international space companies, family offices and individual investors.

The Seraphim Space Fund will be the first fund of its size anywhere in the world to focus on investing in early-stage technology companies emerging from the ‘new space’ revolution.
The Fund will invest in commercial applications in both downstream (software), and upstream (hardware) opportunities, as well as in technologies that have potential space applications such as artificial intelligence, robotics and nanomaterials.

In particular the Fund will focus on companies that use digital data from satellites that is already delivering commercial advantage and social innovations ranging from intelligent transport and smart cities through to sectors such as insurance, maritime, agriculture or oil and gas.

Find out more
(January 2017)

Funding for faster broadband technology and to promote more energy efficient business operations and grow the low carbon economy.

D2N2 has opened up bids for funding for major programmes to extend the roll-out of faster broadband technology across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire and to promote more energy efficient business operations and grow the low carbon economy.

Organisations with projects which they believe can fulfil these aims can now apply for support from the two programmes; which are both funded via the European Regional Development (ERDF) portion of D2N2’s wider €250million European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF):

This includes extending fibre broadband availability and the roll-out of high-speed networks, and to support the adoption of emerging technologies and networks for the digital economy by businesses.

The aim is to enable more small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to gain access to superfast – 30 megabits per second (mbs) or above – and high growth firms to gain access to ultra-fast (100mbs or above) fibre broadband, through the provision of infrastructure (including cabling and broadband ‘cabinets’).

Applications must be for projects worth a total of one million pounds, with bidders prepared to provide up to 50% matched funding (£500,000).

The deadline for applications for funding is Friday February 17 (2017).

For more information and to make an outline funding application see the Gov.UK website.

The D2N2 low carbon programme is calling for projects which will promote:

•production and distribution of renewable energy;
•more efficient use of energy, and of renewable energy, in business;
•energy efficiency, smart energy management and renewable energy use in the public sector, including in public buildings and the housing sector;
•strategies which reduce carbon dioxide and other emissions for all types of environment, including urban areas;
•research and innovation in, and adoption of, low-carbon technologies.

Applications must be for projects worth a total of one million pounds, with bidders prepared to provide up to 50% matched funding (£500,000).

Funding is technically available until October 31, 2017, but project organisers are advised to make an outline application as soon as possible, as there will be an assessment of the first group of applications received by February 17 2017.

For more information and to make an outline application see the Gov.UK website
(December 2016)

The Scottish Power Energy People Trust is accepting applications from charitable organisations in England, Scotland and Wales that work to help people whose lives are affected by fuel poverty.
Charitable organisations can apply for grants of up to £50,000 to support projects or schemes covering the following:
•Energy efficiency measures - improving home energy efficiency through draught proofing, insulating and/or other practical measures.
•Income maximisation - providing funding to front line charities that carry out benefits advice to households missing out on financial help that they are entitled to through welfare benefits and tax credits.
•Fuel debt assistance - providing assistance, or funding the provision by other persons of assistance, to reduce or cancel debts for household electricity or gas supply, where such assistance is provided as part of a package of measures aimed at providing customers with long-term relief from fuel poverty.
•Any combination of the above.
The Energy People Trust, with funding from ScottishPower and voluntary donations from independent supporters, provides grants to grassroots organisations that help people who are on low incomes, live in poor housing or suffer ill health. Since its formation in 2005 the Trust has given more than £13 million in grants to projects.
There are three application deadlines in 2017: 18 January, 24 May and 4 October.
(December 2016)

Creative England and Barclays launch Barclays Eagle Lab Flight accelerator programme.
This new twelve-week accelerator is a unique opportunity for creative technology SMEs who are looking to scale up. Companies will get the support and help they need early on in their business life-cycle through workshops, masterclasses and mentor programmes, gaining invaluable experience and insights. ‘Barclays’ Eagle Lab – Flight’ will be led by Creative England and implemented through Barclays’ successful Eagle Labs programme. Closing date for applications is 31 December 2016.
(December 2016)

British Business Bank backs new £150m Accelerated Digital Ventures (ADV) platform to boost digital businesses
The British Business Bank has announced it is backing a new venture to provide investment to innovative UK digital technology businesses, driving growth and job creation across the country.

