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Business funding and grants

There is a broad range of business support funding grants available in the UK, with varying objectives. These aim to help businesses to make the investments they need to prosper and grow.

Grant funding available

You can find information on current business funding and grants on the Heart of the South West website.

Rural England Prosperity Fund


Year 2 of the programme is open for applications – the first closing date for full applications is 14 June 2024.  There will be further rounds.

All projects must complete by 31 March 2025.

Rural England Prosperity Fund Somerset has been allocated £3.4m of capital funding for the rural economy, subject to the submission and approval of an Investment Plan.

This fund is complementary to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and is a successor to the European LEADER programmes. The grant money is split over two years with 25 percent of the funds in Year 1 (£856,686) and 75 percent in Year 2 (£2,570,058).

Applicants will need 50 percent match funding for their project. The grant is paid retrospectively therefore payments will only be made against cleared spend.

The Rural England Prosperity Fund supports the aims of the government’s Levelling Up White Paper and Future Farming Programme. It will fund capital projects for small businesses and community infrastructure. This will help to improve productivity and strengthen the rural economy and rural communities.

The Rural Fund objectives sit within the UKSPF investment priorities for:

  • Supporting Local Business
  • Community and Place

The Rural Fund provides capital funding to:

  • Support new and existing rural businesses to develop new products and facilities that will be of wider benefit to the local economy. This includes farm businesses looking to diversify income streams, but not into food and drink.
  • Support new and improved community infrastructure, providing essential community services and assets for local people and businesses to benefit the local economy. Projects must be in a rural area.

For the purpose of this fund, Defra’s classification of rural areas is:

  • towns, villages and hamlets with populations below 10,000 and the wider countryside
  • market or ‘hub towns’ with populations of up to 30,000 that serve their surrounding rural areas as centres of employment and in providing services (this will exclude funding of projects in Taunton, Bridgwater and Yeovil)

Investments must demonstrate value for money and also, how they contribute to net zero and nature recovery objectives.

Further detail can be found in this Guidance document.

Document preview
REPF Guidance document

Rural England Prosperity Fund for Somerset

PDF, 245 KB

To discuss a potential project, please email

Somerset ‘Go Green’ Scheme and Green Business Grants Round 2

The ‘Go Green Scheme’ and the ‘Somerset Green Business Grant Scheme’ offer businesses practical help and financial support to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. 

The ‘Go Green’ Scheme is being funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and delivered by the Net Zero specialist consultancy Balanced Energy. This helps eligible Small and Medium Sized Enterprises to understand their energy consumption and show how it can be reduced. The scheme offers free energy audits and support to develop individual, costed and prioritised sustainability plans. This will enable businesses to apply for the Somerset Green Business Grant Scheme. Register for the ‘Go Green’ energy audit on the Go Green Scheme website.

Somerset Green Business Grants are available to support Somerset micro and SME businesses (up to 250 employees) to take forward measures to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. 

Grants of between £2,500 and £25,000 are available. The grant can fund up to 50% of total eligible project costs, with the remainder funded by the applicant. Grants can only used for ‘capital’ investments. This grant scheme is funded through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and Local Growth Fund.   

This grant is now closed to applications. We expect further grant opportunities (Round 3) for similar project activity to be announced in summer 2024.

The grant application process is in two stages. An initial Eligibility Check followed by a Full Application with supporting evidence, including an independent energy audit and sustainability plan that should detail a carbon/energy baseline and actions to reduce carbon emissions. 

 The grant scheme provides funding to businesses to: 

  • increase energy efficiencies and reduce energy costs 
  • decarbonise business practice, process and supply chains  
  • the ‘greening’ of work practices and staff behavioural/cultural change. 

Eligibility criteria: 

  • Micro or SME (up to 250 employees)  
  • Based in Somerset
  • Registered business or sole traders (not a community or voluntary organisation) which has not  previously received a grant under Somerset Council’s Green Business Grant scheme
  • Have an independent energy audit and sustainability plan in place 
  • Able to match-fund 50% of total eligible project costs 
  • Able to complete project before end of November 2024 
  • Activity must be capital investment and must demonstrate it will reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. 
  • Deliver against at least one of the outputs set out in the Guidance 

Examples of eligible activity include, but are not limited to: 

  • LED lighting and lighting Controls 
  • Boilers/Heating plant/Equipment/Batteries (power generation) 
  • Heating/Cooling controls 
  • Specialist energy efficient equipment (for example, manufacturing tools)
  • Increased energy efficient equipment (for example, refrigeration) 
  • Heat recovery systems 
  • Solar installations, wind turbine, heat pumps 
  • Electric vehicle infrastructure (for example, charging points, batteries, forklifts, lifting machinery)
  • Smart Energy Monitoring Systems 

Staff costs and electric vehicles are not eligible under this funding scheme. 

Installations to domestic properties are not eligible under this funding scheme 

To request an Eligibility Check form contact

Document preview
Green Business Grant Full Application Guidance

PDF, 177KB

Last reviewed: May 17, 2024 by Neil

Next review due: November 17, 2024

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