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.
Somerset Green Business Grants
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 percent of total eligible project costs, with the remainder funded by the applicant. Grants can be capital or revenue. This grant scheme is funded through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
The closing date for full applications is 31 October 2023. Decisions and funding agreements are expected to be in place by the end of November 2023. Projects will need to be completed within the financial year, by 31 March 2024.
We expect further grant opportunities for similar project activity to be announced in early 2024.
The grant application process is in 2 stages, an initial Eligibility Check followed by a Full Application with supporting evidence, including an externally endorsed Plan that should include a carbon and 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 and cultural change.
Examples of eligible activity include, but are not limited to:
- LED lighting and lighting controls
- Boilers, heating plant, equipment and batteries (power generation)
- Heating and 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 (EV) infrastructure, that is, charging points, batteries, forklifts, lifting machinery
- Smart Energy Monitoring Systems
- Associated upskilling and greenskilling of new or existing staff.
Staff costs and EV’s are not eligible under this funding scheme.
If you would like to discuss a potential project, please email: email@example.com
Rural England Prosperity Fund
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 (UKSPF) 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).
Projects will need to complete within the financial year (by 31 March) which in Year 1 may limit spend to capital items such as equipment. There is no revenue funding.
Closing date for Round 1 is 15 September 2023. All projects must be completed by 31 March 2024.
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 (REPF) 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 additionality – also how they contribute to net zero and nature recovery objectives.
Further detail can be found in the Guidance document.
To discuss a potential project please email REPF@Somerset.gov.uk