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Funding

If you are looking to grow your business you might need to finance the necessary investment. While there are many options available, the first step is understanding what they are, how they differ and which route is best for you and your business.

This guide from the British Business Bank is a good place to start and will help you assess which finance route might deliver the outcome you require.

The Black Country Growth Hub has a dedicated ‘Access to Finance’ team who can advise you in more depth and discuss how each of the various options might be relevant in your unique circumstances. Please get in touch with us today and take the first step in financing your growth plans.

black country growth hub funding

Black Country Transformational GOLD

Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in the Black Country that have been trading for more than two years may be eligible for a Black Country Transformational GOLD grant. It offers small grants as a contribution towards transformative capital or revenue projects that will significantly boost growth.

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black country growth hub funding

UK Circular Plastics Flagship Projects Competition

Waste and Resources Action Plan (WRAP), alongside UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), have announced a £1.4 million competition to support the delivery of the Government’s target of achieving zero avoidable plastic waste by the end of 2042


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black country growth hub funding

Growing Priority Sectors in the Black Country

The Black Country LEP and partners are working to secure an additional £2m to extend the Growing Priority Sectors fund to 31st March 2019. Expressions of Interest are nevertheless being invited as long as applicants understand that the additional funding is not yet guaranteed. The aim of the fund is to strengthen the capacity of Black Country businesses to take advantage of new market opportunities by providing grants to businesses with growth projects that cannot find adequate finance elsewhere.

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black country growth hub funding

Midlands Engine Investment Fund

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund aims to transform the finance landscape for smaller businesses in the Midlands and to help realise the region’s potential to achieve economic growth through enterprise.

It provides commercially focussed finance through Small Business Loans, Debt Finance, Proof of Concept and Equity Finance funds.

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black country growth hub funding

Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme

Full fibre networks are the future and getting ready for a gigabit speed is a key step for most businesses. Demand for greater and greater digital connectivity is set to accelerate in future years, and full fibre connections will be able to support that demand.


If you are a small or medium sized business, you may be able to get a gigabit voucher worth from £500 to £3,000 to upgrade your business broadband to a fast and reliable connection over gigabit capable infrastructure.

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black country growth hub funding

Innovation Vouchers

This scheme targets SMART specialisation sectors and aims to develop new processes and systems to improve efficiency of SMEs and to bring new products and services to market.

Apply for financial support, an Innovation Voucher, worth £2,500 to access external expertise with a knowledge base organisations (research institutes) to support an innovation project.

Also access free support in the form of workshops so that participating companies become more competitive and manage growth effectively.

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black country growth hub funding

Manufacturing Growth Programme

Supporting SME Manufacturers to grow by identifying, understanding and removing barriers to growth and enabling sustainable business improvement.

Providing free advice and support to manufacturing SMEs to help identify opportunities and create plans for growth and improvement.

We work with the best external experts to implement those plans and cover up to 35% of the cost of implementing the plans through an improvement grant.

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black country growth hub funding

AMSCI WMLCR

The Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative West Midlands and Liverpool City Region (WMLCR) programme was launched to help grow the automotive and aerospace manufacturing sectors by addressing perceived market failures.

It seeks to deliver growth by improving the competitiveness of supply chains to global levels and expects this increasing productivity will attract new manufacturers to set up operations within the UK.

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black country growth hub funding

Start Up Loans

For those of you with dreams to start and run your own business, the government-backed Start Up Loan service might just be the break you’ve been looking for. Combine your ambition with our free business support and the right funding and you could write the most exciting chapter in your own business story – the first one.

Stop dreaming and check out the support available to fund your start up.

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black country growth hub funding

Land Remediation Fund

The £50m Land Remediation Fund enables the unlocking of sites, remediate the industrial legacy and bring forward investable propositons.

Formally created by the West Midland Combined Authority (WMCA) and managed by Finance Birmingham, the Land Remediation Fund (LRF) is deployed though a grant/gap funding with commercial investment potentially provided through the Collective Investment Fund (CIF).

The WMCA's geography extends through three local LEP areas being Greater Birmingham and Solihull, the Black Country, Coventry and Warwickshire plus Telford and Wrekin.