A third of the funding for the new £150m platform, which will provide evergreen, patient capital to smaller businesses looking to grow no matter what stage of development, will be provided under the Bank’s Enterprise Capital Funds (ECF) programme. Click here for more information
(December 2016)

Creative and Digital Support
A new programme – the Creative and Digital Industries D2N2 Consortium for increased SME Competitiveness – will launch this year (2016) and is due to last three years. CDI is one of the D2N2 LEP’s chosen eight key sectors. The programme will offer services to businesses across the D2N2 area under the brand name of The Big House. SMEs will be able to get advice on:
•Getting established, if they are a start-up company.
•Accessing grants and business management help which enables their company to grow, become more efficient and bring products to market more quickly.
•A high growth programme, aimed at firms seen as having the greatest growth potential (digital enterprises are a fast growing part of the sector across the D2N2 area).
•Additional projects to grow the numbers of black and ethnic minority employees, and women workers, who are currently under-represented in the CDI sector.
Many of the programme’s services will be offered online. It is estimated that around 500 CDI sector businesses will be helped over the project’s three years.
For more information on the Big House project contact Steph Robertson, Communications and Media Manager at Nottingham’s Creative Quarter on 0115 7100107, or by email: sehcetvqatrcmtp@raieure.o.
(December 2016)

New calls for proposals for ESIF funded projects in the D2N2 area

More than £7million is now available through the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership to help people find jobs, employers to plug skills gaps in their workforces and for the area to retain the highly-skilled graduates required for a modern, high skilled, high growth economy.

The new funding – which organisations can now bid to apply for – is being provided through D2N2’s European Social Fund (ESF) allocation, itself part of the larger €250milion in European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) which is being used to support a wide variety of business and economic growth activities over six years (to 2020).

ESF logo
The three initiatives now open for project bids are:

  • Higher Skills Development
  • Enterprise, Innovation and Pathways
  • Develop Sector Growth (focused support for SMEs in D2N2 LEP area growth sectors)

Two workshops are planned to support those wishing to bid for funding under the above ESIF projects :
Nottingham - Monday 28 November 2016 – 10am to 3.00pm. Park Inn Hotel, Mansfield Road, Nottingham, NG5 2BT. Book here.

Derby - Wednesday 30 November 2016 – 10am to 3.00pm. Derby Silk Mill, 19 Full Street, Derby, DE1 3AF. Book here.

Higher Skills Development – £4.7million from the European Social Fund (ESF) portion of D2N2’s ESIF allocation, for projects helping the D2N2 LEP area retain more graduate talent and create more business-based programmes to retain and develop them.

Project bids must be for at least £100,000 in ESF and bidders must provide match (half of the project total) funding for their projects.

The programme will
•Provide a support mechanism for SMEs (small medium size employers) and Micro businesses to create career pathways of higher and degree apprenticeships for their workforce.
•Provide incentives for SMEs and Micro businesses to support an undergraduate or post graduate student to gain actual work experience and to offer a job with a career pathway on completion of study.
•Support disadvantaged students on higher level programmes to access employability skills, work experience and advice to increase their local job prospects within 6-months of leaving education.
•Promote and develop better links between SMEs and Micro businesses and education institutions.
•A flexible approach to meet the needs of differing businesses

Enhancing equal access to lifelong learning - Higher Skills Development project call D2N2 LEP area (OCO8S16P0487)
Closing date: 15 January 2017

Develop Sector Growth (focused support for SMEs in D2N2 LEP area growth sectors) – £1.1million from D2N2’s ESF allocation for projects enhancing employers’ role in creating skills and training programmes in the D2N2 LEP area, which meet the needs of ‘skills gaps’ in companies’ workforces and help create new employment opportunities. This is a basic principle of D2N2’s Skills for Growth Strategy, aiming to particularly support the area’s key sectors and the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Project bids should be for a minimum of £100,000 ESF and bidders will need to provide 50% matched funding.

The programme will provide:
•Employer and sector led initiatives which will harness and enable a cultural change to the skill system across the D2N2 area.
•Enable employers of the D2N2 key priority sectors to own and develop a demand-led skills system.
•Solutions to meet the requirements of the D2N2 key priority sectors, employment growth sectors, and emerging sectors based on evidence of need.
•Promoting role models either through employers or individuals, reflecting the need to help, promote or inspire young people into various sectors, especially key sectors.

Access to Employment: Develop Sector Growth project call in D2N2 LEP area (OCO8S16P0483)
Closing date: 15 January 2017

Enhancing equal access to lifelong learning - Develop Sector Growth project call in D2N2 LEP area (OCO8S16P0485)
Closing date: 15 January 2017

Enterprise, Innovation and Pathways – £1.4 million from D2N2’s ESF allocation for a strategy to raise awareness of career opportunities and access to careers support, particularly for more disadvantaged groups where help is not already covered by other ESF-supported programmes; such as Building Better Opportunities, INSPIRE Local, CAREERS Local, EMPLOY Local and SKILLS Local. Project bids must be for at least £200,000 in ESF and bidders must provide match (half) funding for their projects.

The programme will focus on providing extra innovative support for long-term unemployed people, including those who have completed the Work Programme and where a person is still unemployed after many efforts to help them.

