Financial Support for Your Business

Your business may be eligible to receive financial support from a wide range of providers.

Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Grants for Growth

Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire Grants for Growth part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is delivered by Stoke-on-Trent City Council and provides gap funding to companies across Staffordshire to cover capital and revenue investment that will allow your company to grow in the market place and create new employment.ERDFLogo

Grant funds can be used for premises expansion or the purchase of plant, machinery and equipment, product and process development, advice and consultancy including initial market development, technical feasibility studies and industrial property rights costs.

Capital and revenue grants are available between £10,000 to £250,000 on a variable intervention rate of 10% up to 30% which must be matched by your own private sector or other equity funds. Your project costs must be for a minimum of £40,000 to qualify for a grant payment of £10,000.

For assistance in applying for the grant click here to download.

For completing an Expression of Interest, click here to download. 

For more information contact Tel: 01782 231586 or 233671 Email:

Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire Business Support Fund

The Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Business Support Fund was specifically designed to meet the needs of local businesses, for whom business finance can sometimes be a problem. Lack of track record, unreasonable security arrangements, past financial problems or simply not meeting conventional credit scoring methods can all hinder the process.

The Fund is administered by the Black Country Reinvestment Society, a mutual organisation owned and run by members. The fund’s purpose is to provide access to finance to enable local businesses to grow and prosper. Rather than face impersonal computerised credit scoring, applicants will be able to meet and talk to one of the Business Development Managers to develop the loan application.

Loans are available to businesses who can make a positive contribution to the social, environmental or economic well being of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire. The loans are made to any form of business, from Sole Trader to Limited Company, provided the business is located within Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire.

The loan period will vary on a case by case basis. Should it be for a capital asset, the loan will be for less than the useful life of that asset. Should it be for a revenue item e.g. to assist with cash flow, then every effort will be made to structure loan repayment within the projected cash generation of the business.

Each loan is judged on its own merit; there is no specific amount that the applicant is expected to put into the project. Although security on the loan is taken wherever possible, some loans may be made without security.

The minimum loan available is £10,000. The maximum is £100,000. Unfortunately, certain sectors are ineligible for the fund; these include retail shops and property developers.

To apply call 0845 313 8410

Midlands Engine Investment Fund

What is the Midlands Engine Investment Fund?

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF), supported by the European Regional Development Fund, provides commercially focussed finance through Small Business Loans, Debt Finance, Proof of concept and Equity Finance funds.

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund aims to transform the finance landscape for smaller businesses in the Midlands and to realise the region’s potential to achieve economic growth through enterprise.

MEIF is a collaboration between the British Business Bank and ten Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in the West Midlands and East and South East Midlands.

MEIF provides over £250m of investment to boost small and medium business (SME) growth in the Midlands.

If your business is located in the Midlands and you are looking to scale up, follow the link below and select one of the funding options to see how the fund can help. 




Lichfield District Small Business Grant Scheme

The Lichfield District small business grant scheme offers grants of between £500 and £1,500 to local small businesses and start-ups looking at overcoming financial barriers to growth. A maximum of 50% of eligible costs of the total project can be applied for (overall project cost is capped at £3,000 to get the maximum grant).


To receive the grant, applicants must first receive support from the Enterprise for Success programme before their grant application is processed. More information on the programme:

To be eligible, an applicant must be one of the following:

  • An individual who is a permanent resident and looking to start up a business within Lichfield District.
  • An existing small business (up to 10 employees) located in Lichfield District that has been trading for no more than three years.

The grant can go towards the following eligible costs:

  • marketing purposes
  • ICT software and hardware
  • office equipment e.g. laptop, desks, chairs
  • professional qualifications or training e.g. ISO, professional body membership
  • equipment to support product or process development and business growth

To register an interest or for a business to find out if they are eligible and about the process, email:

Once having attended the Enterprise for Success programme, applicants must submit the following to :

  • An application form (held by Blue Orchid, which the business will receive having attended the programme)
  • Business plan
  • Financial projections for 2 years.

The scheme will run for three years, from 2018 to 2021, with a pot of £20,000 funding available for each financial year. The closing dates for the first two rounds in this financial year are 28 December 2018 and 22 February 2019. After this the 2019/20 and 2020/21 rounds will be quarterly, closing on the last Friday in May, August, November and February.

Any goods or services bought before or ordered prior to the grant approval date set out on the confirmation letter will not be reimbursed by us.

For more information, visit the grant’s webpage: where the guidance notes can be found.


Funding for Specialist Intensive Assistance

Up to £5,400 is available for Staffordshire businesses to pay towards specialist external advice to research, develop or market a new product or service. The grant is to assist with Research & Development Fees, ICT Advice, Legal & Financial advice, Market Research, IPR Fees, Project Management and Product Design. the grant will support up to 40% of the above costs.

