Business Grants & Schemes in the UK

Jul 9, 2021

George Holmes

George Holmes

Managing Director + Co-Founder

Whether you’re aiming to start your business, looking to scale, or you could simply use the extra cash to bolster your current services, schemes and grants are always worth considering. These schemes can either involve funding that is given without strings to applicable businesses, or advantageous loans. Here, we’re going to look at some of the best current and upcoming schemes available to UK businesses.

Princes Trust Grants

One of the longest available grants in the UK, these have been available since 1976. The Princes Trust Grants are dedicated to offering assistance to burgeoning entrepreneurs, including an Enterprise Program that offers both funding and mentorship. To be eligible, applicants must be 18-30 years old.

The Prince’s Countryside Fund

This fund is built to make grant funding available to projects that will have a positive impact on entrepreneurs in the British countryside and rural communities. For instance, they are available to businesses and organisations that aim to improve the return and longevity of family-run farms or will otherwise sustain rural economies.

R&D Tax Credits

This scheme is not a direct funding opportunity but is largely available to any business putting funding towards research and development. It’s a tax credits scheme that allows businesses to claim back a significant portion of those costs.

Grant for Business Investment

Also known as the GBI, this grant from the Regional Development Industries offer capital to businesses that are growing or investing into new perspectives, but are also available to entrepreneurs who are setting up new businesses or projects. These grants are typically for high-budget projects, with minimum financing of £10,000 available.

Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme

A national grant that is designed to help small businesses and community organisations install gigabit-capable internet connections by completely covering the costs. Small businesses could end up receiving as much as £2,500 to cover the costs of any installation, whether individually, as part of a group of applicants.


A grant led by EUREKA state members, as well as the European Union, that is headed locally by Innovate UK. The funding from this scheme is available for projects that are developing or researching services, products and other projects that are innovative. Applications must be a small to medium-sized business, be working in the tech industry, and be willing to collaborate with other European organisations.

Catalyst Grant Programme

Two programmes that are available for businesses working in the Biomedical and Energy fields, these fund projects that are working on creating new knowledge or developing innovative products, services, or processes. This program can cover up to the 60% of project costs, with a max grant aware of £10,000,000 for UK businesses working with other businesses or research partners on projects related to the two fields mentioned above.

Horizon 2020

2020 is the last year for the EU-supported fund, which is designed to support small businesses across the EU, much like the Princes Trust Grants but on a larger scale. Horizon 2020 bids can range from £100k to over £1 million, and support projects such as those too large for businesses to finish alone, creating access to technology and science, and to otherwise innovate.

Plug-In Van Grant

Aiming to encourage the growing use of N2 and N3 class electric vehicles, this scheme offers owners of said vehicles 20% off of their initial price. The criteria for applying for this grant include, amongst other things, meeting safety and tailpipe emissions standards.

Tradeshow Access Programme

This fund is designed to help UK business owners promote their brands overseas, offering grants to cover the costs of attending international trade shows. This funding is available to small and medium-sized businesses in the UK who are registered as members of the Tap Calendar, and aim to export products or already are exploring the exporting opportunity.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Also known as the KTP grants, this is another project aimed at increasing innovation, by awarding funding for projects by businesses who are employing recent graduates. It can fund up to 67% of overall project costs, helping to offset some of the costs of developing innovative products and services.

Arts Council England Funding

The Arts Council has been offering funding year-on-year on a rolling basis to support art, culture, and event initiatives throughout the country. The grant scheme is available to any businesses or nonprofits with aims to undertake creative projects.

The grants and schemes mentioned above are by no means an exhaustive list. If you haven’t found one that could apply to your business, keep looking. Not only are there more out there, but there will be new schemes on the way that could fit your business needs in future.

Aurora Capital can help too. If you’re interested in seeing what business loan options we have available for your business, get in touch today and we’ll get you on the right track. Call us now on 020 3355 7462.

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