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Finance for Business

Notes and coinsAt different stages of your business, your financial needs will change. On this page you will find links to information about grants and loans, business rates (including rate relief) and VAT advice.

Finance for start-up

Choosing the right finance for starting up – advice from the Gov.UK website on start-up funding.

If you are aged 18-30, unemployed or working fewer than 16 hours a week, check out the Prince's Trust finance and support offer.

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.

Finance for growth

Staffordshire Business Loan Fund - Businesses in Staffordshire can apply for loans of £10,000 to £50,000 from BCRS. The Loan Fund has been especially designed to meet the needs of viable businesses that are unable to get loans from traditional sources such as banks. It can be used for a wide variety or purposes including working capital, equipment purchase, recruitment and marketing. To discover more visit bcrs.org.uk or call on 0345 313 8410.

Michelin Development Fund - unsecured loans from £5,000 at the Bank of England base rate. Although not sector specific, priority will be given to the manufacturing sector, IT, environmental technology and design/development.

To find out more about the various options for funding business growth, browse the Finance and Grants site map of the GOV.UK website.

Finance for innovation

Advice from the Gov.UK website on finance for Research and Development.

The Staffordshire Digital Innovation Partnerships (SDIPs) programme is designed to drive transformation through digital innovation in the region. The programme will create 36 Partnerships between Staffordshire SMEs and Staffordshire University. Projects will improve business processes and support the development of new to market products and services through the use of innovative digital technologies. There are three strands -  Digital Innovation Partnerships (DIPs) supporting development of new processes, services or products; Business Intelligence Partnerships (BIPs) helping businesses to unlock the power of the data they collect; Social Challenge Innovation Partnerships (SCIPs) focussing on prototype solutions to social challenges.

The Keele Research and Innovation Support Programme (KRISP) brings academics, professionals and students from Keele University together with local businesses to develop new products, services and processes. The second phase will enable a further 200 local businesses to be supported between June 2019 and December 2021. To find out how your business can benefit, contact 01782 733001 or Business Gateway.

Finance for training, apprentices and job creation

Find help with identifying suitable training courses on the GOV.UK website.

Fully funded training courses to help your business grow are available through Skills Support for the Workforce. Eligibility criteria apply but both basic skills and higher level skills are included in the programme. For more information contact skillssupport@serco.com.

Find out more about training and apprenticeships on offer from Newcastle-under-Lyme College.

Internship Funding available with Staffordshire University for employing their students and/or graduates on a first come, first served basis. Up to 50% funding, maximum of £3,000 per company, 12-week role for 10-20 hours per week, skilled students and/or graduates of Staffordshire University, full vacancy management support from dedicated Unitemps team. Any skilled role specialism, sector or industry including digital, product design, creative, engineering, business, marketing.  Contact Staffs Uni Temps or call 01782 294995.

Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) can help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, via the skills training fund, to upskill their workforce. Skills & Training for Staffordshire is available in the following areas of Business. STEM skills development within Healthcare, Medical Technologies • IT, Digital and Media • Utilities and Engineering/Manufacturing sectors • Logistics and distribution • Construction and civil engineering • Creative & Cultural Industries • Tourism & Leisure • Hospitality & Catering Other sectors are also eligible to access funded training. Call the Business Helpline to Find out more on 0300 111 8002

Finance for premises and relocation

Information about incentives available for eligible companies from the Make it Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire team.

If you wish to carry out improvements to a listed building, or are based in a conservation area in Newcastle town centre, you may be eligible for financial assistance through the Council's heritage buildings and conservation area grant scheme. 

Finance for environmental efficiency

The Energy Efficiency Loan Scheme offers business loans for equipment upgrades to improve the energy efficiency of the business, thereby reducing overheads.

Low Carbon Enterprise Grants of between £2,000 and £10,000 are available to small and medium businesses within the Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire LEP area. These are capital grants to help make your business low carbon and revenue grants for specialist advice. For more details contact lowcarbon@staffordshire.gov.uk.

Keele University’s Smart Energy Network Demonstrator (SEND) is seeking Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire businesses who want to develop their products or services or to develop new markets. An intensive three-year programme of funded research and development is available to develop a new product, process, service or a new market for the company linked to smart energy. To register an interest contact Keele University's Business Gateway on business.gateway@keele.ac.uk  or 01782 733001.

Finance for rural businesses

The Rural Enterprise Programme operates across Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire’s rural areas, including  parts of Newcastle Borough. However, grant applications for Rural Enterprise Programme are now closed.

Finance for creative businesses

Arts Council England, through Creative United CIC, operates the Creative Industry Finance programme designed to assist creative and cultural enterprises in securing the finance and investment they need to successfully develop and grow into sustainable businesses. The programme is open to a wide range of enterprises, from micro-businesses through to major institutions and applications are welcome from charities and social enterprises, as well as commercial businesses.


Advice from the GOV.UK website to help you identify which VAT scheme your business is eligible to use.

Business Rates

To find out more about the rateable value of your property, whether you may be eligible for rate relief and how to pay business rates, use this link to the Business Rates pages of the website.

Last updated 30 July 2019

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