East Sussex business grants and loans


Business, employment and coronavirus
National advice on loans, grants and how businesses can work safely. Also details of local support from the Business East Sussex Growth Hub.

Economic Intervention and Capital Funds

East Sussex Invest 7 (ESI 7)

Business Growth Funding – see guidelines

East Sussex Invest 7 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).

Businesses are required to apply for all Covid-19 business funding they are eligible for prior to applying for ESI 7.

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

  • Grants from £10k to £25k – 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.

Stalled Sites Fund

The Stalled Sites Fund (previously Catalysing Stalled Sites, CaSS) 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: Stalled Sites Fund guidance notes

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

South East Creative, Cultural and Digital Support Programme

South East Creative, Cultural and Digital Support (SECCADS) is a programme of support for the creative, cultural and digital sectors across East Sussex, Thurrock, Essex and Kent.

The programme will help more than 400 companies and sole traders with business support or grants between Mar 2019 and May 2021, giving a £2.5m boost to the creative economy in the south east of England.

South East Creatives will continue to run workshops and events next year and it anticipates that there will be some funding still available for grants that cover up to 35% of individual project costs. These top-up grants are for total project spends of between £3,000 and £4,000. Grants do not have to be paid back – South East Creatives offers equity-free investment.

For more information and to register your interest please visit the South East Creatives website or contact SECCADS@thurrock.gov.uk.

Supporting green business

Free Energy Audits and Energy Efficiency Grants

Grants of up to £10,000 are available to small and medium sized businesses and social enterprises in East Sussex to invest in projects that will reduce your energy bills and cut your carbon footprint.

An Energy Audit will 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. To find out more 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.

UK Community Renewal Fund

*This fund is now closed to new bids*

To help local areas prepare for the introduction of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, the UK Government is providing funding in 2021/22 through the £220m UK Community Renewal Fund.

East Sussex County Council is now inviting project bids. There is no minimum threshold to the value of bids, but applicants are strongly encouraged to maximise impact and deliverability through larger projects submitted in East Sussex (£250,000 and above) where possible. As 90% of the available funding is revenue funding and only available in 2021/22, projects should be predominantly, or exclusively, revenue based.

The deadline for bids is midday Friday 30 Apr 2021.
*This fund is now closed to new bids*

For full details visit UK Community Renewal Fund.

Other sources of funding

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.