Welcome to our Financial Assistance Hub
Cumbria regional growth fund grant scheme now open - deadline for bids 25th February 2013
Capital investment and job creating grants are now potentially available from this week to enable businesses with under 250 employees
Between 10% and 40% of eligible costs can be supported.
Typical grantrates could be in the 20-25% range, largely due to EU state aid rules.
The deadline for submitting a grant bid form in the first round is25th February 2013, so there is a need to move quickly.
Businesses which wish to apply for one of the new grants can get free confidential assistance from Furness Enterprise to help draft a
Which firms get the new grants will be decided by the Board of Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership in March with an April offer of funding
planned from a total budget of around 4m.
Companies from Cumbria are eligible.Their projects must demonstrate growth.
Firms involved in manufacturing or exporting may be the best placed to succeed.
For firms to "win grants" a clear detailed business case will have to be presented.
Each applicant will have to show that there will be:
- job creation,including if possible jobs for individuals aged 16-24;
- improved profitability, output and productivity gains;
- value for money and good private sector funding leverage;
- timely implementation - over the next one to three years;
- potential for improving a business's position in a supply chain;
- scope for enhancing its research and development capacity;
- evidence that (where relevant) planning consent is being sought for new investment
A key to a successful bid will be a clear statement of why funding is needed, for example to either fill a funding gap or improve the rate
of return on investment.
An application form must be added, showing basic details of the applicant company, the location of its proposal, total project costs
and financial projections for its planned scheme.
As mentioned above Furness Enterprise will assist with bid development through its team contactable at 01229 920611 email
Companies can also submit applications directly to Regional Growth Fund, Cumbria County Council Regeneration Support Team, Unit 5A,
Lakeland Business Park, Cockermouth, CA13 0QT or electronically to email@example.com.
A new national Growth Fund grant opened on 17 January. Bids for it must go in by 20 March 2013.
Here firms must look to bid for a minimum of 1m, comply with EU State Aid Rules (which generaly means large companies can seek 10-15%
grants) and sme sized firms up to 20-25%.
To complement these funding possibilities Furness Enterprise offers extra help enabling firms to locate facilities such as the newly
available 12000ft2 offices at Barrow's Furness Business Park and details of upcoming construction and other investments firms can
consider positioning themselves to bid for.
These initiatives are designed to make Furness, Cumbria's growth hub
Funding for innovation is available from :
- The Innovation in Business Grant Fund operated by Furness Enterprise using Nuclear Decommissioning Authority socio-economic fund Finance. It enables development of new products and processes by offering up to 20,000 pounds as a discretionary grant for each company towards eligible project costs.
- At the request of our funders, NDA, individual businesses are only eligible the life time of the grant scheme to receive on discretionary grant.
- The scheme is Open to firms of all sizes in Furness this scheme delivers discretionary support for companies to develop new products or processes. The Scheme supports:
- Product design development. from conceptual through to detailed engineering design and prototyping.
- Production capacity changes which promote the manufacture of new products.
- New production process development.
- Systems integration.
- Pre-commercial product business development.
- Information technology development that supports the preceding activities.
You can download the Guidance Notes for the scheme here or apply for an application form from Christine Hodgson (Tel 01229 820611) EMail: firstname.lastname@example.org
For Manufacturers - the following discreationary schemes are on offer
- Manufacturing Advisory Service 50% grants up to 10,000 to support a comprehensive range of projects from sales and marketing to new product development. Available to SMEs engaged in manufacturing including those that outsource. http://goo.gl/9ohW6
- Technology Strategy Board innovation voucher grants up to 5,000 to access specialist help to develop new ideas in the Agrifood, Built Environment, and Space sectors. http://goo.gl/cm0uk
- Technology Strategy Board offers SMART grants to support:
- Proof of Market for market research, market testing, assessment and planning activity, 60% grants up to 25,000;
- Proof of Concept for feasibility, basic prototyping, testing, intellectual property, and production planning, 60% grants up to 100,000;
- Prototype Development for small demonstrations, intellectual property, trials and testing, marketing, design work, 45% grants up to 250,000. http://goo.gl/eJtbq
National Manufacturing Advisory Service
We facilitate access to the Manufacturing Advisory Service which through Jim Barr (07824 451 521) email@example.com will assist firms to adopt lean manufacturing processes
Cumbria's Small Business Development Loan for Capital Investment and Job creation by sme sized firms
Small and medium sized businesses throughout Cumbria now have the opportunity to apply for funding through a new 1m initiative, aimed at unlocking capital investment and creating new jobs.The application form can be accessed at http://www.cumbrialep.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/small-business-development-loan-application-Form-V1-2.pdf
The funding offers maximum loans of up to 150,000 pounds, at only 1% interest, for capital projects to create new jobs.