For more information click here or contact:

Staffordshire BIC
Studio 10 Sutherland Institute
Lightwood Road, Longton
Telephone: 01782 333798
or email


The Manufacturing Growth Programme Grant scheme

The Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP) provides free advice and support to manufacturing SMEs to help:

  • Identify opportunities and create plans for growth and improvement
  • Work with the best external experts to implement those plans
  • Cover 35% of the cost of implementing the plans through a growth/improvement grant
  • Connect to wider support to maximise opportunities for growth

What the MGP means for manufacturing SMEs

If you are an SME manufacturer, the Manufacturing Growth programme provides many advantages for you, including:

  • An independent business review to identify opportunities for business improvement and growth
  • A detailed action plan guiding you through the process of improving your business
  • Access to matched industry experts to provide consultancy and/or coaching tailored to your needs
  • Access to grants to co-fund your growth/improvement project

How you can benefit

By joining the Manufacturing Support Programme, you can benefit from:

  • Insight into the risks/issues and opportunities for your business, helping you better plan for the future
  • Understanding of what needs to be done to make improvements
  • Work with new expertise to make bring about real development
  • Reduced cost, helping you make the changes you need sooner

How do you get involved?

If you are a manufacturing SME interested in growing and meet the eligibility rules, get in contact with your local MGP team for a free, no-obligation Manufacturing Review and Action Scoping Session. You will then be guided through the rest of the process by a dedicated Manufacturing Growth Manager.

Should you be interested, please find more information about the programme below or contact Phil Somers on 07985 777270.

For the brochure, click here


Low Carbon Business Evolution Programme

The Low Carbon Business Evolution Programme (LCBEP) will help businesses across Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire LEP reduce their carbon footprint and increase energy efficiency.

Support to businesses will start with free specialist low carbon advice in one of the following areas:
  • Improving energy efficiency
  • Innovative ways to make your business low carbon
  • Developing new low or lower carbon products and services
  • Environmental management system gap analysis
Stage 2a: Apply for LCBEP Low Carbon Enterprise Grant of £2,000 – £10,000
  • Capital grants that enable investment to help make your business “low carbon”. For the installation of energy efficient measures in buildings, processes, products and services which will reduce carbon.
  • Revenue grants for further low carbon specialist advice e.g. environmental management systems, energy management systems, carbon foot printing, renewable energy feasibility.
  • Applicants must demonstrate greenhouse gas savings as a result of the grant.
and/or stage 2b: Apply for a subsidised LCBEP internship

Enlist the knowledge and expertise of a graduate placement for 12 weeks through our cost effective internship programme. An intern can support the implementation of recommendations made through the specialist low carbon advice.


Your business must meet the definition on a Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) and be located within the administrative area of Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire LEP.

Small to Medium sized businesses are enterprises that:

  • Employ fewer than 250 full-time equivalent persons
  • Have an annual turnover not exceeding 50 million euro or have an annual balance sheet total not exceeding 43 million euro.

Additional eligibility criteria apply; our experts will guide you through the process according the specific needs of your business,

For more information contact 01785 278108A Email:

This project is part funded with support from theERDFLogo European Regional Development Fund Programme 2014 - 2020 and delivered by Staffordshire County Council in partnership with Keele University and Staffordshire University.


Rural Enterprise Programme

The Rural Enterprise Programme offers grants to rural businesses (who sell to other businesses) to help them sympathetically convert under-utilised buildings or construct new rural workspaces, to increase productivity and/or create/safeguard jobs.

The Programme operates across Stoke and Staffordshire’s rural areas including the hub towns of Stone, Cheadle, Leek, Rugeley and Uttoxeter.

Capital grants range between £10,000 and £65,000 or up to 40% of the total eligible costs of the project, whichever is the lowest. Eligible applicants must be able to provide a minimum of 60% as match funding.

Grants are awarded on a discretionary basis and will be at the minimum required to enable the project to proceed.

Applicants can be owner occupiers or owners proposing to lease premises for eligible uses or tenants with a fixed-term lease with at least 5 years unexpired and with written consent for the proposed works from their landlord.

What type of project can get funding under this scheme?

Eligible end uses include (non speculative) manufacturing, creative industries or service businesses and office premises.
Grants are not available for retail, agriculture or tourism end uses. The end use cannot be residential.

An application must be made and approved before work starts.

ERDFLogoEligible costs are those directly associated with the refurbishment or construction of workspaces including building works, installation of services (e.g. ICT and energy efficiency infrastructure), access, car parking and landscaping works where planning permission is required.

