External Business Grants

This page outlines what leader is and who it’s available for. There is also a link to find the Local Action Group in your area. More information is available on page 20 of the document in the downloads section below.

Countryside Stewardship woodland capital grants:
http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/beeh-9t6ff5 and
From February funding is available, to maintain momentum in the priority areas of: woodland creation; woodland management plans to ensure woodland owners are in a position to apply for other support when full Countryside Stewardship opens; addressing tree health issues

Countryside Stewardship facilitation funding:
Overview: The Countryside Stewardship (CS) facilitation fund supports people and organisations that bring farmers, foresters, and other land managers together to improve the local natural environment at a landscape scale. This landscape scale approach can cover land under existing agri-environment and forestry/woodland agreements, common land and land not currently covered by a scheme. It builds on the principles of partnership working to deliver environmental benefits, as demonstrated by various initiatives, including farm clusters and the farmer-led Nature Improvement Area.

Countryside productivity:
This page outlines the available grants and who they are for. Within the table there is a link for woodland harvesting, extraction and small-scale processing grants for private woodland owners, small to medium-sized forestry contractors.
Further information on grant funding for capital investment is available on page 15 of the document in the attachments section below.
highlights the section of the Countryside Stewardship grant which focusses on grants available to woodland owners and forestry contractors to improve forest productivity.

European innovation partnership (EIP) funding:
Outlines what is available and what to do to prepare for the opening of the scheme.
More information is also available on page 16 of the document in the attachments section below.

Enterprise M3 Growing Enterprise Fund:
To help support economic growth by addressing the infrastructure and site constraints that may be impeding development. The purpose of the fund is to kick start infrastructure and other projects that will drive economic growth in the mid and north Hampshire and south west Surrey areas, helping to create housing and jobs for local people as well as helping to deliver the Enterprise M3 LEP Business Plan.

Enterprise M3 Loan funding
A £400,000 loan funding to help Hampshire business deliver solutions for excessive energy use.
For more information about the Enterprise M3 Funding Escalator please visit www.thefsegroup.com/enterprise-m3-funding-escalator or contact James Edwards at james.edwards@thefsegroup.com tel: 01276 608531.

Funding Circle

A peer-to-business lending platform connecting businesses and investors, where businesses get fast business loans and investors earn great returns on their investments. Funding Circle has funded over £570m in business loans so far. for more information you can visit their website

Through the British Business Bank the Government has invested £60m through Funding Circle (click here), while many County Councils and Universities are also lending via Funding Circle to help local businesses and raise funds. Funding Circle is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Countryside Productivity Scheme

Defra have announced the first phase of the Countryside Productivity Scheme, this funding amounts to £5 billion. See https://www.gov.uk/government/news/5-million-worth-of-funding-now-open-to-boost-innovation-for-farmers

The funding can be used to invest in improved infrastructure and ground-breaking new technology, opening up opportunities for our farmers.

More detailed information can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/countryside-productivity-scheme

A grant may cover up to 40% of the total eligible costs of the project. There are 2 types of grants: small grants and large grants.

Small grants

For small grants, funding of between £2,500 and £35,000 is available.
One small grant can be used to apply for a range of small grant items.

Large grants

For large grants, funding of between £35,000 and £1,000,000 is available.

Applicants can apply for a mix of large grant items in one application.
Applications can only be for large grant items or small grant items – not a mix of both.

Grant funding can be used to invest in: Animal productivity, health and welfare; Arable and horticultural productivity; and Resource management.

[Defra stress that the applicant must pay for the remaining 60% of eligible costs, and all, in eligible costs with private money, such as savings or a bank loan. A warning is provided with regard to anyone using public money and how this will not be eligible and may lead to reclaim of any grant already paid -- see the web page above]

Grants available for Southern businesses:

Solent LEP:
Bridging the Gap (BTG) Fund- Grant funding competition for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and new start-ups in the Solent to assist with creating or safeguarding jobs. £1.85m grant competition funding for SMEs & start-ups in the Solent- click here

Solent Defence Growth Partnership SME Fund- to bring forward and de-risk innovative technologies in the area of Maritime Autonomous Systems

Solent Advanced Manufacturing SME Fund- Part of a £14m package of support to mitigate the impact of the decision to cease shipbuilding operations at Portsmouth Naval Base

Solent Employer Ownership of Skills Programme- The Solent Employer Ownership of Skills Programme is a competitive fund of £1.5 million, with £750,000 available in the period up to July 2015

Solent Growth Hub:
Funding Opportunities
Enterprise Vouchers & Investment Grants
Solent LEP
Growth Accelerator
Manufacturing Advisory Service
Local Council Opportunities
National Growth Vouchers

National Growth Voucher Programme –a voucher of up to £2,000

Southampton Solent University Growth Voucher –free workshop to identify growth.

