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Business Grants

Availability of business grants in Exeter and Devon

The following grants relate to particular government campaigns, specified business sectors, or schemes to increase youth job opportunities as shown below.  Grants are shown in alphabetical order.

Apprenticeship Grant for Employers of 16 to 24 year olds (AGE 16 to 24)

The Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (AGE) of 16 to 24 is aimed at supporting businesses to grow by employing young people through the Apprenticeship programme. AGE provides grants to employers to support them to do this.

More information: National Apprenticeship Service

Assisted Asset Purchase Scheme

An initiative created by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. The Fund has been established to support local economies and to encourage investment in the private sector, by safeguarding existing jobs and creating new jobs.  The level of available support (grant) is based upon the size of your business, the level of asset investment required and the number of jobs being created or retained.

HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group all have programmes supported by the Government's Regional Growth Fund (RGF).

Business Growth Vouchers

Vouchers up to £2000 are available to micro and small businesses. These vouchers are to be spent (matched with businesses' own funds) on strategic advice from suppliers in the private sector. You can find Growth Voucher Approved Advisers at The Enterprise Nation Marketplace

Locally, Francis Clark is registered as an Approved Supplier under the Scheme.

Environment Funding Schemes - available to all businesses

There are a number of environmental funding schemes currently available to enable your company to become more environmentally friendly. Money may be available to help your business cut waste, reduce energy bills, improve productivity, buy energy efficient equipment, generate your own electricity, develop innovative new low carbon products and/or meet tough environmental regulations.

The  Green Grants Machine website gives details of more than £1.2 billion-worth of environmental funding programmes on its online searchable database. Registration is free.

Feed-In Tariffs - receive money for generating your own electricity

You can get payments from your energy supplier if you generate your own electricity, e.g. with solar panels or a wind turbine. This is called a 'Feed-in Tariff' (FIT).  You'll get a set amount for each unit (kilowatt hour or kWh) of electricity you generate - a 'generation tariff'. The rates vary depending on:

  • the size of your system
  • what technology you install
  • when your system was installed

You need to use a certified installer.  

For more information and to use the solar energy calculator go to the Feed-in Tariffs website.

Growth Accelerator

This initiative is designed to help England's brightest businesses achieve their ambition and potential. Grant funding is available to provide subsidised coaching (up to 50% to a maximum of £2,000 for each senior employee) and business advice.

More information: Business Growth Service

Innovation Vouchers

Innovation vouchers are open to all kinds of smaller businesses. You can claim up to £5,000 towards the cost of expert advice if you are running an SME or just starting up. Vouchers are issued every 3 months around a specific theme.

More information: Innovation Vouchers

Rural Business Support

If yours is a rural business, there may be grants available that you can apply for. Many of these seek to support particular areas or have specific aims.
The  Making it local - funding for Rural Businesses and Communities website gives details of the grants that are currently available.

SMART Grants for Science, Engineering and Technology

Smart is a Technology Strategy Board scheme offering funding to single UK-based small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to engage in R&D projects in the strategically important areas of science, engineering and technology, from which successful new products, processes and services could emerge. This can provide grant funding for up to 60% of the eligible costs.

The Smart scheme will support R&D projects which offer potentially significant rewards and could stimulate UK economic growth. Three types of grant are available:

- Proof of market
- Proof of concept
- Development of prototype.

If you would like to find out if you qualify for a SMART Grant contact your local SGBA Business Adviser or email

Support for Non-Profit Organisations or Community Groups

The National Lottery funds Good Causes. Grants may be available for certain projects, particularly those that support Arts, Heritage and Conservation, Communities and Groups, Nature or Sports and Recreation.

The Lottery Funding website gives details of grants available to organisations and community groups that meet the specified criteria.

South West Growth Fund

This Fund is administered by Plymouth University/GAIN and SWMAS Ltd in partnership with South West Water and Western Morning News.  £8.7m of grants are available to distribute to businesses that fit the criteria. 

More information: pdf icon South West Growth Fund [4Mb]

Technology Strategy Board

The Technology Strategy Board makes funding available for innovative business projects.

More information: Innovate UK

University of Exeter - Internment Subsidies for Employers

An intern can be extremely beneficial to your business as they will have up to date academic knowledge within their subject discipline.  Internships from the University of Exeter are paid positions. 

More information: University of Exeter - Internship Subsidies for Employers

Unlocking Business Investment grant programme

Businesses across Devon, Plymouth, Torbay and Somerset can apply for grants of between £25,000 and £499,000 as part of the Unlocking Business Investment programme. Funded through the Government's Regional Growth Fund, the £5 million programme is being delivered as a partnership between North Devon+ and Plymouth University and is supported by the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership.

Grants are available to eligible growing businesses that are able to deliver job creation as part of their development plans. Grants will be focused on capital items such as plant, machinery and premises, but IT and software, research and development, training and site rental costs may also be considered. Projects must be completed by 31st March 2017 with jobs created by March 2019. 

Small, medium and large businesses can apply but the amount of grant will vary dependent on size of business, location, and job creation outputs.  Some sectors are excluded.  Please note a fee of £120 (£100 plus £20 VAT) is payable at the Expression of Interest stage to contribute towards initial checks and project review.

For more information, a grant prospectus is available with full details on eligibility and suitable projects. Businesses wishing to apply for the programme should visit the UBI application portal where they can register their details, and complete an Expression of Interest (EOI). Guidance notes are available to assist applicants with the EOI.

Details last updated in November 2015


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