Stoke Staffs LEP

Funding and Finance

In a recent survey, nearly half of businesses told us that access to finance and funding was a barrier to growth. With this in mind, a key priority for the LEP is to work with businesses to ensure that they are able to access the finance they need, when they need it. We aim to do this in two ways:

Firstly we co-ordinate and promote the funding and finance opportunities that already exist, as well as providing businesses with the help and support they need to make a successful application.

Secondly, we are working with banks, Government, local authorities and other organisations to identify gaps and create new funding streams that will meet a very real business need.


Grants, loans and alternative finance options 

The specific support schemes listed on this webpage are not exhaustive. To view the latest local, regional and national funding and finance options, visit our revamped Growth Hub website through the link below.

Innovation Funding

  • Made Smarter Programme
    • Made Smarter has launched a £1.9 million digital adoption push to drive growth in West Midlands manufacturing and engineering SMEs and help them boost productivity.
    • Digital experts provide advice to manufacturing businesses on how to switch to advanced and automated technologies as well as working to improve employees’ overall digital skills.
    • The support provided could include helping local SMEs to develop an action plan for adopting digital technology in their own detailed roadmap, which could involve participating in a leadership training programme, being offered a student placement, or receiving a match funded grant.


Start-Up Funding 

  • Staffordshire County Council 0% Start-up loans
    • If you’ve a brand new business or your business is less than two years old, you could be eligible for an interest- free loan of between £3,000 to £5,000, which can be used for most purposes to allow you to fund those key purchases to get your business off the ground.
    • The loan is unsecured, so there’s no need to put forward any assets or guarantors to support an application
    • Eligibility: Start-up businesses or businesses operating for less than two years in Staffordshire (this excludes Stoke-on-Trent)
  • British Business Bank Start-Up Loan
    • The programme offers loans (from £500 to £25,000, at 6% interest) alongside free mentoring and support to individuals who are starting a new business or who have been trading for less than three years.
    • For more information visit the British Business Bank’s website, here.


Funding for farmers

  • The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has published a blog providing a roundup of all the grants on offer in 2023.
  • For more information and to view the list of the grants available, visit DEFRA’s website, here.


Other funding and finance options 

  • Midlands Engine Investment Fund
    • Offers four different funding options to help your business grow, ranging from small business loans to fund start-ups, to later-stage equity investment that allows established businesses to continue growing. Funds available:
      • Small Business Loans: £25k -£150k
      • Debt Finance: £100k – £1.5mil
      • Equity Finance: £50k – £2mil
      • Proof of Concept: Up to £750,000
  • Staffordshire & Stoke-on-Trent Business Loan Fund
    • Delivered by BCRS Loans in partnership with Staffordshire County Council and Stoke-on-Trent City Council
    • Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent businesses that have been turned down by other lenders can now apply to the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Business Loan Fund, supporting businesses to grow through affordable, unsecured loans from £10,000 to £50,000


Find out more: For general grant and funding guidance, contact the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Helpline on 0300 111 8002 or email

National Funding Tracker

Our partners at the D2N2 LEP have also created an interactive tool that collates funding announcements from across the UK Government. The tracker can help you find the finance you’re looking for by making the complex and evolving landscape of Government funding simple.