The programme will provide:
•Support to fill existing and future gaps in provision and activities within existing infrastructures and organisations, where there is a demonstrable evidence of need, linked to and aligned with local strategies.
•Complementary activities and resources to support the D2N2 opt-in programmes such as EMPLOY Local and SKILLS Local.
•Solutions to meet the requirements of the D2N2 key priority sectors, employment growth sectors, and emerging sectors based on evidence of need
•Additional and innovative approaches to pre-employment training, to ensure individuals have the core work-related skills that employers require, including preparation for apprenticeships.

Access to Employment: Enterprise, Innovation and Pathways project call in D2N2 LEP area (OCO8S16P0484)
Closing date: 15 January 2017

Two workshops are planned to support those wishing to bid for funding under the above ESIF projects :
Nottingham - Monday 28 November 2016 – 10am to 3.00pm. Park Inn Hotel, Mansfield Road, Nottingham, NG5 2BT. Book here.

Derby - Wednesday 30 November 2016 – 10am to 3.00pm. Derby Silk Mill, 19 Full Street, Derby, DE1 3AF. Book here.

(November 2016)

Transform Foundation

The Transform Foundation is offering grants to UK charities and not-for-profit organisations with a social mission that need money to build a website.
Grants of £18,000 are available to cover strategy, design and development covering 100% of the upfront costs. Eligible applicants have an income of between £400,000 and £20 million. (Organisations outside of this income range may express interest), be able to show that their website is getting in the way of their fundraising which has real potential.
(November 2016)

The Big House

The Big House is a 3-year ERDF-funded tailored support programme for Creative and Digital Industries (CDI) in the D2N2 area, starting in January 17. The project will include grants, mentors, specialist workshops, networking opportunities and much more. Partners include The Creative Quarter, Nottingham Trent University; The Hive (Nottingham Trent University); the University of Derby; Derby QUAD; New Art Exchange; Derby Theatre; NBV and Nottingham City Council.
Find out more at a FREE breakfast meeting on 6 December at Antenna, 9A Beck St, Nottingham NG1 1EQ. To register for the event or more information email eet@otnhmiygvuvnsntigact.o.k
(November 2016)

Woodland Carbon Fund

The Woodland Carbon Fund is a grant scheme to boost the rate of woodland creation and to visibly demonstrate how, by taking a natural capital approach, woodland creation can help to meet government’s future carbon targets alongside delivering other benefits. Successful applications will be for large-scale (>30 ha with a minimum block size of 10 ha), predominantly productive woodland and, where possible, have sought opportunities to improve public access and achieve wider environmental outcomes in line with the UK Forestry Standard.
Up to £6,800 per hectare is available to create new woodland, or up to £8,500 per hectare if you provide permissive access across the woodland (dependent on its location). Applications for the Woodland Carbon Fund opened on 10 November 2016.
(November 2016)

Midlands Engine Investment Fund

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund will be a fund for funders. Ultimately the funders will provide support in three areas:

Equity - investments up to £2m
Debt - loans from £100k to £1.5m
Small business loans - loans from £25k to £150k

The contracting process for funders closed on 14 November 2016. An initial mini competition will be held in January 2016 with funds expected to be available in February/March 2017.
(November 2016)

Plug-in Motorcycle Grant

The Office for Low Emission Vehicles has launched the Plug-in Motorcycle Grant to encourage purchase of zero emission motorcycles and scooters. The plug-in motorcycle grant is deducted from the price of the vehicle at the point of sale by the dealership. No paperwork is required from the customer, except a survey, to benefit from the grant.
(November 2016)

UK Games Fund

The UK Games Fund, to support video games development, has reopened to provide grants up to £25,000 to help new and young games development businesses create working prototype games. A limited number of £50,000 grants to projects that are further advanced, to be negotiated on a case-by-case basis, may also be available.
This current funding round closes on 23 November 2016.
(November 2016)

Extension of Plug in Van Grant

The Plug-In Van grant scheme has been extended to electric trucks above 3.5 tonnes. These vehicles will now be eligible for grants of up to £20,000.
(November 2016)

Community Business Fund – Power to Change

The Community Business Fund is now open to applications for grants of between £50,000 and £300,000 from community businesses. The funding supports capital costs (including building, vehicles, equipment of significant value, refurbishment costs) or project-specific revenue costs like staff costs, professional fees and volunteer costs.
The deadline for applications is 16 December 2016.
(November 2016)

New matchmaking service for small businesses looking for finance

Small businesses struggling to access finance from big banks will be matched with alternative finance options, under a new government scheme.
Nine of the UK’s biggest banks will pass on the details of small businesses they have rejected for finance to three finance platforms - Funding Xchange, Business Finance Compared and Funding Options. These platforms will then share details with alternative finance providers and go on to facilitate a conversation between the business and any provider who expresses an interest in supplying finance to them.
The new rules are designed to make it easier for businesses to access finance when they have been turned down by traditional lenders.
More details are available in the Government press release
(November 2016)

