East Sussex Business grants and loans

Economic Intervention and Capital Funds

East Sussex Invest 5 (ESI5)

Business Growth Funding – see guidelines

East Sussex Invest 5 fund is an East Sussex County Council (ESCC) and Regional Growth Fund (RGF) programme to support the local economy and create jobs. It is delivered by the County Council in partnership with Locate East Sussex (LES).

The fund offers grants and loans for capital investment to stimulate business growth and job creation in the county.

  • 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 grant of £1.5k for a new accredited apprentice position. This is a one off payment with no match or evidence of spend required; It is limited to one per successful application.

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.

The guidance notes can be downloaded here: SEF and CaSS guidance notes

Email economicintervention.fund@eastsussex.gov.uk for an Expression of Interest (EOI) form.

Commercial Property Fund

See guidelines: Upgrading Empty Commercial Property Fund

Capital fund to assist bringing back into use unused commercial property.

All enquiries to Locate East Sussex at: enquiries@locateeastsussex.org.uk

Supporting green business

If you run a business in East Sussex you can get support to reduce its environmental impact and increase profits through the LOCASE programme.

Energy efficiency grants of up to £10,000 are available to small and medium sized businesses and social enterprises to invest in projects that will reduce your energy bills and cut your carbon footprint. Free energy audits are also available to provide you with an impartial, expert assessment of how energy is used at your premises, as well as recommendations for initiatives to reduce consumption and spend (which you could then apply for a grant to install). Both the grants and energy audits are available on a first-come-first served basis.

See the Green Business page for more information. To apply call 01323 790030 or email locase@carbonsmart.co.uk.

Locate East Sussex

Locate East Sussex supports growing businesses in East Sussex and provides assistance with location decisions and access to funding to accelerate growth as well as providing valuable connections to local planning and economic development teams.

Locate East Sussex contributes to the creation of a more desirable environment for the growth of new and existing businesses throughout the county, as well as promoting inward business migration.

Locate East Sussex offers clear and impartial advice at no cost to businesses that seek its support.

Other sources of funding

Small capital grants of £10k and below (70% match required) are available from the South East Business Boost ERDF project. Information is available on the Business East Sussex website.

Additional sources of business finance are available from our partners, the Let’s Do Business Group. Whether you’re a start-up looking to kick-start your new venture, an established business looking to grow or an enterprise requiring premises funding, they can help.

Some business organisations give out grants to businesses for things like training and environmental improvements, including grants for not-for-profit organisations.