The loans are to cover, at most, 50% of eligible project costs.
Bids are assessed by an Investment Panel.
Applicants will need to demonstrate that the company
project for which funding is sought is viable,
can create jobs
deliver a sufficient return to repay the loan,
can provide security against the value of the loan.
The initiative is one of a number of benefits being delivered through the Cumbria Infrastructure Fund, a 6.1m funding pool which grew out of the Government's Growing Places Fund to help support local economic growth by unlocking new infrastructure developments.
Jackie Arnold, Vice Chair of Cumbria LEP, and Chair of the CIF Investment Panel comments
"Many Cumbrian small and medium businesses continue to struggle to access the finance they need to grow their businesses. This initiative should make a real difference to that and start to unlock real growth in jobs. Loans will be offered on a first come first served basis - subject to eligibility of course - with the first deadline for applications 21st January, and then monthly."
This is a revolving fund, so once the development has been completed the original money is paid back so it can be used to support further developments.
For further information or help to put together business plans and apply please contact
Stuart Klosinski at firstname.lastname@example.org or
Val Robinson email@example.com
telephone 01229 2820611
Other Funding for large scale capital investment
Furness is one of UK's special Assisted Areas. Here discretionary funding is on offer until 31 December 2013 in the form of :
- Grants for Business Investment which contribute towards capital investment and job creation grants are on offer for projects requiring 2m or more of grant aid and for investment in port infrastructure required for manufacture of renewable energy systems.
A bid under this scheme has to set out the business case for support showing how much will be invested and how much grant aid is sought. Projects must meet criteria on productivity, job numbers and quality of a project as well as demonstrating a need for funding. Grants are normally available for projects with 1 to 3 year time horizons.
Funding amounts can vary. Large firms employing over 250 people may qualify for up to 15% eligible project costs. Companies with below 250 employees can apply for grants towards 25% of eligible project costs whilst medium sized firms can seek up to 35% if they can justify it is essential to fill a funding gap, or achieve a particular minimum return on investment.
The Regional Growth Fund,
- a new RGF round three scheme is expected to start in Cumbria in 2013 offering grants for manufacturing investment.Further details will follow in quarter one of 2013
National Discretionary Funding Schemes (source: Hansard col 601W, 5 March 2012)
Here is a listing of many of the schemes currently available:
Designing Demand (delivered by the Design Council rather than BIS)
Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative
Green Investment Bank
Business Coaching for Growth
Leadership and Management Advisory Service
Employer Ownership Pilot
K Innovation Investment Fund
Apprenticeships ( See below under Skills Funding)
Enterprise Capital Funds
TSB Innovation Schemes ( see above under TSB)
Mentoring (mentorsme and Get Mentoring)
Venture Capital Trust Funds
Enterprise Finance Guarantee
Venture Capital Schemes
Regional Growth Fund ( see above)
Export Enterprise Finance Guarantee
UK Export Finance (delivered by UKEF rather than BIS).
Grant for Business Investment ( see above)
Smart ( see above under TSB)
Knowledge Transfer Networks
Knowledge Transfer Partnerships
Small Business Research Initiative
English and maths
Leadership and management skills supportprioritised on fast growing SME
Growth and Innovation Fund
Employer Ownership Pilot
Investors in People.
UKTI export support can help you identify overseas market opportunities.We work with UKTI's local representatives Ian Redmann, Gordon Bettany and Peter Gawn Caine to run export clinics at Barrow or on a firm's own premises to assist companies to access civil and defence markets all over the world.