Reach Fund to encourage charities and social enterprises to access social investment

The £4m Reach Fund is a grant fund to encourage charities and social enterprises to access social investment.
Launched by Access: the Foundation for Social Investment and administered by the Social Investment Business the fund will provide grants to organisations who need specific support to be able to take on a loan, and is designed to test a new model of investment readiness support.
Grants of up to £15,000 will be available. Charities who want to use the fund must be referred by approved social investors, called Access Points, who must be willing to make an investment in the organisation if they become “investment ready”. Charities and social enterprises will be able to register for the Reach Fund from Tuesday 1 November 2016.
(October 2016)

Music Export Growth Scheme

The Department for International Trade (DIT) has re-launched Music Export Growth Scheme in partnership with the (British Phonographic Industry) BPI to help UK acts achieve global recognition. Up to £2.8 million will be made available in grants to help British acts and independent labels export their music to overseas markets.
Delivered through the Exporting is GREAT campaign and operated through the BPI, small and medium sized music companies will be eligible for grants ranging from £5,000 to £50,000 to help promote British artists around the world, giving them the opportunity to go global with their talents.
Funding will be made available until 2020 with the deadline for the first wave of applications being 7 November 2016. Apply here.
(October 2016)

Shell Springboard Low Carbon Award
The application window for the Shell Springboard low carbon awardof up to £150,000 of equity-free funding for UK low-carbon enterprises will close at 5pm on Friday, 28 October. Alongside funding, the programme provides access to networking events with the key players in the low carbon sector, comprehensive business feedback from an independent panel of judges and exciting publicity opportunities. They are looking for UK-based SMEs that help reduce carbon emissions; are commercially viable; and demonstrate an innovative technical or business approach.
(October 2016)

Architectural Heritage Fund
The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) has announced details of the 2017 Projects Development Grants programme, available to not-for-profit groups in the UK.
Grants of up to £25,000 are available for any work that is essential for taking the project forward towards the goal of revitalising an historic building, not for on-site capital works. Examples of eligible costs include:
•The employment of a project co-ordinator
•Fees for consultants needed to help progress the organisation's plans
•Property valuation
•Costs associated with developing a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund or other capital funders
•Costs of community engagement work
•Legal costs where this is critical in establishing ownership or the viability of proposed uses
The 2016/2017 deadlines are 26 October 2016, 15 February 2017, 10 May 2017, 16 August 2017, and 1 November 2017.
The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) is an independent charity that was established to encourage and support the work of registered charities and constituted not-for-profit organisations that is dedicated to the preservation and renewal of buildings of architectural and historic significance which have failed to find a viable re-use on the open market.
(October 2016)

iAMDigital Fund
Creative England and Nominet Trust have launched the £1m iAMDigital Fund, to support new and established SMEs to improve digital skills for young people. Investments ranging from £50,000 to £200,000 will be available to ‘scalable SMEs’ to support build business capacity and investment for growth. The project will measure the social impact of the ventures and inform future projects to increase digital engagement. Deadline 27 October 2016 for expressions of interest and 1 December 2016 for full applications.
(October 2016)

Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme

The Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme has been developed by the UK government to provide access to a subsidised broadband installation to homes and businesses that are unable to access a broadband service with a download speed of at least 2Mb per second and who will not benefit from the superfast broadband roll out. The subsidy provides support towards the cost of the equipment and installation of a satellite or wireless broadband service, up to the value of £350.

If you currently experience poor broadband speeds, or are unable to obtain an affordable broadband service at all, the scheme will provide you with access to a basic broadband service that will offer speeds of at least 2Mb per second.
Applications to the Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme can be made until the end of 2017.

If you are eligible for the subsidy you will be able to choose a service from any of the retail service providers that are part of the scheme. Each of them will offer a variety of packages based on the amount of data you need and the speed of the connection. Current participating satellite and wireless providers in Derbyshire are listed here. Information on the Nottinghamshire project is provided here
(September 2016)

Pioneer 10 programme

Businesses in Nottinghamshire are being invited to sign up for the Pioneer 10 programme, a free intensive business growth programme with tools, coaching and exclusive entrepreneurial support worth up to £15,000.
Designed for ambitious entrepreneurs and business owners in Nottinghamshire, Pioneer 10 is open to anyone of any age and experience.
(September 2016)

