Latest News

10 Jan

Growth Hub Event Consultancy: Invitation to Tender

The Chamber is seeking to recruit experienced consultants to lead the development and delivery of a suite of engaging and professionally-designed Growth Hub-branded seminars and/or action-planning workshops covering a range of topics.

06 Jan

Big House: Invitation to Tender

The Big House are looking for applications from specialist website developers to provide support and updates to The Big House website, for the duration of the project, running until September 2022.

24 Dec

East Midlands Chamber: Invitation to Tender

The East Midlands Chamber of Commerce have put out an invitation to tender for Graphic Design, Copywriting and Print Services. This will support the marketing activities for the ERDF-funded Digital Growth Programme and Digital UpScaler projects.

National Funding & Grants

If you need guidance on navigating these national schemes or would like further assistance in matching your specific funding needs to a national or local funding source, then please call us with your enquiry on:

0333 006 9178

Funding that is currently available within the D2N2 LEP area of Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire can be found on our Local Access to Funding page.

Start Up Loans

start up loans

Loans and mentoring for people over 18 years old who are looking to start a business.

Nationally, Start-Up Loans is government funded scheme to provide advice, business loans and mentoring to startup businesses, backed by the British Business Bank.

There are also a number of delivery partners that offer start-up loans throughout England including Virgin Start Up loans.

The Enterprise Finance Guarantee

Encourages lending institutions, including banks, to lend to viable smaller businesses that would otherwise be declined for lacking adequate security. The Enterprise Finance Guarantee is managed by a wholly-owned subsidiary of British Business Bank plc, but remains on the balance sheet of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The British Business Bank - Investment and Finance for Growth

The British Business Bank makes it easier for businesses with high growth ambitions to find the early-stage finance they require by investing in a range of equity funds focused on UK businesses and supporting high growth loans.

Businesses looking for general working capital or debt capital to expand may wish to consider some of their STAY AHEAD partners.

The commercial arm of the British Business Bank - British Bank Investments Ltd - has added a further £40m into the direct lending platform, Funding Circle, where SMEs can borrow from a wide range of investors.

For innovative UK digital technology businesses, the £150m Accelerated Digital Ventures platform aims to drive growth and job creation across the country by providing evergreen, patient capital to smaller businesses looking to grow no matter what stage of development.

The Pentech Fund III is a £88 million fund managed by Pentech and supported by the British Business Bank, which will invest in early stage software companies across the UK. Pentech’s main area of interest is discovering where new disruptive technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Big Data and Infrastructure, such as Blockchain and Microservices, can create category leading software companies in large industries, such as FinTech, health and wellness, and enterprise transformation.

Carbon Trust

The Carbon Trust Green Business Fund offers grant funding of 15% of the project cost (up to a maximum of £5,000) to SMEs who could benefit from financial support when buying energy saving equipment.

Energy Efficiency Financing delivered by the Carbon Trust working in partnership with Siemens Financial Services, is designed to help facilitate investment in new technology by providing financing in the forms of leases, loans and hire purchase. Finance through the scheme is designed to be offset by energy cost savings - either direct to you or via recognised suppliers.

Firms purchasing energy efficient equipment on the Energy Technology List may also be eligible for tax relief.

Funding from Innovate UK

Innovate UK fund, support and connect innovative businesses to accelerate sustainable economic growth.

Watch Innovate UK’s 5 tips to secure funding for start-ups and small businesses

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

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.

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.

Sector Specific Funding

Transport funding

The Rail Supply Growth Fund

A 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 call 0121 233 4917 for details.

Through the Office of Low Vehicle Emissions the government offers grants towards the cost of new electric (plug-in) car or vans, if the purchase meets certain conditions.

Grants are available for:

  • 35% off the cost of a car, up to a maximum of £5,000
  • 20% off the cost of a van, up to a maximum of £8,000

Creative Digital and Arts Business Funding

Arts businesses can apply for a range of funding when available including competitions and awards, local support services are listed here.

Creative Industry Finance is an Arts Council England initiative, delivered by Creative United, offering business development support and access to finance for creative industry enterprises.

Resource Efficiency

Wrap logo

WRAP works with UK Governments, the EU and other funders to help deliver their policies on waste prevention and resource efficiency.
It offers funding for projects that deliver it's aim including the Rural Community Energy Fund


Restoring Historic Buildings

If your business occupies a historic building which needs renovation, Heritage Enterprise from the Heritage Lottery Fund can help communities repair derelict historic places, giving them productive new uses by funding the repair costs.

Rural Businesses

DEFRA (the Department of Food and Rural Affairs) are a key partner in the delivery of rural business support. DEFRA manages schemes to support farming, forestry and woodland management, for example the Countryside Productivity Scheme that offers grants to farming businesses meeting defined criteria through the European Innovation Partnership for Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability (EIP-Agri).

Please also see our Rural Business Growth page for details of local funding availability.

R & D Tax Credits

R&D Relief is a Corporation Tax relief that may reduce your company or organisation’s tax bill.

Alternatively, if your company or organisation is small or medium-sized, you may be able to choose to receive a tax credit instead, by way of a cash sum paid by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

R&D relief schemes

Your company or organisation can only claim R&D Relief if it’s liable for Corporation Tax.

There are two schemes for claiming relief, depending on the size of the company or organisation:

Research and Development Expenditure Credit (RDEC) Scheme

The RDECscheme replaced the Large Company enhanced-deduction scheme in April 2016.

What is a SME for R&D?

An SME is a company or organisation with fewer than 500 employees and either of the following:

  • An annual turnover not exceeding €100 million
  • A balance sheet not exceeding €86 million

This definition applies to spending on R&D from 1 August 2008. Before that date, an SME was a company with fewer than 250 employees, and either of the following:

  • An annual turnover not exceeding €50million
  • A balance sheet not exceeding €43 million

Your company or organisation may not be considered to be an SME if it’s part of a larger enterprise that, taken as a whole, would fail these tests.

This definition of an SME for R&D Relief purposes isn’t necessarily the same as that used by HMRC in relation to other areas of Corporation Tax or other tax areas such as PAYE, or by other government agencies.

For more information regarding R&D Tax Credits and how this can benefit your business please visit Corporation Tax: Research and Development (R&D) Relief