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Business Grants And Funding

There are a range of grants and funding streams available that can assist with the financial implications of starting up a business, growing a business idea, financial help for existing businesses and funding for research and development work. These include:

Ashford Town Centre Grant

The Ashford Town Centre Support Grant provides support to landlords or tenants to make improvements to their business premises and attract investment into Ashford town centre. The two grant schemes could provide 60% of the cost of works, up to a limit of £3,000 or £10,000, that needed to be carried out to undertake work such as repairs, renovations, energy efficiency improvements or fit-outs to units.

For more information visit our Business Support web page.

Rural England Prosperity Fund Grants

Ashford Borough Council has established grant schemes for businesses in rural areas of the Borough through its allocation of the Government's Rural England Prosperity Fund. These include Rural Green Business Grants to support energy efficiency improvements or energy transition projects as well as Place & Provenance Grant to support small or large projects for food and drink producers, tourism and hospitality businesses. 

To find out more about rural England Prosperity Fund Grants here.

StartUp Loans

A StartUp Loan is a government-backed personal loan available to individuals looking to start or grow a business in the UK. In addition to finance, successful applicants receive 12-months of free mentoring and exclusive business offers to help them succeed. The loan is unsecured, so there’s no need to put forward any assets or guarantors to support an application. All owners or partners in a business can individually apply for up to £25,000 each, with a maximum of £100,000 available per business. The loan is available on 1 – 5 year repayment terms and has a fixed interest rate of 6%pa.

To find out more and register your interest please visit the StartUp Loans Company website.

Other grants and specialist funding or support

Ashford Borough Council works closely with our partner organisations who will be able to advise on further funding opportunities as well as more specialist funds or business support.

The Kent and Medway Growth Hub dedicated Grants and Finance webpages will help identify any available grant funding or help you work through financing options for your business.

To discuss your options in more detail please visit the Kent and Medway Growth Hub website or use the “Ask Phil” chat box in the bottom right of this website.

Kent County Council also provides information about grant funding for businesses in the county as well as a comprehensive list of EU funded projects and available funding.

To find out more visit the KCC Business loans and funding webpage.

Funding and support from other companies or organisations

Let's Do Business

The Let’s Do Business Group is a leading provider of business advice, training, access to finance and business events in the South East and East of England. If you are finding it difficult to raise finance through a Bank or Building Society then Let's Do Business Finance have funding options available up to £150k for both start-up and established businesses.

Get in touch with Let’s Do Business Group to see what business support and finance is available to help your business grow and thrive.

For more information visit the Let’s Do Business website or call 0844 415 2272.

The Prince's Trust

The Prince’s Trust also provides support for business start-ups across the UK. If you are between 18 and 30 years old and have a start-up idea, The Prince’s Trust could help with a low interest loan up to £4,000 or £5,000, a grant of up to £1,500 in special circumstances, a test marketing grant of up to £250, business mentor advice and other services including a free legal helpline.

To find out more and check what you could be eligible for visit The Prince’s Trust website or call 0800 842 842.

The Kent Community Foundation

The Kent Community Foundation provides funding and support in order to improve the lives of local people and communities. The Kent Social Enterprise Loan Fund (KSELF) is a social lending programme, aiming to bridge the increasing funding gap for new and existing social enterprises in Kent and Medway, by offering unsecured loans of between £10,000 and £100,000. The financial package will include an element of up to 30% grant of the loan amount.

The aim of the fund is to spread the culture of social enterprise, break down the barriers which prevent enterprising social businesses from accessing finance and encourage a more enterprising approach to achieving positive change in our communities. Once finance is repaid, it will be re-loaned and re-invested back in the community.

To find out more please visit the Kent Community Foundation website or call 01303 814 500.

The Fredericks Foundation

The Fredericks Foundation is a Responsible Finance Provider that provides loans to people who want to set up a new business or maintain or expand an existing business. Fredericks is open to anyone who has a viable business proposition, but cannot obtain mainstream finance. They have provided over 1,300 investments with funding in excess of £5m and created or safeguarded over 3,000 jobs in the UK. The support continues even after the applicant has been successful in the form of mentoring, practical business advice, networking and links within the local community that can help support and grow new and expanding businesses.

To find out more please visit the Fredericks Foundation website or call 01276 472 722.