Innovation in health and life sciences round 1

Funding is available through Innovate UK to support innovations in agriculture, food and healthcare. Projects must involve at least one SME and focus on one of the following priority areas:
•increasing yield, quality and sustainability in agriculture and food production
•improving precision medicine, advanced therapies, pre-clinical technologies
•advancing biosciences in healthcare and agriculture and food production
An SME can apply on its own for funding of up to £100,000.
Innovate UK expect to fund some projects to last up to 12 months with total costs of up to £100,000 and other projects between 12 and 36 months with total costs between £100,000 and £2 million. Businesses could attract up to 70% public funding of their eligible costs.
The deadline for registration for Innovation in health and life sciences round 1 is at noon on 9 November 2016. A briefing event for potential applicants takes place on 19 September 2016.
(September 2016)

D2N2 Growth and Innovation Programme

The D2N2 area Growth and Innovation Programme brings together partner grant schemes operating in Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire; the area for which the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership works to promote economic growth and create jobs. The Programme is a partnership initiative led by EMB that brings together three partner grant schemes:

Derby and Derbyshire Enterprise Growth Fund(D2EGF)
•University of Derby Invest to Grow scheme
•University of Nottingham N2 Business Growth Programme

Grants range from £15,000 to £500,000 and will support investment in business growth coupled with job creation.

The D2N2 Growth and Innovation Programme will run until December 2018.

The scheme includes a new source of funding for businesses outside the Derby travel to work area but within Derbyshire. D2 Enterprise Growth Fund is a grant only scheme which provides financial support at a 30% intervention rate. The grant funding provided to the project applicants is expected to generate new job creation as a result of the financial assistance awarded.
(September 2016)

The Prince's Countryside Fund

The Prince's Countryside Fund has announced grant funding support projects that enhance community services, provide training opportunities for young and unemployed people and those that focus on developing stronger, more sustainable farm businesses. Grants of up to £50,000 are available for innovative projects that will provide a lasting legacy to the individuals and communities they seek to benefit, and which tackle rural issues in three key areas:

  • improve the prospects of viability for family farm businesses
  • sustain rural communities and drive economic vibrancy
  • support aid delivery in emergency and building resilience

More details are provided in the Grant Eligibility and Guidance Document.
The scheme closes on Thursday 13 October.
(September 2016)

Supporting Food and Tourism

The Great British Food Unit fund is open to applications from local partnerships – including community groups, trade bodies and National Parks – to bid for up to £25,000 each to champion regional food and drink, growing local businesses and creating more jobs.
(September 2016)

New funding for research and innovation
Seven new Horizon 2020 funding calls open on 20 September 2016
Business will be able to apply for funds for projects in a range of fields including smart transport, autonomous transport, factories of the future, digital health, the circular economy and energy efficient buildings. There are a number of different closing dates.
(September 2016)


The Carbon Trust is launching a new energy efficiency programme called START2ACT, providing free-of-charge energy efficiency training, online energy saving advice and breakfast events to young SMEs and startups in the UK. The programme is funded by the European Commission Horizon 2020 programme, and will be implemented in seven countries in Eastern Europe as well as in the UK
(September 2016)

Support for infrastructure technologies

Innovate UK is to invest up to £19 million ininnovation projects that test new infrastructure technologiesfor the first time in user-facing applications. The aim of this competition is to enable selected innovative infrastructure systems solutions to take the final step to market readiness by proving the business case, outcomes
The competition will be in 2 phases:
Phase 1 – funded study - projects up to total costs of £50,000 and last up to 3 months.
Phase 2 – testing the innovation in a commercial environment - projects from £250,000 to £5 million and be deployed within 1 year.
Businesses can work alone or collaborate but must involve an end customer. If you are not an SME you must involve one. The competition opens on 18 July 2016.
(September 2016)

European Regional Development Fund

A number of new business support projects are being launched part-funded by the ERDF funding allocation of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and contributions from a host of regional business support partners. These include projects to support small and medium sized enterprises in the food and drink manufacturing (FEAST) and life sciences sector (INSTILS). As the announcements have only recently been made, please call the D2N2 Growth Hub on 0333 006 9178 to find out more.

Horizon 2020: European innovation fund seeks business projects

A European funding programme for businesses and researchers is to invest more than €600 million across 7 new initiatives launched this month.
Businesses can apply for support for projects in a range of fields including smart transport, autonomous transport, factories of the future,digital health, the circular economy and energy efficient buildings.