Successful applicants will need to demonstrate an increase in jobs created as a direct result of the grant.

Funds are not available for property purchase, internal fixtures and fittings or excessive landscaping.

In support of the application, the Staffordshire Growth Hub can provide signposting, diagnostic support and business improvement advice at no cost to the applicant.

For further information on the Rural Enterprise Programme contact Hilary Foxley on telephone 01785 277400 or email


The Business Growth Programme

The new £33 million Business Growth Programme (BGP) has launched and the first funding round is open to applications.

The package of support is designed to strengthen supply chains, stimulate innovation and grow existing Small to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) across the Greater Birmingham and Solihull, Stoke and Staffordshire and The Marches Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs).

Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by Birmingham City Council, the BGP builds on the successful delivery of the Business Development Programme, the Business Innovation Programme and the Green Bridge Supply Chain Programme, all of which closed in 2015.

You must NOT be a Franchise, Charity, Not-for-Profit, Community Business or in the Retail Sector. For more information click here to go to the Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP website.

The Business Growth Programme is made up of four elements:

HS2 Supply Chain Programme - Offers grant support of £20k-£200k towards project costs for supply chain companies which have, or are in the process of securing, or have the ability to secure a contract for HS2.

Green Bridge Supply Chain Programme - Offers grant support of £20k-£150k towards project costs for supply chain companies operating in, or diversifying into the green economy.

Business Innovation Programme - Offers grant support of £10k-£30k towards project costs for SMEs investing in innovative close-to-market processes, products and services.

Business Development Programme – Offers grant support of £10k-£20k towards project costs for businesses looking to expand, relocate and improve access to markets.


Michelin Development Fund

The Michelin Development Fund supports new and existing businesses, up to 250 employees, within North Staffordshire. Its aim is to support projects that can demonstrate the potential to create high quality, sustainable jobs.

There are two sources of support available:

  • Financial support, in the form of unsecured loans up to £50,000 at the Bank of England Base rate. Priority will be given to the manufacturing and service sectors, business to business.
  • Advice and expertise is available, free of charge, from Michelin’s considerable company resources. Areas may include, for example, Industrial Engineering, Design, IT, Personnel, Quality, Health and Safety.

For further information, please call 0800 056 2007.


UK Steel Enterprise

UK Steel Enterprise UK Steel Enterprise is a subsidiary of Tata Steel (formerly Corus Group) that provides finance to growing companies in steel areas such as Stoke-on-Trent and the Black Country.

Business finance: what is available?

  • Equity based investments of up to £750,000 for growing businesses, management buy-outs, buy-ins, acquisitions of other businesses etc.
  • Loans from £25,000 at fixed interest rates, usually unsecured.
  • EFG loans for eligible businesses.
  • Grants alongside the above finance for those companies creating jobs who meet the Regional Growth Fund criteria.

Our primary focus is successful growing companies which meet the following criteria:

Location: located in Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle, Keele or the Black Country – including Wolverhampton, Dudley, West Bromwich, Stourbridge, Halesowen and the area covered by the four councils of Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall. We also invest in other steel areas in the UK – see our website;

Sector: operating in manufacturing, industrial service, technology or other B2B sectors (not necessarily steel related);

Purpose of funding: can include new equipment, working capital, relocation, MBO, MBI, acquisition or to develop a new business.

Why talk to us?


  • We rarely require security or personal guarantees.
  • Our interest rates are competitive and fixed for the term of the loan.

Equity investments:

  • We leave control with company management.
  • We don’t insist on an exit deadline.
  • We don’t impose penalty clauses.

How to apply

Please give us a call on 0800 915 1188 in the first instance to ensure that the location and type of business is one that we can consider.

Send us your company accounts, business plan and projections or ask us for an application pack.

Contacts: Keith Williams 0776 7788475 & Allan Wood 0776 4362928.
Down load the UK Steel Enterprise document.


UK Steel’s Access to Finance Grant Scheme

UK Steel Enterprise’s Access to Finance grant scheme is a Regional Growth Fund programme running from April 2013 to March 2015. The scheme will provide grant support alongside loan and equity finance from UK Steel Enterprise for capital investment projects which create or safeguard jobs. The funding is available in all UK Steel Enterprise areas in England, including South Yorkshire, Humberside, the Black Country, Stoke-on-Trent and Corby.

Who can apply?
Access to Finance funding is available to the following businesses:

  • Independently owned Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).
  • Companies in manufacturing, industrial and many business-to-business sectors.
  • Companies based in UK Steel Enterprise operating areas such as South Yorkshire, Humberside, the Black Country, Stoke-on-Trent and Corby. Companies based in Chesterfield, Worksop and Gainsborough can also apply.
  • Businesses with opportunities to grow.