UK Trade and Investment provides a range of support and services, accessed either through their international trade advisers or their staff in 97 overseas markets. These include:
Passport to Export
Gateway to Global Growth
Tradeshow Access Programme
Export Market Research Scheme
Export Communications Review
Market Visit Support
Overseas Market Information Service
Skills Funding Agency
the Skills Funding Agency (the Agency) including the National Apprenticeship Service supports employers to engage in and deliver Apprenticeships and other skills programmes to its workforce.
Where employers request it, the Agency contracts directly with large employers. Smaller employers are supported through colleges and providers that are funded by the Skills Funding Agency. The Agency offers a single Adult Skills Budget within which the approved provider base (including employers) can engage learners and receive funding for the skills programmes previously mentioned but also for English and Mathematics.
English/Mathematics and Adult Basic Skills (ABS)
Following the Wolf Review of Vocational Education and BIS review of adult literacy and numeracy provision, BIS set out in New Challenges, New Chances (December 2011) that it will fund GCSE English and Maths qualifications for adults from August 2012. Functional English and Maths qualifications from Entry level up to and including Level 2 will also be funded. In addition Entry Level ABS qualifications will continue to be fundable in 2012/13.
The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) within the Skills Funding Agency supports, funds and co-ordinates the delivery of Apprenticeships throughout England.
NAS is responsible for increasing the number of high quality Apprenticeship opportunities and providing a dedicated, responsive service for both employers and learners. This includes simplifying the process of recruiting an apprentice through Apprenticeship vacancies, an online system where employers can advertise their Apprenticeship job vacancies and potential apprentices can apply.
NAS also manages Worldskills UK, a portfolio of skills competitions and activities run in partnership with organisations from industry and education.
Apprenticeships bring considerable value to organisations, employers, individuals and the economy. Businesses across the country are increasingly realising the enormous benefits that Apprenticeships create, not only in terms of developing a highly skilled workforce but also by boosting productivity and staff retention. Research shows that Apprenticeships are an optimal way of training, developing and up skilling people for the future, helping businesses to secure a supply of people with the skills and qualities they need and which are often not available on the external job market.
National Skills Academies
In addition to funding Apprenticeships and other skills qualifications, the Agency works with BIS to fund National Skills Academies. National Skills Academies have been established, shaped and led by employers to strengthen and improve business competitiveness in key areas of the economy. They deliver specialised skills to employees and learners to help them respond to employers' business needs.
National Skills Academies work with Sector Skills Councils and other industry bodies to drive change and achieve the priorities identified by employers for their sector. They act as a first point of contact for employers to quality-assured training provision.
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Growth and Innovation Fund (GIF)
The Agency also partners UKCES in the promotion and management of the Growth and Innovation Fund (GIF) which helps employers develop their own innovative, sustainable skills solutions which have the potential to transform growth in their sector, region or supply chain. The skills and entrepreneurship of people up and down supply chains in different sectors of the economy can be a greater source of competitive advantage than ever before.
GIF offers an opportunity for businesses to benefit from a powerful injection of public investment to support ideas that would not otherwise get off the ground. GIF will co-invest up to 34 million with employers in 2012-13, with comparable levels of investment planned for the following two years. 29m remains available in 2012-13 for new projects with the balance sustaining existing GIF projects.
A variety of successful projects from our first round of bids are already under way with employers and other partners working together to create the tailored solutions that will grow the skills businesses need. These solutions all have a realistic prospect of taking root, achieving a sustainable future with further public investment and making a positive impact on growth.
|Be the Boss Loan Fund (UK)
|Businesses owned by ex-Service personnel across the UK are able to access vital finance via the Royal British Legions Be the Boss loan fund to start and grow their own small businesses.
Through the Fund, ex service personnel will be able to access a wide range of business support services to assist in the launch or growth of a business. In order to be eligible for grant and loan funding, applicants must complete training in business start up or growth with their local enterprise agency, including specialised agencies co-operating with the Legion that work with youth and disabled people.
