If you are thinking about or planning an expansion of your business, you should always ask yourself, is there any grant funding available to support me in this? Even in these times where public spending is being cut back significantly, there are still a number of sources of grants available to businesses willing to invest to create jobs and improve profitability.
Grant funding can, however, be a little confusing at times. There are potentially a myriad of sources of grant monies, but their availability may be restricted to a particular time frame or to a specific geographical area.
What types of grant are available?
Grant funding generally takes two forms – capital grants and revenue grants.
Capital grants are used to fund expenditure on equipment, buildings, plant and machinery, as part of a project to safeguard or create jobs. These tend to be the larger projects and funding will be set as a percentage of the overall project spend. The grant may be advanced in instalments, linked to a period over which the expenditure takes place or any jobs are created.
Revenue grants usually involve smaller grant advances and the application process is less complicated. Typically they may part fund marketing activities, professional advice, training and apprenticeship costs.
How much can I get as a grant?
The funding available will depend on a number of factors – the specific remit of the grant provider, your location and the number of skilled jobs safeguarded or created.
Grants will not fund 100% of your project expenditure – a typical grant for a larger project could provide between 10% and 25% of the expected cost. Smaller revenue grants may be offered on a “matched funding” basis, i.e. the grant is effectively a 50% grant. You will be expected to fund the balance from existing resources and other external finance providers, such as your bank.
How do I apply for a grant?
Each source of grant funding will have their own application process. Typically it will involve the completion of an application form – but these can vary from a couple of pages to a comprehensive application that needs backing up with financial forecasts and a business plan. In some cases it also involves a due diligence assessment of the grant application.
Some grants currently on offer…
There are currently about 60 grants available to Devon based manufacturing and technology businesses. These include the Regional Growth Fund to support larger investment projects, the Smart Grant for SME’s involved in research & development activities, the National Apprenticeship Service for businesses taking on apprentices and the Manufacturing Advisory Service for manufacturing businesses embarking on a business improvement project. The project can cover, amongst other things, intellectual property, design, training, sales and marketing, finance and efficiency.
How can Thomas Westcott help?
Keeping up to date with the current sources and availability of grants is essential, and our frequently updated grant database features numerous schemes available in Devon covering marketing, recruitment, consultancy, training, mentoring, and capital investment. Our database service enables us to quickly and easily run a check on whether your business might qualify for a grant at any given time.
In addition to sourcing appropriate grants, we can assist you with your application, making sure it is robust and meets the grant funding providers requirements.
Please call us if you have a project that you think might qualify for grant funding.
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