Are you a small to medium sized business? Are you based in the Leeds city region? If so, did you know that there are plenty of funding opportunities that you could be eligible for? 

Digital marketing activity is something that every single company should be doing, but what do you do when you just can’t find the budget? If you’re eligible for funding, then why not use it to grow your business, and put it towards a digital investment. It will be worth it!

We’ve explained some of the available funding schemes, for businesses in the Leeds city region that you might be eligible for, to help you find which is right for you.

Business Grant Scheme by Ad:Venture

This scheme from Ad:Venture aims to provide funding support for pre-start, and young businesses that meet the eligibility criteria. The scheme offers a Start-Up grant for businesses aged 0-12 months, and a Growth grant for businesses aged 13-36 months. 

Spend your new funding grant on tools and production equipment, web design and development, initial marketing collateral or IT and office furniture. Unfortunately, it cannot be used on stock or working capital, ongoing marketing costs, rent, salaries, or data protection regulations. 

Business Grant Scheme by Ad:Venture

Eligibility Criteria:

To qualify for the grant businesses must:

• Be located in and trade from within the Leeds City Region (covering the local authority districts of Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield and York (but excludes Barnsley in this case as it falls within Sheffield City Region for the purpose of EU Structural Investment Funds.)

• Have fewer than 250 employees (full time equivalents).

• Have an annual turnover of less than £43 million.

• Have a focus on B2B.

• Have not received State Aid (funding from any national or local public-sector scheme) in excess of €200,000 over the previous 3 financial years.

• Have a business bank account.

• Have 100% of all start-up costs and have the ability to cash-flow these costs. This is because the grant is claimed by the business after the project money is spent.

• Provide a business plan, cash-flow forecast and end of year accounts or similar (if applicable), to show that the business is viable and has growth potential.

• Clearly explain the benefits and the needs for the grant support in the grant application form.

Find out more here!

Digital Growth Vouchers by Digital Enterprise

The funding scheme by Digital Enterprise helps small to medium sized businesses with their digital investment projects. The vouchers are worth between £2000 to £12,500, and can be used to cover the costs of your digital and IT investments.

Digital technology plays a crucial role within the growth of a company, and Digital Enterprise understand this. That’s why their vouchers can be used on a variety of digital investments, including:

  • New laptops, desktops or tablet computers, VOIP telephony or networking devices e.g. routers and servers, etc.
  • Enhanced digital connectivity – particularly when this leads to download speeds exceeding 30 mbps. However, the grant will only be able to cover the cost of the installation not any on-going revenue costs.
  • The acquisition of new software to manage the business including a CRM or ERP. The grant can cover integration and consultancy costs too, but this is capped at 40% of the total project cost.

Here is an example of how the vouchers can help, from Digital Enterprise themselves:

A manufacturing business in Huddersfield is aiming to grow and achieve digital transformation by selling its products online through the commissioning of a new e-commerce website. All products made by firm will be available for customers to purchase.

The website has a total cost of £10,000 (excluding VAT) – which includes costs relating to its design, development and integration. The firm can apply for a Digital Growth voucher worth between £2,000 to £12,500. The business owner expects to see employment growth of 10% and turnover to increase by 20% over the next two years, as a result of this investment.

To see if you are eligible for access to funding, simply visit the eligibility checker and find out.

Find out more here!

#Grow by Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership

With the #Grow project from the LEP (Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership), you could qualify for up to £50,000 of grant funding for your company.  #Grow is slightly different to the previous funding mentioned as it is specifically aimed at businesses that are within the digital or tech sector. Rather than providing funding for a digital investment, it can be instead used for general growing costs such as an office fit-out, equipment, alterations, architects and design, or IT systems. 

The grants available are between £10,000 and £50,000, and can therefore be extremely beneficial towards companies who are looking to expand, grow and thrive, yet might not have all of the funds.

#Grow by Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership

Eligibility Criteria

  • Operates in the digital sector, specifically the priority sub-sectors*
  • Are based in Leeds City Region
  • Has been trading for at least 12 months, operating from commercial premises
  • Has an eligible capital investment project of £20,000 or above
  • Is creating at least one full time, permanent job in the City Region
  • Can demonstrate financial viability of the project and the need for grant support
  • Has private finance available; either cash reserves, bank lending, or other commercial finance to invest alongside the grant
  • Currently generates over 50% of turnover from trading with other businesses, or, demonstrate how the grant-supported project will lead to this

* Priority digital sub sectors: IT, Software and Hardware; Creative industries (creative content and creative services, when the business generates the majority of its turnover from digital services); Cyber Securities and Data Protection Technologies; Smart Technology, Smart Cities, Internet of Things and New Technologies

This programme also offers measures that ensure funded companies deliver inclusive growth within the region. Therefore if you receive a grant of £25,000 or over, this will be expected of the company - which will include giving something back to the community. Whether that is becoming a real living wage employer or volunteering in a local school. 

Find out more here!

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