What are the main criteria for support?
Successful applications must:

  • demonstrate the creation of sustainable jobs or safeguard jobs which would otherwise be lost within 12 months;
  • be planning expenditure on capital assets;
  • make a clear case for needing grant support;
  • have a commercially viable business plan which includes funding from UK Steel Enterprise;
  • comply with State Aid regulations.

How much support is available?
The scheme provides a package of support including grant funding alongside UK Steel Enterprise loans or equity/loan packages from £25,000 up to £750,000.
The amount of grant available will depend on a number of factors such as the location of the project, the size of the company, the number of jobs and the amount of funding provided by UK Steel Enterprise, but could be up to 35% of eligible expenditure.

How do I apply?
Contact UK Steel Enterprise on 0800 915 1188 in the first instance. A business plan along with an application form will be required in the first instance. Download the UK Steel Enterprise Application form.


Assisted Asset Purchase Fund

Regional Growth Fund (RGF), is an initiative created by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. The Fund has been established to support local economies and to encourage investment in the private sector, by safeguarding existing jobs and creating new jobs.

£1.4 billion fund has been allocated to RBS Group, Lloyds and HSBC to provide support between 2011 and 2014 to qualifying Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) located in England (excluding London and the South East).

Support from the RGF can only be made available if certain eligibility criteria are met and in conjunction with a commercial loan from one of the providers administering the fund.

Find out more about the Regional Growth Fund by visiting:
Department of Business, Innovation and Skills

Each of the individual schemes listed below are shown as an example only and no preference by Make It Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire is made or inferred.
HSBC Business
RBS Business


Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative

The primary purpose of the West Midlands and Liverpool City Region Programme is to help support the development of productive capacity in the automotive and aerospace supply chains in the four LEP areas of Black Country, Coventry and Warwickshire, Greater Birmingham and Solihull and Liverpool City Region. The fund will adopt a flexible approach to funding (loans and grants) focusing on the provision of funding towards the purchase of capital equipment and funding working capital requirements as well as funding the complementary requirement of R&D and skills development. It is designed to promote closer collaboration within the supply chain and to address market failures. In practical terms, funding will be available to support the projects in the following areas, subject to the normal State Aid rules;

  • the purchase of capital equipment including the provision of working capital;
  • R&D activity which improves manufacturing equipment, systems or processes; and
  • specific training and skills development to support the project.

At the centre of the Programme is a £19m fund to support projects which deliver economic growth and generate and/or safeguard jobs. These imperatives will also be key in the overall assessment of Applicants put forward.

Projects will require a minimum of £100,000 of support per project and will be:

  • from Applicants operating as part of an aerospace and/or automotive supply chain;
  • either collaborative or single applicant bids; and
  • based within the four LEP areas consisting of the Black Country, Coventry & Warwickshire, Greater Birmingham & Solihull and Liverpool City Region (this includes Cannock Chase, East Staffordshire, Lichfield, Tamworth and South Staffordshire). To be eligible. 90% of the public support has to be against eligible costs incurred within these geographical areas.

Guidance Notes for Applicants – PDF
Expression of Interest – Word
Application Form- Word
State Aid Compliance Block Exemption – PDF


Growing Places Fund

  • It’s a loan
  • Interest rate: Nil as long as the scheme complies with State Aid rules
  • Repayment options:

i.) Repayment after 2 years. Repayment of 100% of loan sum interest free (dependant on BP2) 2 years after practical completion of the element(s) funded;
ii.) Repayment over 3 years. Repayment of 1/3rd of the loan sum per year, the first 2 years interest free (dependant on BP2) and the final year bearing interest at commercial rates;
iii.) Repayment over 4 years. Repayment of 1/4 of the loan sum per year, the first 2 years interest free (dependant on BP2) and the final two years bearing interest at commercial rates.

  • Maximum intervention level: Based on provable financial need, potentially whatever is available in the LEP’s GPF at the time but this varies and individual investment depends on the other applications in any particular round.
  • Minimum intervention level: £100,000
  • Intervention rate: 50% of scheme cost excl. land value if the developer already owns it; i.e. the scheme would need to cost more than £200,000.
  • Security: 100% cover is needed, various forms of security are acceptable
  • Retrospective payments: Claims on a quarterly basis
  • Monitoring & evaluation: Required for a term to be agreed
  • Publicity: Acknowledgement of LEP funding on any scheme publicity
  • Applicant support: This is available but limited

Further information can be found on the LEP website:

Tel : 0300 111 8005
Email :


People live within 45 minute drive time
Economic activity rate
Working age adults
Students within one hour's drive