Business Growth Service - Growth Accelerator/MAS.

Solent Local Enterprise Partnership

There is also range of local support which Navigators can help you with on a one-to-one basis.

Enterprise Vouchers

Technology based businesses, advanced manufacturing sector (including the marine and maritime sector) and the associated wider supply chain. The application process includes a Growth Audit undertaken by the University of Portsmouth Business School
Up to £20,000 on a 1:1 match funding

Investment Grants
The aim of this grant is to ensure that businesses can achieve significant growth and create new employment opportunities
Up £150,000 on a 3:1 match funding

For more information view the Business Support Powerpoint in the attachments section below.

 Business start up grants:

Business development grants:

Employment grants:

Childcare Business Grants Scheme – Government Equalities Office

The new Childcare Business Grants Scheme has been introduced to boost the provision of childcare in England and to incentivise entrepreneurship. It will encourage and support the starting up of new childcare businesses by providing a flat rate start-up grant of:
• £250 for new childminding businesses setting up in England (those who are looking after one or more children under the age of 8 years, to whom they are not related, on domestic premises, for reward and for a total of more than 2 hours in any day);
• £500 for new childminding businesses, as above, that will provide care for disabled children (applicants will need to demonstrate that they have incurred additional expenditure in setting up their business as a result of this);
• £500 for new nursery, out of school club, or childcare on domestic premises setting up in England.
The scheme was due to finish in March 2014 but has been extended to December 2014. The government has subsequently announced a further £2 million extension for the existing Childcare Business Grant scheme to cover 2015-16. The scheme will, therefore, continue to accept application forms after 31st December 2014.

Other business grants:

  • Winchester City Council's hardship rate relief
  • Winchester City Council's Small Grant Scheme
  • Solent LEP's Bridging the Gap funding for SMEs and new starts
  • DEFRA funding
  • The Forestry Commission has some grants available
  • South Downs National Park has a Sustainable Communities Fund
  • Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme
  • HMRC Enterprise Investment scheme
  • Landfill Community Funding
  • Lottery Funding
  • The Princes Trust
  • Sustainable Routes Grants of up to £1,000 to help businesses and voluntary organisations reduce the impact of their travel on the environment
  • Funding available to businesses in the Enterprise M3 area:
    Growth Vouchers are a government initiative to help businesses grow and develop. Businesses who are eligible can apply for up to £2000 match funded, to be spent in one of five key growth and development categories: finance, recruitment, leadership and management, marketing and understanding digital technology.
    Skills Support for the Workforce is an ESF-funded programme for small and medium sized (SME) businesses in the Enterprise M3 area. It offers fully subsidised training and qualifications to support lesser-skilled individuals improve their career opportunities and their existing skills and knowledge through work-based learning.
    • Builders Finance Fund is a £525m loan fund to support developers from the private sector to deliver sites of between 15 and 250 units. Bidding opens 14 May 2014 and the deadline is 25 June 2014. 
  • Enterprise M3 local enterprise partnership £5.5 million funding escalator to help local high-growth businesses: Managed by The FSE Group on behalf of Enterprise M3 LEP, the £5.5 million Funding Escalator is split as follows:
    • £4 million Expansion Loan Scheme providing between £50,000 and £200,000 to established SMEs;
    • £1.5 million Growth Fund providing between £50,000 and £125,000 as an equity investment to earlier stage SMEs; (Equity investments must be matched with an equal amount of private investment). In addition companies wishing to apply to this fund will have access to an investment preparation process with our partners VitalSix.
  • Solent Growth Hub Investment Grants available for high growth businesses in the Solent LEP area. 
  • Up to £800k available for studies into business case for retaining value in durable goods through reuse, remanufacture or lease/maintenance, find out more here


Want to know what other funding streams are available to you? Have a look at the websites below.