By completing a full business start-up programme, applicants will create a business or growth plan and financial forecast and submit a funding application to the Legion for funding support. Total funding values will average between 3,000 and 7,500, will be a mix of grant and loan, and may not exceed a total of 30,000 for each individual over the length of their involvement in the Be the Boss programme.
Funding is also available for vocational training and qualification when coupled with an applicant's business or growth plan and financial forecast. Additional funding will continue to be available up to a total of 30,000 per person based upon business success and financial management of programme funds.
Applications to the programme can be made at any time but applicants should first register on the Legion's employment and training portal, CivvyStreet (www.civvystreet.org).
The Intellectual Property Officean executive Agency of BISoffers the following support schemes for businesses:
1. IP Healthcheck online diagnostic toolfree diagnostic toolkit aimed at SMEs.
2. Regional Awareness eventsfree half day Intellectual Property (IP) awareness seminars for SMEs across the UK.
3. PublicationsThe booklets cover a range of topics including IP, Licensing, Non-Disclosure Agreements, Agreeing a price for IP rights and choosing the Right IP advisor.
4. IP Insightthe IPO's free monthly e-newsletter bringing SMEs the latest developments in Intellectual Property (IP) news.
5. IP Primersa series of guides published by the IPO and UKTI to help British companies in major markets around the world.
6. Exhibitions and seminarsoffering delegates advice and information about the benefits businesses gain from understanding, using and protecting their intellectual property.
7. IP auditsAn IP audit can help a business identify unexploited or unprotected IP and develop management strategies for maximising the value they gain from their IP.
Local discretionary grant and loan schemes for existing firms or new businesses include :
Return to Work Support
Return to Work Support is available through The Workshop and other Job acess schemes to help those individuals who are detached from the labour market to get back into work.
Independant Retailers - Barrow in Furness Borough Council Shop Front Grants Scheme
This scheme applies in Barrow and Dalton Town Centres.
The aim is to support the creation of attractive and customer friendly town centres in Barrow and Dalton which enable shopkeepers to work effectively together to market their town centres, in order that they can compete effectively with out of town shopping. The scheme will assist with the provision of the following on the principle trading elevation of the property:
exterior treatment and vinyl graphics or lettering including fascias or signage
Small Units - A non-contributory grant of up to 2,000 aimed at small shops whose frontage could be improved.
Larger Units - An additional grant of 50%, up to a maximum of 20,000.
Application forms and guidance can be downloaded here:
Download Guidance Leaflet (PDF 113 Kb)
Download Application Form (MS Word 700 Kb)
For further information on this scheme please contact:
Mrs A. Taylforth,Town Centre Manager
Barrow Borough Council, Town Hall, Duke Street
Barrow-in-Furness,,Cumbria, LA14 2LD
The scheme is targeted at small retailers in Barrow Town Centre and Dalton Town Centre.
The scheme will be open only to small independent businesses with less than 50 employees
Venture Capital Funds
NW Business Fund
Open to SMEs (with less than 250 full time equivalent employees, an annual turnover less than 50million and balance sheet not more than 43m Euro.
The loan fund comes with a strict set of criteria listed below:
- Must be a limited company
- Company must not be listed on any stock exchange
- Must be located in or moving into the North West
- Primary sales income must come from business to business sales this is subject to sector eligibility criteria
To be eligible for the loan fund a request for funding from a bank or other funder needs to have been declined in full or in part. Loans are available of between 50,000 to 250,000.
There are also five different venture capital/mezzanine funds, for more information please contact Simon Berry on 0151 600 5340 / 07879691478 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Any business wishing to apply will need to provide two years projections and a business plan, but contact Simon to check eligibility of the proposed project first.
More information can also be found by visiting www.thenorthwestfund.co.uk.
Seed and Venture Capital Funds
To assist small businesses raise the finance they need a number of seed and venture capital funds can be acessed. Venture capitalists look to invest large sums of money in return for shares in your business.Current funds include:
Rising Stars Growth Fund - a 19 million fund specifically for high growth, early stage technology companies. Managed by Enterprise Ventures, the fund will invest up to 500,000 in selected companies.
Northwest Equity Fund - a 35.5 million fund managed by WM Enterprise which can make investments of up to 500,000.
