September 6, 2018
Within Coventry and Warwickshire a number of EU ERDF grant support programmes are drawing to a close this calendar year.
This will lead to a period of uncertainty ahead as existing programmes come to a natural end this year and new contracts from Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) are released early in the New Year.
Here is a quick update for information.
Access to regional grant-based finance products are now close to full allocation and these will close at the end of 2018. Some specific investment grants remain open, such as for green/energy efficiency improvement through the City Council and proof of concept projects and digital focus through CUE Business Solutions but other investment and Innovation grants are coming to end.
Here is a summary of the more popular grants for you:
Through Coventry City & Warwickshire County Councils:
- Innovation Grant – (Coventry City Council). Up to £100k to support innovation in all areas including fields such as data capture, energy usage, IT connectivity, smart systems, digital technology, health technology, assistive technologies, advanced materials, electronics and intelligent mobility. 30% funding available for capital expenditure projects.
- Investment Grant Fund – Up to £50k for companies looking to invest in capital assets, for example, machinery or equipment, hardware/software, refurbishment, or purchase of new premises – benefiting from up to 30% of grant to cover the costs of the investment
- Small Capital Grants – Warwickshire County Council: Grants are available at different rates from 10% to 30% and between £5,000 and £25,000 to micro and small businesses for Capital projects.
- Green Grants – The Coventry and Warwickshire Green Business Programme supports businesses who want to save money on energy bills and maximise low carbon opportunities. Grants up to £100k for energy conservation and efficiency and adoption of low carbon solutions.
Through CUE Business Solutions:
- Proof of Concept (POC) Grant – Supporting and promoting innovation for SMEs and Universities within Coventry and Warwickshire to raise levels of for new products or processes. For projects totalling £5k to £25k the POC grant will cover 40% of your project costs (i.e. grant of £2k to £10k)
- Green Grants – Up to £10,000 to support the development of products and services, supporting activities including IP Protection, Licensing, Prototype Developments, Product Testing, Accreditations and Certifications.
- Focus Digital – supports the acceleration to market and internal implementation of new product, services and processes for SMEs in the LEP areas of Coventry and Warwickshire
Innovate UK – Provides major grants and loans specifically for innovation. Please visit their website to find out about their current funding competitions.
Loan and equity finance:
There are ample loan and equity finance providers. These are provided by banks, reinvestment trusts, asset finance providers, fund managers, business angel networks and venture capitalists.
Regional sources of loan finance you may wish to explore are:
- Minerva Business Angel network (equity investments) – The Minerva Business Angel Network has been established since 1994, providing a forum for private investors to invest in emerging technology businesses. Minerva works with emerging businesses with a strong, innovative market proposition seeking funds for commercialisation and established businesses wishing to raise investment for expansion.
- Coventry and Warwickshire Re-investment Trust – Provides loans to businesses from as low as £500 to £75,000.
- Black Country Re-investment Society – BCRS Business Loans supports West Midlands businesses that are unable to raise finance from traditional lenders, offering loans from £10000 to £150000.
For more substantial debt and equity finance, you may wish to consider the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF). MEIF provides commercially focussed finance through small business loans, debt financing proof of concept support as well as equity finance funds from £25k to £2m. MEIF is supported by the British Business Bank. If you need assistance with any of these please contact the Business Ready team.