Grant Funding Guidance


Throughout the D2N2 area there are a range of different grant funding schemes available through various providers such as the Chamber, Growth Hub, LEP, universities, councils and other non-profit organisations.

This page aims to give you a comprehensive overview of what to expect and consider before you apply for grant funding as well as useful links to funding available in the D2N2 area.

Please click through the headings below to find out more:

Types of grant funding available

In general grants are available for the following types of activity:

  • Business Growth / Marketing
  • Technology / Innovation
  • Capital Equipment
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Manufacturing
  • Covid-specific e.g. for retail recovery

The above list is not exhaustive. There are typically no grants available for vehicles, stock or general running costs such as rent, wages etc.  

Things to consider before applying for grant funding

Applications for grant funding should be carefully considered before applications are made as they will require a certain time commitment in order to increase the chances of a successful application.

Some important things to consider are:

  • Grants cannot be given retrospectively - plan your project and check your timelines are realistic to fit with when the grant body processes applications
  • Think about how you will finance the project to maximise the cash flow in the business, You will only receive your grant AFTER you have paid for the project
  • Complete a business plan which includes the Return on Investment (RoI) specifically for your project
  • If you struggle with business plans, project specifications, financial planning or appraising suppliers, ask for specialist financial help with a Growth Hub adviser being your first point of call
  • The project will require a specification of what you want to do. Therefore, prepare a brief to be able to present to all prospective suppliers.
  • You are likely to need 3 quotes. A consistent specification means suppliers are quoting on a like for like basis.
  • Financials - you will be asked to provide some financial information to support your application, which may include your most recent financial accounts, management accounts for the current year and projections for the next 12-36 months. Please ensure your projections reflect the investment being applied for in the grant
  • Projects can attract R&D tax credit benefits, be aware that this will be net of VAT and any grants awarded cannot be claimed against R&D tax credits

The grant application process

An example of a typical successful grant application process is given below:

  • Step 1 – register with the grant provider and / or discuss your requirement for the grant with a business adviser who will guide you through the expression of interest stage once you have decided the best grant option
  • Step 2 – Submit an expression of interest form where your initial eligibility will be considered
  • Step 3 – If your expression of interest is successful you will be asked to submit a full application where you will be asked to provide full details of your project and how this will benefit your business, along with supporting documentation e.g. financial information, quotes for items sought.
  • Step 4 – The project appraisal process will take place from the team managing the grant application
  • Step 5 – If approved, a grant offer will be issued and you will be asked to sign to accept the offer. It’s important that you do not start your project until you have received and accepted a grant offer, as this could invalidate your grant offer.
  • Step 6 – Payment of grant percentage will be made on completion of the project

Eligibility criteria

The eligibility criteria will vary from programme to programme but the key criteria is usually:

  • The applicant meets the definition of an SME, i.e.
    • 1-249 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff and either:
    • Turnover of less than 50 million Euros or:
    • Balance sheet less than 43 million Euros
  • The company is not more than 25% owned by another company that does not meet the SME criteria above
  • Not had more than 200,000 Euros equivalent in state aid in the last 3 years

Please ensure that you read the specific eligibility criteria for the grant that you are applying for beforehand.

Other important factors that can affect eligibility are:

  • Length of time the business has been established
  • SIC Code and / or business activity
  • Amount of B2B trading
  • Postcode, specifically where the project will take place
  • Type of project

Excluded Sectors

Although there are certain programmes targeting some of these sectors, most funding generally excludes:

  • Healthcare
  • Educational organisations
  • Agriculture and fishing
  • Financial services
  • Retail (except Covid and city-centre specific)


Q: How do I know if I have an eligible project?

A: If you know the adviser of the specific grant you are thinking of, ask them directly. If you are not sure and it is a more general enquiry, call your local Growth Hub.

Q: What if I am looking for grants that are outside of the types of funding you mentioned?

A: If you are not sure, call your local Growth Hub. The list is not exhaustive and there may be additional support available to you. This could be in the form of grants, 1-2-1 adviser support or expert webinars that might help you in your topic area.

Q: Can multiple grants can be applied for simultaneously?

A: Check you are within your de Minimis state aid allowance and apply for grants in priority order. You cannot apply for more than one grant for the same items.

Q: What different types of grants are there?

A: Grants can be national, regional or local – when you find a grant check that it covers your location

Q: Which grant is right for my business?

A: Grants will be targeting different types of companies – check you meet the criteria of the grant and always read the guidance notes

Q: Who can I talk to for advice?

A: Chambers of Commerce and Growth Hubs are useful local resources – utilise them as much as possible to find out about potential support for your business. If you register with the D2N2 Growth Hub, your business adviser will be able to assist you in the application process.

Q: Do I have to be an established company to apply for grant funding?

A: This depends on the type of grant and there are some available to specifically support start-ups. However, it is more common that you would need to show at least 12 months of accounts records.  

Useful links to local funding


Digital UpScaler Project

Who is it for?

  • For companies that have experienced barriers to growth
  • Due to poor understanding and / or implementation of digital technologies, as well as those who already embrace digital and want to do more.

Size of project:

  • Minimum project £30,000

Match funding:

  • 35% grant

Targeted at:

  • High growth businesses in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire


For more useful information on funding available click here

Further support and Guidance

For more information on grant funding please speak to a D2N2 business adviser. Click 'I would like to book an appointment' below and complete the form to arrange this.  


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