Finance and funding
Getting the right type of finance for your business is essential. There are many different types available including loans, grants and investment; each of them designed to meet different needs.
Forest of Dean District Council business start-up grant
Any locally based business or constituted social enterprise organisation can apply individually or in partnership for a maximum of £1,000 per application. Grant funding can be used towards a variety of business and social enterprise start-up activity including:
- research and development
- installing clean technologies
- equipment and product or service launch
To apply complete the form and email it back to us with the supporting information to Regeneration@fdean.gov.uk. More details on eligibility criteria are available in the form. For any questions email or call us on 01594 810000.
The closing dates for application rounds are:
- 29 November 2023
Rural England Prosperity Fund rural business grants
In September 2022, the Forest of Dean District was identified by DEFRA as an eligible place for the Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF). REPF aims to improve productivity and strengthen the rural economy and rural communities. The district was awarded an allocation of capital funding. The REPF is linked with the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF). Both funding programmes share the same aims.
We have recently run on Expression of Interest process for the Rural England Prosperity Fund rural business grants. This covers funding up to the end of March 2024. The full application process will begin in October 2023. We have recently appointed ALP Synergy to administer the grant scheme on behalf of the local authority.
The expression of interest process for the latest round closed on Friday 8 September 2023.
We will be launching funding for April 2024 - March 2025 in early 2024.
For more general information on Rural England Prosperity Fund please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rural-england-prosperity-fund-prospectus
Rural England Prosperity Fund energy and digital audit survey
The survey ended on 29 September 2023. Village and community halls / buildings were encouraged to complete an energy and digital audit survey, developed by GRCC (Gloucestershire Rural Community Council). The data from the survey, commissioned by Forest of Dean District Council, will help to inform the Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) grant scheme to be launched in autumn 2023, and also the council's climate emergency targets and strategies. The REPF aims to support works to create new sustainable community infrastructure and safeguard existing facilities to serve local communities in the future.
Grants to help businesses
You can search for funding opportunities by signing up to the Gloucestershire Funding opportunities bulletin.
Apprenticeship grant for employers of 16 to 24 year olds
The National Apprenticeship Service provides £1,500 grants to small and medium sized employers to take on new apprentices between 16 to 24 years old. The £1,500 is in addition to the training costs of the Apprenticeship framework which are met in full for young people aged 16 to 18 and 50 per cent for those aged 19 to 24.
Boost your business with Faster broadband
Grants are available exclusively for Gloucestershire businesses that have yet to access super fast broadband and are not currently in a plan to deliver this. Grants of up to £25K of EU funding are available to access faster broadband. To find out if your business may be eligible visit the Fastershire website.
Carbon Trust Green Business Fund
Energy efficiency support, energy assessments and funding for small and medium-sized businesses in England, Scotland and Wales. For information visit The Carbon Trust Green Business Fund.
UK Research and Innovation
The UK Research and Innovation website has funding and support across all academic disciplines and industrial areas. You can use their website to search for funding opportunities.
Loans for businesses
British Business Bank
British Business Bank are a government-owned business development bank dedicated to making finance markets work better for smaller businesses. Whether you’re looking for finance to start a business, grow to the next level, or stay ahead of the competition, they delivering greater volume and choice of finance.
FOLK2FOLK is a national award-winning peer to peer lending platform who specialises in match-making local, rural and entrepreneurial business looking for a secured business loan. It matches them with individual investors looking to earn an attractive monthly interest rate to supplement their income.
Funding Circle is an online peer-to-business lending platform connecting businesses and investors. Businesses get fast business loans and investors earn returns on their investments. Funding Circle has funded over £330m in business loans so far and has created an estimated 16,500 jobs across the country.
Start-up loan scheme
The Start-up Loan Scheme is a government funded initiative that provides a business loan together with a mentor for people starting up a new business.
SWIG Finance is a not-for-profit organisation delivering loan finance across the South West to small and medium sized enterprises. For starting a business, struggling to raise finance or growing a social venture.
For further information and finance schemes visit the Better Business Finance website.