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black country growth hub funding

Innovation competitions

Innovate UK drives productivity and growth by supporting businesses to realise the potential of new technologies, develop ideas and make them a commercial success.

The innovation funding services offers numerous competitions and opportunities for businesses to gain the funding they need to launch, build and grow successful businesses.

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black country growth hub funding

BGF: Invested in Growth

BGF is the UK and Ireland’s most active investor in growing businesses, with an extraordinary team and £2.5bn to make long-term equity investments in early-stage, established and listed companies.

The companies they support receive more than money – they benefit from the combined expertise and networks of our 150+ people. BGF invest across all regions and all sectors – including technology, hospitality, healthcare, manufacturing, retail and more.

BGF funds lots of different types of growth strategies including acquisitions, research & development, sales & marketing, rollouts, exporting and fixed assets.

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black country growth hub funding

ICAEW Business Advice Service

The ICAEW Business Advice Service (BAS) provides professional advice for owner-run businesses, startups and SMEs.

As well as practical help online in the form of white papers, short PDFs and blog articles, they enable businesses to receive an initial consultation at no charge from an ICAEW Chartered Accountant.

Get started with a free local business advice session with an ICAEW Chartered Accountant.

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black country growth hub funding

Go Ultra Low - Grants & Incentives

Your business can take advantage of a number of grants and incentives to grow your electric vehicle fleet and save thousands of pounds.

Businesses buying plug-in cars that emit less than 75g/km, or zero emission vans can benefit from enhanced capital allowances with 100% of the value eligible for writing down in the first year of ownership.

Government’s Workplace Charging Scheme also provides eligible businesses, charities and public sector organisations with support towards the purchase and installation costs of electric vehicle chargepoints.

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black country growth hub funding

Childcare business grants - England

You could get a childcare business grant to help with the costs of setting up a childminder business or agency (CMA) in England.

The money can help you pay for public liability insurance, Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance, childcare training courses and more.

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black country growth hub funding

Momentum Music Fund

The Momentum Music Fund offers grants of £5k-£15k for artists/bands to break through to the next level of their careers. Activities eligible for support include recording, touring and marketing.

The Momentum Music Fund is run by PRS Foundation using public funds from Arts Council England, support from PPL, and is in association with Spotify.

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black country growth hub funding

The Site Investigation fund

Growth Deal grant funding is also available for site condition surveys and costed remediation strategies. The Site Investigation fund is intended primarily for:

  • For private sector land owners,
  • Seeking to address uncertainty as to site conditions,
  • De-risking sites in advance of marketing and/or
  • To understand cost implications in advance of remediation works,
  • In relation to both Residential and Commercial Sites

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black country growth hub funding

The Smart Concept Fund

A grant scheme offering up to 60% of approved project cost (Maximum value of grant £30,000) towards demonstrating 'Proof of Concept' and bringing a product or technology innovation closer to market. The grant is awarded against capital and/or revenue costs incurred in carrying out an approved project.

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black country growth hub funding

High Value Manufacturing Catapult

Catapult initiative specifically for SMEs. Our SME Team support fits into three key categories:

  • raising awareness of new tools, techniques, and industry best practice through demonstrations, workshops, and collaboration networks
  • collaborative, fixed-term, challenge-specific projects
  • collaborative R&D within a consortium

Over the past 10 years, we've worked with thousands of SMEs to help them address technology challenges, exploit new market opportunities and gain a competitive advantage. We deliver funded projects on behalf of Innovate UK and other funding bodies to support SMEs - Accelerate Innovation - Advance UK Manufacturing.

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black country growth hub funding

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme helps businesses in the UK to innovate and grow. It does this by linking them with an academic or research organisation and a graduate.

The academic or research organisation partner will help to recruit a suitable graduate, known as an Associate. They will act as the employer of the graduate, who then works at the company for the duration.

The scheme can last between 12 and 36 months, depending on what the project is and the needs of the business.

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black country growth hub funding

Food Innovation Network

The Food Innovation Network (FIN) is a virtual community of organisations, big and small, all of whom are looking for opportunities, partners, processes and ideas to help them make their food innovation ideas a reality, fuel the growth of their business and form new partnerships.

FIN’s aim is to help improve the competitiveness of food and drink businesses right across the supply chain.

