Grants & Funding
This page provides a number of key sources of information, finance and grants that may be available and relevant to help you start-up, grow and expand your business.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
Advance notice: The Business Interruption Loan Scheme will support primarily small and medium-sized businesses in the UK to access bank lending and overdrafts during the Coronavirus outbreak. The scheme facilitates business finance to smaller businesses that are viable but unable to obtain finance due to having insufficient security to meet the lender’s normal requirements. The scheme provides the lender with a government backed 80% guarantee against the outstanding facility balance enabling a ‘no’ credit decision to become a ‘yes’.
Maximum value: £5,000,000; no deadline specified
To be eligible the small business must:
- Be UK based with turnover of no more than £41m
- Operate within an eligible industrial sector
- Have a sound borrowing proposal but insufficient security
- Subject to De Minimis State Aid
The scheme will be available week commencing 23rd March 2020.
Creative Scale Up
Creative Scale Up is a new programme designed to support creative businesses in the West of England to grow and access finance. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) funded programme is a pilot scheme exploring how best to support businesses in the creative industries sector to grow and attract investment.
Selected businesses will receive 6 months of intensive support as part of a cohort. The support includes mentoring, face to face peer support, training and workshops. There is also the opportunity to pitch for small grants and to engage with investors.
There is no financial cost for businesses taking part but there is an expectation that businesses will commit their time to take part in the activities. It is a competitive programme and businesses will be selected that demonstrate a genuine ambition to grow, innovate and contribute to the region’s economy.
Businesses applying to join the programme need to:
- Have a minimum of 8 employees, up to 4 of whom can be regular freelance staff
- Have scaled by 10% in the last year (turnover or employees)
- Have ambition to grow by at least 20% over the next 3 years
- Be a Creative Industries business
- Have not received More than Euro 200,000 in government funded business support in the last 2 years
- Be based in the West of England (Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire)
- Agree to participate in the activities and workshops of the programme
Further information is available at https://www.westofengland-ca.gov.uk/business/creative-scale-up/ or contact CreativeScaleUp@westofengland-ca.gov.uk
Advanced Engineering & Digital Business Acceleration Hubs
The Advanced Engineering Business Acceleration Hub is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
We offer a portfolio of targeted and tailored resources to help high growth companies grow even faster, with access to investment, customers, research and development grant funding. Please contact us if you would like to have a discussion in advance of an application.
You need to be registered with Companies House
Your business needs to be an SME as defined by the European Commission, visit the website for definition, here.
Your business must have an operations address in the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership area (Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset or South Gloucestershire)
You need to meet the De Minimis state aid criteria – received no more than €200,000 de Minimis aid over the last three fiscal years (We will ask you to complete a State Aid declaration to verify this)
The applicant (you) should be the founder or the CEO of the business, and be the person who is responsible for driving the growth of the business
The Digital Innovation Business Acceleration Hub offers bespoke business support and coaching to help innovative companies in the West of England achieve their potential. The support is FREE and funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The programme is open to growth businesses in the digital sector who are innovating in health, well-being and the creative media sectors. Business acceleration is tailored, so it could be about engaging a consultant, building a tech team, modelling the finances or a market strategy, working with an expert to build an investment pitch or to make a grant application. As the programme is delivered by the University of Bath there is also the opportunity to work with academics and researchers on cutting edge technology and R&D projects.
5G Create Funding Competition
A new £30 million open competition – 5G Create – has been launched to develop new uses for 5G in a variety of industries, including our creative sectors such as film, TV and video games. From enabling remote production to supporting the expansion of the increasingly popular world of esports, 5G has the potential to revolutionise the UK’s booming creative industries.
The new 5G Create competition will open in early March and run until the end of June.
A number of competition briefing events will be delivered across the UK open to organisations and businesses who may be interested inleading or taking part in 5G Create projects, including:
- Organisations involved in the development, trialling and usage of applications, products,
services and content creation
- Network providers
- Mobile Network Operators
- Technology vendors
- Local authorities and other public service delivery bodies
Bright Ideas Fund
The Bright Ideas Fund supports new community business ideas through the start-up and planning stages with tailored business support, to the implementation stage with grants of up to £15,000. The fund reopens on Wednesday 26 February until Tuesday 7 April. Find out more, including how to register for an application guidance webinar, here.
The funders are interested in community groups, associations and organisations who have a good idea for a community business but need advice and a small amount of revenue funding to develop, test and get to the stage of launching their community business.
To be considered for support and funding through Bright Ideas, you must be based in England and you must demonstrate how you meet each of the following 7 criteria:
1. Are you a community business?
2. Are you an incorporated or unincorporated organisation, but not an individual?
3. Have you been established for five years or less?
4. Do you have a charitable purpose?
5. Is your project for public benefit?
6. Does your idea focus on one of our impact areas?
7. You must make your community business accessible and inclusive
The deadline for submitting your application is midnight on Tuesday 7 April 2020.
To apply for support and funding from Bright Ideas you will need to complete a single online application form. Once the Fund opens for applications on Wednesday 26 February 2020, you can find a link to the form on the MyCommunity website.
Creative Enterprise: Mentoring & Consultancy Support
What is it?
A simple programme of one on one support to help you move your business forward. Creative Enterprise will pay up to £2,500 to subsidise the cost of working with an expert to provide advice or support to your company. The following areas can be covered: business strategy, new business models, new products, applications and services, identification of new markets, marketing strategy, monetisation of IP, finance & investment, leadership & management, legal affairs, and international operation.
Who is it for?
The programme will support registered sole traders and SMEs working in moving image for storytelling.
- Be based in the English regions outside of London
- Have relevant track record in the screen industry
- Have ambitions for company growth and a clear vision for your business
- Have a business proposal that includes storytelling through creative content/moving image as a significant component
How do I apply?
Fill in the online application form which includes a business diagnostic and workplan https://www.creativeengland.co.uk/creative-enterprise-2/
The programme is unable to support the following areas:
Not for profit or charity organisations, social enterprises/CICs, E-learning and training, corporate video, agency & advertising.
The guidelines are available here https://www.creativeengland.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/creative-enterprise.pdf
Creative Growth Finance Debt Fund
Loans of between £100,000 – £500,000 are offered to the most promising creative businesses. The fund will target post revenue, IP rich SMEs that have reached a point of scale that requires supporting finance.
Further information is available here: https://www.creativeengland.co.uk/creativegrowthfinance/
Weston-super-Mare shopfront enhancement scheme
In the autumn 2019 the Heritage Action Zone launched a shopfront enhancement grants scheme to offer design services and funding to priority independent commercial properties in Weston Town Centre. The scheme aims to support at least 21 properties to upgrade their shopfronts and facades over a three year period.
For details contact: Weston.RegenerationTeam@n-somerset.gov.uk
Crowdfunding is a relatively new way of funding a project or venture by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet. The following are examples of some of the most relevant crowdfunding platforms to business.
- Crowdcube – An equity-based crowdfunding platform
- Kickstarter – The world’s largest funding platform for creative projects
- Seedrs – London-based equity crowdfunding platform and identified as one of the UK’s top 25
- Fundsurfer – Bristol-based crowdfunding and investment platform for creative and business projects
- Crowdfunder – A reward-based crowdfunding platform that supports individuals, charities and businesses.
- Spacehive – A dedicated civic crowdfunding site