Northwest Seed Fund - a 4.5 million scheme to help the region's entrepreneurs. Initial investments of up to 100,000 will be made in innovative early stage businesses to help develop their ideas and exploit early sales. Managed by Axiomlab Investment Management.
Northwest Business Investment Scheme - a 23 million scheme to provide seed and venture capital investment to small and medium sized businesses using money allocated by the European Regional Development Fund. Managed by YFM Private Equity.
Enterprise Finance Guarantee
Helps businesses with viable proposals but who are unable to obtain conventional loans because of a lack of security. A government guarantee covers 75% of the loan, encouraging commercial lenders to provide loans to businesses lacking security. Borrowers pay the DTI a premium of 2% p.a. in return for the guarantee.
Some of the main sources of funding available to businesses based within Furness are included in a leaflet shown below:
Here is a [pdf] of the latest Looking for Business Finance? Leaflet
For more details call 01229 820611 or email email@example.com
Other Forms of Support
Knowledge Transfer Networks
Open to all businesses that want to grow by exploiting technology.A grant to an intermediary to set up a network in a priority technology area, bringing together businesses, universities and others with an interest in technology applications.
Collaborative Research and Development (R&D)
Open to all UK-based businesses wishing to exploit technology.
Funding for collaborative R&D projects between businesses, universities and other potential collaborators.
Knowledge Transfer Partnerships
Open to all businesses who heed expert help to innovate.
A grant to cover part of the cost of using a person to transfer and embed knowledge into a business from the UK knowledge base via a strategic project.
Access to Best Business Practice
Open to all businesses wishing to find out how to improve their performance through better ways of working. Materials on best practice, networking events, organized visits to businesses successfully implementing best practice.
Support to Implement Best Business Practice
Available to small businesses wanting practical help in implementing best practice. (Also open to larger firms for certain projects).
A free diagnostic run by a Business Link adviser, with subsidized consultancy for selected projects.
Business Rates Deferral Scheme
The following pdfs explain how to access this scheme which came into effect in April 2009.
Grants and Loans are normally only available as a means of filling a funding gap or as a way of improving the investment rate of return. Remember it may be possible to combine one or more grants or loan schemes to help make up a funding package to support your business project. All project assistance has to comply with European State Aid Rules (see below).
State Aid Rules
European State Aid Rules often limit the amount of grant aid that can be made available.
There are de minimis rules that apply to certain types of funding.
For companies in Assisted Areas employing fewer than 50 people the State Aid Rules limit the amount of grant aid payable for capital projects to no more than 35% of project costs, for businesses with 50-249 employees the limit is 25% and 15% for companies employing more than 250 people
North West Fund
The North West Fund is a 185m evergreen investment fund established to provide debt and equity funding from 50,000 to 2m to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) based in, or relocating to, the North West of England. The Fund is one of the largest public sector funds of its kind in Europe and the largest in the UK. The North West Fund is the umbrella name for the six funds that are available to businesses in the form of debt, equity and quasi-equity. These funds are managed by six fund managers under contract with North West Business Finance Limited (NWBF), which has been established to oversee the delivery of the Fund under the Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises Initiative (JEREMIE) in the North West.
Initially, 170m of The North West Fund has been allocated to the six fund managers.
Each fund manager now has a mandate to invest their allocation into the specific product or sector they manage, until 31st December 2015. The remaining 15m will be available for further allocation and investment through to the end of 2015. Such further allocations will be made as investment needs
become more apparent.
The North West Fund is made up of a 92.4m European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) grant, making it the biggest ERDF project of the 2007-13 regional programme, and a 92.4m loan from the EIB. In addition to this funding, the six appointed fund managers have been targeted withsecuring over 200m of co-investment capital from a wide range of sources,including finance angels, banks, pension funds, venture capital, private equityinvestors, and other private funds. It is expected that this initiative will generate total funding in excess of 400m.
Between 2010 and 2015, the Fund is expected to create or safeguard almost 14,000 jobs and, over the life of the Fund, to improve the economic performance of the North West region with an estimated GVA increase of 700m.
Further information on The North West Fund is available at www.thenorthwestfund.co.uk