New Innovate UK funding call - Global Cooperation Feasibility Studies The aim of this competition is to support innovative UK SMEs to carry out short international cooperation feasibility studies to build new international business networks. This can enable commercial research and innovation partnerships and can be used towards Horizon 2020 proposals. Innovate UK are looking to increase the international engagement of innovative UK SMEs and the competition will focus on supporting companies that have strong innovative ideas. The proposed activities or studies should show the development potential of an idea and the opportunities available from international partnerships and access to new markets. The feasibility studies can focus on any global market but you must explain the reasons for pursuing a specific market. Applications should also detail the potential impacts and follow-on activities envisaged. Registration deadline - Noon 21st September 2016 Application deadline - Noon 28th (September 2016)

Previous news

The Sheffield City Region (SCR) Launchpad service - delivered locally by Growing Rural Enterprise Ltd on behalf of Derbyshire Dales District Council - helps individuals thinking of starting a business, new businesses registered but not yet trading and businesses trading for up to 24 months who need help with their growth plans. The service offers both one-to-one, face-to-face advice as well as a programme of events and workshops to eligible clients across the district. Mentoring support will also be available through the main SCR Launchpad programme.

The NBV Grant for New Business supports start-up businesses based in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. Eligible applicants will be ready to start trading, registered with Companies House or HMRC and will be selling to other businesses.
Grants of between £1000 and £2500 are available, up to a maximum of 25% of eligible costs, and can be used to purchase services or equipment to help you launch your new business.

Invest to Grow update - a new set of FAQs on the Invest to Grow scheme have been issued. The scheme now has a funding cap of £250k. The team are currently looking to fund projects which must be completed in terms of expenditure by the end of September 2017.

Free asbestos training is available to small businesses and sole traders across the UK between September and October, through the UK Asbestos Training Association Ltd. Venues include Nottingham (2 September and 7 October) and Burton on Trent (9 September).

Funding to research and develop projects related to connected and autonomous vehicles has been announced. Available through the Centre for Connected & Autonomous Vehicles from 22 August 2016, projects can be either large-scale, operating at SAE level 4 automation or smaller feasibility studies and R&D, minimum total cost £250,000.
Apply for funding for projects related to connected and autonomous vehicles by 2 November 2016.

The Event Support Programmeis a new initiative from Visit Britain to support and build the business visits and events sector. The programme is expected to run for four years and provides advocacy and financial support. Support is open to Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) or venues and event organisers who are collaborating with DMOs under three streams:
•Support to attract international business events to Britain and Northern Ireland - With an emphasis on advocacy to help win bids for international events. This could include financial support for marketing activity that will help secure the event.
•Support to grow the economic value of secured events – Support for marketing activity that will boost the economic impact of the event, including trade and investment opportunities and increased delegate numbers.
•Support to create new international business events – For example, growing an existing domestic business event into a significant international event, or an initiative that will introduce a new, or cloned version of an established overseas event to Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
August 2016

The Great British Food Unit fund is open to applications from local partnerships – including community groups, trade bodies and National Parks – to bid for up to £25,000 each to champion regional food and drink, growing local businesses and creating more jobs.
Before applying for the scheme, applicants must register with Defra
August 2016

The D2EGF Grant Fund is expected to be available across the whole of Derby and Derbyshire. It is currently inviting funding applications from SMEs that demonstrate growth and create jobs.
It will focus on supply chain innovation (especially focused on funding innovation in the transport & engineering sectors) and general enterprise expansion.

The fund will aim to provide the minimum level of funding necessary for a project to take place, up to a maximum of 30% of the total project costs and £10,000 per new full-time-equivalent job created. The minimum grant award is likely to be in region of £10,000 and maximum is unlikely to exceed £200,000. The average size of grant is likely to be around £60-80k.
Expressions of interest are currently being taken.

Innovate UK is to invest up to £19 million in innovation projects that test new infrastructure technologies for the first time in user-facing applications. The aim of this competition is to enable selected innovative infrastructure systems solutions to take the final step to market readiness by proving the business case and test outcomes.

The competition will be in 2 phases:

Phase 1 – funded study - projects up to total costs of £50,000 and last up to 3 months.
Phase 2 – testing the innovation in a commercial environment - projects from £250,000 to £5 million and be deployed within 1 year.

Businesses can work alone or collaborate but must involve an end customer. If you are not an SME you must involve one. The competition first of a kind deployment of innovation opened on 18 July 2016.
August 2016

HLF and Arts Council England (ACE) have announced a new scheme to pilot new ways of working between cultural, community and civic organisations.

Grants of £500,000 to £1.5m will support a range of activities in 12 pilot areas across England including new ways to include arts, culture and heritage in the provision of local education or health services; research into the contribution made by arts, culture and heritage to local economies and development of local strategies that turn conversations and creation of networks into action to maximise the community benefit that local arts, culture and heritage can deliver.
August 2016

Heritage is about what we value from our past – what we decide to keep, to conserve, to re-use, to share and to celebrate. It’s about memories, cultures and ways of life as well as places, buildings and objects. Everybody has their own idea about what they value from the past and what people value reflects the different identities that people have.

The heritage assets of a place – its buildings, historic parks, museums and libraries, as well as its long-established business, shops and pubs – are all valued community assets that people want to protect, keep and use. Community Rights make it easier to make sure that valued local heritage is protected, continues to exist, and benefits communities.

