Businesses urged to take advantage of funding for growth

CabRupertSimmons (Small)BUSINESSES in East Sussex are being encouraged to apply for up to £250,000 in grants and loans and avoid missing out on the chance to grow.

A total of £1million has already been agreed for the first 12 companies to benefit from this scheme which encourages growth and the creation of jobs.

East Sussex County Council, working in partnership with Locate East Sussex, successfully applied for a share of the Government’s Regional Growth Fund. They were awarded £4million.

With companies struggling to grow in the current economic climate, East Sussex County Council is offering businesses grants of between £3,000 and £160,000 and loans of £5,000 to £250,000 if they can show they will create new jobs.

“I’m delighted to see that businesses are taking advantage of East Sussex grants and loans,” said Cllr Rupert Simmons, East Sussex County Council’s Lead Member for Economy.

“We want businesses to be able to expand, create and safeguard local jobs – something that has been very difficult for them to do over the last few years. By offering grants and loans, we hope to encourage companies to grow, which can only be a positive for East Sussex.”

Both grants and loans are available;
• A small business grants programme offers grants of between £3,000 and £5,000 to existing medium, small, micro and start-up businesses and social enterprises that can show evidence of growth and potential job creation.
• Grants of more than £5,000, up to £160,000 will be considered if there is evidence of significant additional growth or as an incentive for inward investment.
• Small and medium businesses and start up businesses can apply for loans of between £5,000 and £250,000 to help create new jobs.

The amounts of grant or loan and interest rates offered will depend on the number of sustainable jobs created, the type of jobs created and sustainable business growth plans.

Cllr Simmons added: “We are particularly keen to encourage manufacturing, engineering, scientific, bio-chemical, finance, ICT and healthcare technologies sector, but we will consider all applications from businesses based in or planning to set up in East Sussex.”

Companies applying must employ less than 250 people and be able to secure match funding – 50 per cent on small grants and up to 75 per cent for large loans and grants. Funds cannot be used to support retrospective costs.

Businesses wanting to find out more about East Sussex Invest 3 can email, call 0844 415 9255 or visit

Applications have to be approved by February 2015 when the fund will close.

Notes for editors:

The Regional Growth Fund is a £3.2 billion fund designed to help companies in England grow. So far £2.6billion of funding has been allocated.

ESCC with its delivery partner Lets Do Business (South East) Group have been awarded £4m to disperse to eligible East Sussex businesses by February 2015.

ESCC has already funded projects under East Sussex Invest and the Rural Growth and Employment Fund.

Loans terms are three to five years with interest rates of 0 to five per cent.