Business growth funding

UK shared prosperity and rural England prosperity business grant funding

Guidance and introduction 

This guidance sets out the criteria East Cambridgeshire Council (ECDC) will apply to applications for the award of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) and Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF). Funding available is £102,500 and £208,000 revenue respectively. The funding is allocated for the supporting local business investment priority within the district.

The programme is open to any existing SME business with a turnover of under £10,000,000 located in the East Cambridgeshire District.

Applicant businesses should have in place a strong business plan that:

  • demonstrates plans to grow the business 
  • how funding will be used to support this growth 
  • where applicable how funding will support job creation including apprenticeships 
  • how the funding will support the business to respond to market changes 
  • a clear delivery plan for the project that the funding is supporting 
  • how the funding will be of benefit to the wider local economy, for example, supply chains 

Businesses who are not eligible 

 The following businesses are ineligible: 

  • businesses not based in East Cambridgeshire 
  • businesses that have an annual turnover of more than £10,000,000 
  • businesses that have received grant payments that equal the maximum permitted levels of UK Subsidy Control (all applicants will be required to complete a Minimum Financial Assistance (MFA) declaration as part of their application) 
  • businesses that are in administration, insolvent or when a striking off notice has been made 
  • intermediaries or agents acting on behalf of other businesses 
  • businesses that only exist to operate investment funding and other types of finance 
  • charities (unless applying through a trading arm that meets the above requirements) 

Eligible activities 

To be considered eligible, all projects will be required to deliver at least one or more of the following outcomes:

  • create or safeguard jobs 
  • utilise new technologies or processes within the business 
  • bringing new products to market 
  • demonstrate improvement in business productivity 

In addition, the following criteria apply to expenditure:

Eligible capital spends:

  • purchase of machines and associated tooling 
  • purchase of equipment that enhances productivity including technology and IT equipment (this includes associated software) 
  • renovation/repurpose of buildings and building of new premises (NB planning consent must be in place at the time of the funding application) 

Eligible revenue spends:

  • website redevelopment 
  • training 
  • marketing and promotional campaigns 
  • research 

What the programme cannot support: 

  • payment of expenditure prior to the funding agreement date 
  • paying of debts or refinancing 
  • direct staff costs - salaries, travel or subsistence  
  • general business overheads and costs (for example, rent and rates, utilities) 
  • the cost of any statutory, legislative obligations or other duties or requirements associated with the business 
  • non-bespoke business software 

Grant funding levels and intervention rates 

The total funding is available is £310,511. This is split between £208,000 UKSPF and £102,511 REPF.

The minimum award available to any successful applicant is £5,000 and the maximum award is £30,000. Access to grant funding for those businesses who are approved will be up to a maximum of 80% the project cost. As part of the full application process, applicants will need to demonstrate that all project funding is in place. 

Procurement of equipment and services  

Grants must be claimed within the agreed timetable outlined in the grant funding offer. No commitment can be made by a grant application to a supplier of goods or services before a formal offer of funding has been agreed and confirmed in writing. Funding cannot be awarded for retrospective payments.

All grant payments are made as reimbursements to the applicant subject to the satisfactory provision of proof of expenditure as outlined in the grant funding agreement.

Net costs (excluding VAT) must be used when calculating the project value and submitted as such as in the funding application form. Gross costs (including VAT) will be permissible where a business is for whatever reason unable to reclaim VAT, (for example, not VAT registered).

It is expected that applicants will provide three written comparable quotes for items of expenditure. It will be expected that the cheapest quotation will be selected as the preferred supplier. If the preferred supplier is not the cheapest quote a rationale must be provided with the funding application. Any expenditure incurred before the receipt of the formal offer letter is entirely at the applicants own risk and is deemed ineligible expenditure for grant assistance.

We are no longer accepting expressions of interest in this scheme.