Find out how you can join the thousands of communities who are using Community Rights to celebrate and safeguard their heritage assets with a new resource by the Department for Communities and Local Government, Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic England, Locality, The Architectural Heritage Fund, Civic Voice and Groundwork.
July 2016

D2N2 LEP is inviting applications to its Growing Places Fund (GPF). Individual loans to companies or organisations will be between £250,000 and a maximum of £2million, and must be to finance capital (building and infrastructure) to help further businesses’ development. Find out more on our news page.

Innovate UK: Open funding competition - Innovate UK is investing up to £15 million in innovative R&D projects. The competition is open to all UK companies. Registration deadline noon 31 August 2016, Application deadline noon 7 September 2016. The competition is open to the best innovative business-led ideas or concepts. These can be drawn from any technology, engineering or industrial area, including Innovate UK’s 4 priority sectors for growth.
To be in scope, a proposal must:

  • demonstrate innovation leading to novel, new products, processes or services

  • articulate a clear and anticipated growth impact for the business(s) leading to a significant return on investment (ROI)

  • Priority will be given to proposals that are likely to lead to sustainable gains in productivity and/or access to new overseas markets through export led business growth.
  • Projects may last between 6 and 36 months. Total eligible project costs should range from £25,000 to £1 million depending on the type of R&D to be undertaken.
    July 2016

    Catalysing Growth through Research for Transport Equipment Manufacturing is aimed at companies involved in road, rail and aerospace equipment manufacture. Firms can apply for research and innovation funding financed via the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership. The project is delivered by the University of Derby and Loughborough University. It will cost £2.7m in total – £1.3m of that coming from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the remainder from the two universities.
    July 2016

    Enabling Innovation is a new project that aims to assist small and medium-sized companies to innovate and grow with the aid of £10.1million in funding through the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership. The major project will be part-financed by funds via D2N2 – the business-led partnership promoting economic growth and jobs creation across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire – over three years. ‘Enabling Innovation’ will cost £20.3m in total. D2N2 will provide £10.1m of that through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), giving significant financial support to the project. The University of Derby , University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University will deliver the project and also co-invest in it. For more information see our Innovation and New Products page.

    Innovate UK have also launched the Women in innovation: infocus funding award or call 0844 887 2568.

    The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme helps businesses to innovate and grow. It does this by linking them with a university and a graduate to work on a specific project. Each KTP is a three-way partnership between a business, an academic institution and a graduate. The academic institution employs the recently-qualified graduate who works at the company. The graduate, known as the ‘associate', brings new skills and knowledge to the business. If you already have a working relationship with a university, you should contact them. A KTP can last between 12 and 36 months depending on the project and the needs of the business. It is part-funded by a grant. The amount businesses need to contribute is different for SMEs and larger companies. 2016 closing dates for submission are 6 July, 7 September and 2 November.

    The Carbon Trust Green Business Fund: up to 15% of costs to a maximum of £10,000 to small and medium sized businesses, who could benefit from financial support when buying energy saving equipment including lighting, heating or air conditioning equipment. In addition to grant funding the scheme will offer workshops (aimed at companies with fewer than 50 employees) to help small businesses work out how best to identify the energy saving opportunities available to them, funded energy audits and procurement support.Apply online
    May 2016

