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Business finance

Funding and grants

Grant and Loan schemes are available from a number of sources to support and help businesses grow. Some may be time-restricted or limited to specific business sectors or eligibility criteria such as size of business, specific sectors, location, purpose and so on so please check with the provider to see if you are eligible. Further details of some of the more local and currently popular funds are detailed below but for ongoing funding updates on other funding as it becomes available you may wish to sign up to the Essex for Business weekly funding newsletter and Maldon District monthly funding news.

Essex County Council also provide a weekly funding newsletter for third sector businesses and organisations.

The Government offers Start Up Loans to anyone over the age of 18 who is thinking of starting their own business, the average loan is around £4,500


Start Up Loans

Start Up Loans is a government-backed scheme helping individuals over the age of 18 to start or grow a business in the UK, the average loan is around £4,500. Alongside the low-interest loan, successful applicants can access free mentoring from experienced advisers.


LEADER funding is part of the Rural Development Programme for England and is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

All funding for this project must be allocated by 29 March 2019.

If you would like to apply for funding for a project, your Expression of Interest will need to be with Essex Rivers Local Action Group (LAG), the administrators of this project, by the end of October 2018 and your final application by 14 December 2018.

All EU funding has to be allocated, and contracted, by 29 March 2019 and all project claims received by 31 December 2020.

The priorities in Essex Rivers are, broadly, to help create jobs, help businesses to grow and benefit the rural economy and increase profitability. Essex Rivers is a defined area which includes Maldon. The specific priorities are:

  • to grow rural small and micro businesses to increase employment;
  • to develop the rural tourism offer;
  • to develop the market for added value local food and drink
  • to build on the area’s high quality and diverse nature assets to promote visitor spend in the economy; and
  • to develop a clear identity for the rural assets of the area to attract visitors and investment.

If you are interested in finding out more, please download the applicant handbook to read more about the programme.  If you feel that your organisation and project might be eligible or if you have any questions, please call the Programme Manager, Beverly Davies, on 01376 574339.

LoCASE grant fundingLoCASE - Low CCarbon Across the South East

LoCASE is a part EU / local authority funded scheme designed to help small and medium enterprise (SME) businesses that are based in the Thurrock, Essex, Kent, Southend, Medway and East Sussex region.

The two primary aims of LoCASE are to reduce  carbon levels in the South East by making business more energy and cost efficient and to support the development and growth of business in the low carbon sector.

These objectives will be achieved by:

  • offering match funding grant support to business of up to £10,000European Regional Development Fund
  • offering professional advice in changing business practices that is currently leading to energy wastage and costs to the business
  • encourage learning exchanges between related organisations on low carbon practices and technologies
  • encouraging and supporting innovation in the low carbon sector

If your business is based in the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) region you could be eligible - please click on the link to see further details.

South East Business Boost (SEBB)

Support available:

  • 12 hours funded business advice with a start up or business growth advisor
  • Growth grants of between £1,000 and £10,000

Its focus is on Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and start-up companies. The objective is to boost companies and increase employment through support, guidance and grants. The project will improve business resilience, profitability and competitiveness.

If you are interested in accessing this service, email to register your interest.

Grant funding from SEBB may be used to cover plant, equipment, machinery and tooling, purchase of machinery and hardware, premises ,specialist IT equipment and software and consultancy costs or a mixture of these items listed.

If you are interested, contact the BEST Growth Hub team on 01702 417765 or

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 up to 35% of the cost of implementing the plans through a growth/improvement grant

• Connect to wider support to maximise opportunities for growth

For more information get in touch with your local Manufacturing Growth Manager, Sarah Goodwin

Email Tel  07973 778 255


Princes Trust

The Princes Trust provides 18-30 year olds with training and mentoring support through to funding and resources, to assist with the start up of their own business as long as they are living in the UK and unemployed, or working fewer than 16 hours a week, and have a business idea or some ideas to explore.