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black country growth hub funding

The Office for Low Emission Vehicles

OLEV is a team working across government to support the early market for ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEV). We are providing over £900 million to position the UK at the global forefront of ULEV development, manufacture and use.

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black country growth hub funding

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles: funding fleets to be early adopters

£2 million funding competition for fleets to buy or lease hydrogen fuel cell cars and vans.

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black country growth hub funding

Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive

Guaranteed payments made by government over 20 years to businesses for each unit of heat generated through approved technologies (ground-source and air-source heat pumps, biomass boilers etc).

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black country growth hub funding

The Carbon Trust Green Business Fund

The Carbon Trust Green Business Fund is the energy efficiency support service for small and medium-sized companies in England, Wales and Scotland. It provides direct funded support through energy assessments, training workshops, equipment procurement support and up to £5,000 capital contribution per company towards your energy saving equipment purchase.

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black country growth hub funding

Low Carbon Workspaces

Low Carbon Workspaces offers eligible small to medium sized enterprises grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 to cover a third of the cost of installing energy saving projects, such as LED lighting, insulation or heating and cooling controls.

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black country growth hub funding

Low Carbon Growth Support Project

With grants of up to £25,000, the LCGSP is designed to help eligible Small and Medium Enterprises in the Black Country and Greater Birmingham & Solihull areas deliver projects that will increase their energy efficiency, reduce their carbon footprint and, importantly, reduce energy costs.

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black country growth hub funding

Funding for Low Carbon Industry

Innovation to reduce the carbon emissions from UK industry and driving down the cost of carbon capture, use and storage.

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black country growth hub funding

Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales Invest Programme

Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales is currently accepting initial applications to its Invest Grants programme. Funding programmes offer short and long term grants. Support is adapted to the needs of small and medium sized charities that are committed to delivering work which breaks or prevents cycles of disadvantage.

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black country growth hub funding

School for Social Entrepreneurs

With schools across the UK, the SSE offers highly practical social enterprise courses covering all aspects of social enterprise and social entrepreneurship.

Programmes cover topics such as starting a social enterprise, scaling, replication, and moving an existing charity towards a social enterprise model. Workshops are also available if you’re looking for something shorter.

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black country growth hub funding

Creative England and Creative Europe

Various grants (and loans) available to finance growth in film businesses for feature film/documentary production, computer games, animation and FX in the West Midlands.

Media

Creative Europe funding

Grants for the Arts

black country growth hub funding

Capital Allowances

Again, not a grant, but count as State aid and therefore receipt of capital allowances will affect how much State aid a business can receive. Tax relief available against qualifying expenditure on integral features, insulation, heating systems and others.

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black country growth hub funding

Plug-in car and van grant

Grant towards the cost of each new electric (plug-in) car or van purchased, if it meets certain conditions. Grants are available for 35% off the cost of a car, up to a maximum of £4,500 or 20% off the cost of a van, up to a maximum of £8,000.

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black country growth hub funding

Department for International Trade

The Department for International Trade help available for UK companies looking to or already exporting. The Tradeshow Access Programme provides funding in the form of grants for eligible businesses to attend overseas trade shows.

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black country growth hub funding

Heritage Enterprise

Heritage Lottery Fund supports all kinds of projects, as long as they make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities. Their funding is used to record the diverse stories of your community, breathe new life into a historic park, create vibrant town centres, and much more.

A range of different grant programmes with grants from £3,000 to over £5million.

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black country growth hub funding

Space Placement in INdustry (SPIN) scheme

The UK Space Agency is offering grants of up to £3,000 for organisations to take on graduate or postgraduate students for work placements in the space industry.


The aim of the scheme is to fulfill the skills and careers objectives of the UK Space Agency education programme, as set out in its Education, Skills and Outreach Strategy.

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black country growth hub funding

Good Finance

Good Finance is a website and collaborative project to help social enterprises & charities navigate the complex world of investment & finance.

Social investment is the use of repayable finance to help an organisation achieve a social purpose.

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black country growth hub funding

Santander Talent

Attracting and retaining the best talent is essential for SMEs to reach their full potential.

Despite this, not all students automatically consider a small business to do an internship or to kick start their career. However, SMEs can provide a wealth of responsibility and experience that interns may not be able to find in larger organisations.

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