Wealden District Council

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Access to Finance for Businesses

We recognise that when businesses are seeking funding, making an informed choice is vital. There are a range of grants and funding streams available that can assist with the financial implications of starting up a business, growing a business idea, financial help for existing businesses and funding for research and development work.

East Sussex County Council Business Grants And Loans (external link)

East Sussex Invest 5 (ESI 5) - Business Growth Funding

  • Grants from £15k to £40k - require minimum match funding of 60%
  • Loans from £10k to £200k - require minimum match funding of 50% and have an arrangement fee of £500 which may be added to the loan on request.
  • There is an additional apprenticeship grant of £1.5k for a new, accredited apprentice position which can be claimed after the position has been filled for 6 months.  This is a one off payment with no match or evidence of spend required.  One per business allowed.

Scheme Enabling Fund (SEF, incorporating Catalysing Stalled Sites Fund CaSS)

The Scheme Enabling Fund (incorporating CaSS) is open to applications which will be considered quarterly at the beginning of June, September, December and March.  When the remaining funds of £600k are exhausted the fund will close.

The fund is an East Sussex County Council one off capital fund designed to:

1.  Help finance feasibility studies and business case development, to support schemes that are not viable without public support, to enable them to apply for public funding e.g. Local Growth Fund.

2.  Unlock stalled employment and housing sites that have site specific reasons for remaining undeveloped with loan or equity share finance.

For more information please visit the website above.

Locate East Sussex Grants and Loans

Locate East Sussex can help businesses seeking to launch or expand their current base or relocate to or within the county and will provide impartial advice on issues including business location, available sources of funding and how best to access a trained and skilled work force. 

For further information on business funding please visit Locate East Sussex (external link) or email:  enquiries@locateeastsussex.org.uk

South East Business Boost Fund (SEBB)

Could your business be eligible for a grant?

If you have a small to medium size business or are a start up based in East Sussex, Business East Sussex (BES) could help you fund a wide range of capital items to help increase sales, improve productivity and boost profitability.

In order to be eligible a business must:

  •  Be a small to medium size business with under 250 staff and a turnover under £50m
  •  Be spending on a project or purchase that has a long term growth impact on the business, not day to day running costs 
  •  With help from BES, have secured a grant offer letter from SEBB before starting the project

Further details can be found on the flyer South East Business Boost Fund (pdf) or by visiting the website Business East Sussex (external link) or by email:  info@businesseastsussex.org.uk 

Start Up Loans (external link)

The Start-Up Loans Company is a Government funded initiative that provides start up support in the form of a repayable loan together with a business mentor for entrepreneurs across England and Northern Ireland.

The Start-Up Loans programme was created within The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. It was designed to go some way to help solve the problem of supporting people who have a feasible business idea but no access to finance. With a view to providing a robust SME sector, it aims to equip enterprising individuals with the tools needed to make their businesses a success. The Start-Up Loans Company operates through a network of delivery partners across the country, who support entrepreneurs in all industries and sectors.  Let's Do Business Group is a delivery partner providing advice and support to Wealden businesses.  For more information also visit:  Lets Do Business Group (external link)

Wealden & Eastbourne Small Business Loan (WELF£)

If you are a micro business based in the Eastbourne and Wealden area, with 10 or less employees and are ready to grow but unable to access the commercial finance you need to achieve growth, this scheme will help you to access the capital you need to take your business to the next stage:

  • A business loan over an agreed term up to a maximum of 60 months with monthly repayments of capital and interest
  • Companies must be successful, profitable and growing businesses that have been trading 12 or more months
  • The business must be based in the Wealden and Eastbourne areas
  • Loans of between £5000 and £15,000 are available
  • Interest rates are 12% - 14% per annum - please contact  Lets Do Business Group (external link) for an APR % quote
  • There is an arrangement fee of 4% (a minimum of £200) payable when the loan is drawn down
  • The loan terms range from 6 to 60 months (5 years)

For further details please visit Wealden Eastbourne Small Business Loan (external link)

Wealden and Rother Rural Partnership (WARR Partnership) LEADER programme 2015-20

LEADER funding in some areas is either fully committed or close to being fully committed, and the Wealden and Rother Rural Partnership is one such area.  For further information visit:   The Warr Partnership (external link) or email:  Don Cranfield, Programme Manager don.cranfield@plumptonac.uk  or telephone 01273 892031.

Funding News

Keep up-to-date with funding opportunities via the monthly funding bulletin (external link) from East Sussex County Council.

More Business Finance Advice

A number of business agencies and organisations can provide further business finance information; some are listed below:

Let's Do Business (external link) 

  • For start-up loans, business growth loans, business grants, financial advice, and financial FAQs.

eDEAL Enterprise Agency (external link)

  • A not-for-profit enterprise agency providing confidential and impartial business advice.

The Prince's Trust (external link)

If you are between 18 and 30 years of age with a business start-up idea, you could benefit from support via The Prince's Trust Enterprise Programme which can provide support to apply for a low interest loan of up to £4,000 for a sole trader and up to £5,000 for a partnership to help start a business.  Please note business start-up funds are dependent upon funding available within the region.

Contact the Community and Regeneration Team