    • The Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) will look to boost the economies of the East and West Midlands and help their small businesses to grow. It is a joint agreement between the British Business Bank and eleven Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) – including D2N2. For information on the progress of the MIEF please click here.
    • Coventry University Enterprises Ltd in conjunction with Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) have launched a new service, Innovate2Succeed a programme of coaching support delivered by EEN Advisers. The programme aims to help innovation focussed SMEs identify business issues standing in the way of successful innovation and develop their own strategies to address them. Funded by the European Commission through the Horizon 2020 framework.
    • The Energy Catalyst is open to UK businesses and research organisations, including academia. The Energy Catalyst will fund projects which deliver innovative solutions that address all elements of the energy ‘trilemma’ of reducing emissions, improving security of supply and reducing cost. DFID’s grant funding into Round 4 has the additional objective of “Transforming Energy Access” for poor households and communities, particularly in Sub-Saharan and South Asian countries. The objective of the Energy Catalyst is to accelerate UK business growth and GDP in this global market area by leveraging the best of UK energy technology innovation. The energy "trilemma" presents an international as well as a UK market opportunity to UK businesses and applicants may focus on addressing market needs in any country provided that the project is also relevant to the needs of developing countries. You can lead a proposal if you are either: an SME acting on your own or working with any other with any type of organisation, a research organisation collaborating with a business, your project can last up to one year, the total cost of your project can be up to £200,000, the total non-business-partner costs must not exceed 50% of the total project costs. Business partner funding can be up to 70% of their total project costs for small or micro SMEs, 60% for medium SMEs or 50% for larger companies. The Energy Catalyst Round 4 competition opens on 4th April 2016. To apply you must register by noon on 7th September 2016 and you must submit your application one week later, by noon 14th September 2016.
    • July 2016
    • The EU Horizon 2020 programme has announced it's Engine Retrofit for Clean Air Prize. This competition with a prize of 1.5m euros closes on 12th September. The Horizon Prize for the Engine retrofit for clean air aims at spurring the development of new technologies that can be applied to existing diesel engines and powertrains to reduce pollutant emissions in real driving conditions to a level comparable with that of new cars responding to the emissions legislation in force from 2017. It aims at reducing the pollution produced by the existing fleet by retrofittable technology (i.e. additional devices and/or modification of existing diesel engines). The Prize will be awarded to the applicant or team demonstrating the lowest emission of NOX (a generic term for the various nitrogen oxides), PN/PM (particulate matter in terms of number of particles and mass, respectively) and other pollutants under real urban driving conditions on the road as well as under standardized conditions in the laboratory. Participants are encouraged to declare their intention to participate by registering as 'contestants' as soon as possible by sending an email to the prize mailbox EC-ENGINE-RETROFIT-PRIZE@EC.EUROPA.EU by 12 June 2017. For more information on the rules of eligibility please see :
    • June 2016
    • Nottingham City Council are offering a grant of £4,000 as an incentive for the recruitment of one of their construction industry trainees on a 12 month apprenticeship contract. For more information about this exciting offer please call 0115 876 5426.
    • The Rail Supply Growth Fund is an innovative and flexible loan fund which has been developed by Finance Birmingham in conjunction with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), which aims to help remove barriers to entry and accelerate routes to market helping to maximise commercial opportunities for businesses resulting from the modernisation of the rail network including HS2. The Fund is specifically looking to help fund increases in the capability, productivity and global competiveness of existing and new supplier with the expectation that this will lead to increased levels of employment and investment. The Rail Supply Growth Fund is available to businesses nationally (England) with loans available from £0.5m to £2m. It does have the ability to provide a financial contribution of up to 10% of the application value to assist with the introduction of innovative crossover products and services and to enhance business participation with the rail supply sector. For more details of the fund please click here to see the guidance notes and call 0121 233 4917 for details.
    • Feb 2016
    • Fully funded Construction Business training available. If you own, manage or are employed by a Nottinghamshire or Derbyshire construction business you are probably eligible for fully funded business courses via the £1 million CITB and Nottingham City Council Joint Investment Strategy. Funding is available to pay for you and your employees to train and to gain the skills and qualifications they need to push your business up to the next level. Courses on offer include social media for the construction business, tender writing, construction business management, CDM Regs, Level 3 C-ILM in construction and management for the built environment, construction strategy and an NVQ level 6 in site management. Please see link to the current portfolio of courses that are available.
    • Building Productive Managers is a new programme designed to give managers the skills they need to implement strategy and support continued business success. Delivered by Pera Consulting’s team of expert business coaches, Building Productive Managers will support delegates to become more productive, more effective leaders, better able to achieve their businesses growth ambitions. This four-module programme is open to businesses within the Sheffield City Region and should include those from Bassetlaw, Bolsover, Derbyshire Dales, Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire. A selection of start dates are on offer to delegates from Tuesday 12 January 2016. The cost of this course is £1,000 – funding should be available for 60% of the cost. Total cost per delegate is therefore: £400 plus VAT. For more details email jnypatprcnutn.oen.rt@eaosligcm Call 01664 501235.
    • January 2016
    • The Arts Council has launched its Ambition for excellence £35.2 million programme aimed at stimulating and supporting ambition, talent and excellence across the arts sector in England. The fund aims to realise significant impact on the growth of an ambitious international-facing arts infrastructure, especially outside London. Ambition for excellence is a rolling programme, from 28 May 2015 to 27 October 2017, and applications will be received in two stages: an expression of interest followed by an invite to apply. Applicants can apply for between £100,000 and £750,000, across a period of up to three years. Organisations eligible to submit an expression of interest include: National portfolio organisations, museums (applying for arts projects) and organisations primarily focused on one or more of the following: creating, producing, distribution and presenting the arts in England. Applications from partnerships can also be made – details of which are found in the Guidance for applicants.
    • May 2015
    • The Builders Finance Fund has reopened. The fund is designed to help restart and speed up housing developments between 5 and 250 units that have slowed down or stalled. Funding is made available on the basis that it is recoverable.
    • April 2014
    • Social entrepreneurs, social enterprises and civil society organisations can tap into funds from the Social Investment Business
    • November 2014