The Most Popular Regional Business Grants
Important Note: This article is written primarily with SMEs based in Leeds City Region in mind. Each Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) / Growth Hub offers a range of different grant/business support programmes.
If you have read our previous articles you will be aware that a variety of factors are involved when submitting a successful grant application and in most cases, the answer to an initial enquiry will be a somewhat frustrating ‘it depends’. However, don’t be put off because there are a number of useful and straightforward grants that we regularly come across which are a good place to start when launching your grant journey.
When thinking about your eligibility for grants it’s sometimes helpful to think about a dartboard and ‘where’ your business is positioned on that dartboard. At the centre of the dartboard, very well positioned for grants and sat right in the bullseye are manufacturers, and that’s where we will start.
Manufacturing Growth Programme
The Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP) has replaced the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) and can be found in many parts of England. Locally it covers West and North Yorkshire plus Humberside.
MGP is a flexible programme aimed at supporting manufacturers that offers grants for both capital expenditure and consultancy. Grants of 33% are offered on projects of up to £25k and £10k respectively and the minimum grant is £1k.
We like MGP because it has a straightforward application process and the consultancy side can be used to tackle a range of areas such as strategy, productivity, and marketing etc.
Another favourite of ours are the Digital Vouchers offered through the Digital Enterprise arm of Leeds LEP. Most SMEs over 3 years of age are usually eligible (the usual caveats around B2C / retail apply) and Digital Vouchers are currently offered on projects of up to £25k at a rate of 50%.
We like Digital Vouchers because of the simple online application process though be sure to make a copy before you press the Submit button because you will not be able to review it once submitted!
Business Growth Programme Capital Grants
The Business Growth Programme (BGP) is a well-established grant programme that helps growing businesses with grants of between £10k and £250k with job creation being a key element.
BGP can be used for fit-out and new machinery projects and, currently, grants are usually offered at a rate of 10% on projects of over £50k.
We like BGP because it helps manufacturers fund chunky investments though, as you might expect, with bigger grants comes a more demanding application process.
Ad:Venture is the LEP’s programme for start-up businesses within their first 3 years seeking growth. It offers a flexible package of support including grants of up to £25k, though less in the first year.
We like it because it offers a one-stop-shop for start-ups. However, grant applications can be quite demanding because businesses without a track record need to be able to come up with a convincing business plan.
#Grow is a programme that offers a broad package of grant support to digital businesses with grants of between £10k and £50k available on projects of £20k or more.
We like this programme because it offers targeted support to the large number of growing digital businesses in Leeds City Region.
Product & Process Innovation
Product & Process Innovation (PAPI) covers North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and the East Riding, and helps SMEs develop innovative new products by providing grants for equipment.
Grants of 40% are offered on projects up to £20k and we like it because it helps business owners focus on innovation and is available across a wide area.
For details of other programmes available within both Leeds City Region and adjoining LEP areas you might want to look at the following websites:
- Leeds LEP – www.the-lep.com
- Sheffield – www.scrgrowthhub.co.uk
- York, North Yorkshire and East Riding – www.businessinspiredgrowth.com
Business owners struggling to navigate their way through the grants maze can, of course, refer to Powerhouse grant experts who stand ready to assist entrepreneurs looking to develop their business.
Authors Note of caution!
These details are correct as at the time of writing in January 2020 but will inevitably be subject to change over time so please check the details before committing time and money to projects.
Time spent looking into regional business grants can be a great investment or a complete waste. Partner with an expert who can help guide your business based on their experience and skill.
Blunt advice from Yorkshire Powerhouse on business support
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Having an understanding of what grant providers are looking for is critical to the process but almost all grants seek business growth in one form or another