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East Sussex business grants and loans

Economic Intervention and Capital Funds

East Sussex Invest 7 (ESI 7)

East Sussex Invest 7 fund is an East Sussex County Council 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 coronavirus (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 £450 (up to £25k) or £650 (for loans over £25k) which is paid to the Let’s Do Business Group who administer the loan. Note: Loans of £25k plus and to start-ups usually require a Directors Guarantee or Charge
  • 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

Read the East Sussex Invest 7 guidance notes.

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.

Read the Stalled Sites Fund guidance notes.

For an Expression of Interest (EOI) form, please email Economic Intervention Fund.

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 South East Creatives website or email 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:

Telephone: 01323 790030
Email: locase@avieco.com

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.

Grant funding for health, social care and wellbeing services

We can award grant funding for health, social care and wellbeing services. We also offer advice for micro providers on developing and promoting your business.

UK Community Renewal Fund (closed)

*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 to 2022 through the £220m UK Community Renewal Fund.

The deadline for bids was 30 April 2021 and the successful projects were announced by the Government on 8 November 2021. Our UK Community Renewal Fund website page remains published for information only.

Other sources of funding

Additional sources of business finance are available from our partners, the Let’s Do Business Group. They can help:

  • start-ups looking to kick-start your new venture
  • established businesses looking to grow
  • enterprises requiring premises funding.

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