Grant and government funds in the UK

There are various forms of Government grants offered by various bodies. Some of the key bodies awarding grants include:

  • European Union.
  • Development agencies.
  • Local councils.
  • The Government.
  • Scottish Enterprise.
  • Invest Northern Ireland.
  • Regional Development Agencies in England.

The various forms of grants include Grant for Business Investment, Solutions for Business and Innovation Research and development.

Grant for Business Investment (GBI) - this type of grant is given for acquisition of main assets like machinery, buildings and equipment. This is in an effort to generate new jobs as well as safeguard the existing ones.
GBI is one of the support services granted through Solutions for Business portfolio of the government. However there are variations as to the agencies offering this grant in many cities.

In Scotland for example, this scheme is known as Regional Selective Assistance.
In the Northern Ireland, the scheme is known as Enterprise NI Loan Fund.

Businesses that are located in places classified under assisted areas that are designated by Regional Development Authorities could benefit from the grants only if they enhance urban regeneration, employment prospects and regional development. Solutions for Business refer to services and products that are publicly funded and designed to assist businesses to start, grow as well as succeed.

The support would assist eligible businesses in areas like resource efficiency, skills and training development, understanding finance as well as exploiting ideas.

There are variations in the support services in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. However, for all these grants, it is important that you ensure that you are eligible.

There are various factors that have a bearing on eligibility. These include the following:

  • Business location - every region in the United Kingdom incorporates its own type of grants. There are areas that get additional funds based on factors such as high unemployment or social deprivation.
  • How large is your business - eligibility for a number of funds may be subject to size of the business as pertaining to turnover or even how many employees you have employed. Most grants are essentially for small and medium sized enterprises particularly when they have employed less than 250 people.
  • What is the grant meant for - there are specific results and targets that bodies will prefer. In most cases, these have to be in line with their objectives. In addition, the awarding bodies would expect high commitment and even look at the commercial viability of the business.
  • Industry sector - grants may be subject and limited to the restrictions of particular sectors that are defined by European Commission. The same commission closely inspects the applications made.

In addition, make sure that you have the capacity to inject some of your finances, require the finances for a clear and specific purposed and you do not establish the project before getting the agreement in funding principle.

The most important part of the application process is making the proposal. This covers the project description, the project’s potential benefits, full cost, your relevant experience as well as that of other managers. Also, you will need filled out application forms as well as a business plan.

In most cases, the proposal is evaluated in terms of the significance, creativity, approach, evaluation of the expertise as well as how much you need the grant.

If you need more information on government grants in the UK, please visit the Grants and government support page from Business Link.

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