Funding available for the manufacturing sector

Published by Rodney Sutton on 25 July 2019

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Is your manufacturing business looking to expand or invest in the South East? Fortunately, these counties offer a compelling range of financial assistance to support ambitious businesses with the aim of creating jobs in the South East.

Below we look at some of the options available to those in the South East:

Manufacturing Growth Programme

This programme is designed to support SME manufacturers to grow by identifying, understanding and removing barriers to growth.

As part of the programme, manufacturers can access grants of up to 35% of the cost of delivering their manufacturing growth plan. Businesses can also gain access to a business diagnostic tool called GROWTHmapper which will allow you to review what is working well in your business where improvement can be made.

South East Business Boost (SEBB) (now discontinued)

An initiative which again works with SMEs in providing grants (up to £1,300) towards the cost of revenue and capital purchases designed to help drive business growth.

These grants have proven to be a huge success in Essex and East Sussex such that they have reached their full application. Fortunately, a small amount of funding still remains for capital and revenue purchases for Kent businesses.

Kent & Medway Business Fund

SME businesses can obtain 0% loans of up to £500,000 to help develop or expand products, services or processes that lead to new jobs and delivery business growth whilst improving productivity. Further details on the criteria can be found here.

Partners for Growth (PFG)

Focussed on supporting businesses looking to grow in Medway, PFG can provide start-up grants and interest free loans. These are generally for businesses with at least 2 years successful trading and less than 50 employees.

Enterprise Zone rate relief

Your business may wish to consider growth by relocating or indeed increasing its portfolio of offices/warehouses in Kent. There are numerous enterprise zones across Kent which offer businesses rate relief of up to £55,000 per year for 5 years and can apply to any business size.

The zones located in Kent include Discovery Park and the North Kent Enterprise Zone which includes 6 sites in Ebbsfleet Garden City, Medway and Maidstone.

Manufacturing Master Starter launched by Innovate UK

The UK’s innovation agency, InnovateUK (IUK), has launched a competition for manufacturing businesses to bid for a portion of £30 million of new research funding. The aim is to transform the productivity and agility of UK manufacturing by the adoption of the latest industrial digital technology.

To lead a project an organisation must be a UK-based manufacturing business of any size. It should collaborate with other businesses, research and technology organisations (RTOs), public sector organisations or charities. The bid must involve at least one SME and the project work must be carried out in the UK. A project’s total eligible costs must be between £250,000 and £10 million.

There are two ways to apply either online through the Innovation Funding Service or document-based. Applications are open until midday on Wednesday 28 August 2019.

General guidance for grant applicants can be found here.

One way to learn more about business grants and funding is to speak to an experienced accounting firm, whose team can advise on the grants and financial support available.

In addition, our Senior Partner, Andrew Griggs sits as a Non-executive Director on the Locate in Kent board. As a partner of Locate in Kent, we help organisations and businesses to achieve their goals. Allan Pinner, from our Sussex manufacturing team is a member of the Sussex chamber of commerce manufacturing steering group.

To find out more and discuss the growth of your manufacturing business, get in touch.

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