Business advice

Growing Business Growth Fund

Moving your business to the next level

  • Are you based in Highlands and looking to grow, introduce a new product, process or innovation?
  • Are you a small to medium-sized enterprise?
  • Are you looking to create new jobs, expand or move premises, invest in equipment or needing support to grow?

If yes, you may be eligible for the Highlands Growing Business Growth Programme.

How much funding could be available?

  • Capital grants from £5,000 to £10,000 may be available. The grant will be made up of less than 35% of the total project cost;
  • Employment grants of  up to £6k per new employee could be available, for up to 2 new members of staff;
  • Loan finance under a fast-track system from the Highland Loan fund HO(I)L of less than £15k. (if higher this could also potentially be accessed).

If project costs are higher and you would need to identify additional support to help achieve success from your expansion, we can help identify potential solutions to help make your growth plans achievable. This equates to you being able to potentially access of over 50% of costs of a growth project in the Highlands.

How much do you need to contribute (match funding)?

This will depend on the project, plans and real needs which will be determined during the planning cycle with Business gateway Highland team. You will need to have agreed plans in place e.g. purchase contract, employment offers for release of the grant element. It's vital that your plans identify all funds to cover the growth costs and will be reviewed alongside you.This cannot include other grant funds due to national guidelines in place. 

This funding support package has been created to support the growth and development of existing small and medium-sized businesses in Highland and your local Business Gateway Advisor can answer any additional questions not answered in this briefing note.

What can the support package be used for?

The Business Growth Fund can be used to help your business grow or diversify e.g.

  • introduce new innovative technology products or services that improve performance - these do not need to be unique but new to the business;
  • premises improvement or expansion related to business development, new products or services;
  • acquire capital equipment to enable a more technical or efficiency/ productivity enhanced approach;
  • increasing staffing to meet market needs;
  • introduce flexible working or new practices for staff or enhancing customer services;
  • investment in new systems or processes for operations etc.

This list provides examples of growth elements. It is recommended that you discuss your project with a business adviser as soon as possible.

What can the support package not be used for?

It cannot be used for the following:

  • Essential running costs e.g. insurance, salaries, utility charges, recruitment fees, tax etc;
  • Stock and accredited training;
  • Goods or services already purchased;
  • Broadband or ICT costs albeit we can help assess potential digital support;
  • Existing loans or debts;
  • Replacing old for new equipment on a like for like basis.

Further eligibility criteria may apply and no retrospective applications will be considered. The Business Growth Grant is managed by Business Gateway Highland.