Funding and Grants

Finance Support

Need financial assistance?

We provide FREE independent support and signposting to new and existing businesses and to individuals who have an idea for a business but do not know where to start with the financial side of things.

British Business Bank 

British Business Bank is 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 deliver greater volume and choice of finance.

The Start up, Scale up and Stay ahead programmes may help to steer you in the right direction. 

A range of current business funding opportunities can be found by visiting the British Business Bank website here. In addition to this, Doncaster Council offers its own discretionary grant for companies looking to invest and create jobs.

Start-up businesses

We provide support in accessing finance for your business, present the opportunities available now and in the future and assist with the development of a case for grant funding, loans, equity or consultancy support.

The Business Enterprise Fund is a not for profit social enterprise, set up to provide loans to SME businesses that will help them thrive and grow when other lenders can’t fully assist.

To learn more visit call 0800 080 3145 or email:

Established businesses

Our Key Account Managers understand how complex the world of finance can be when you are looking to invest. They are here to offer support and hands on guidance to assist and help you manage your business finances.

We offer help with any aspect of business finance and work closely with national, regional and private sector partners to pull together the right funding package for your business. Our comprehensive support also includes:

  • Business health checks
  • Investment readiness
  • Cash flow forecasting
  • Understanding business finance options
  • Access to finance - traditional and non-traditional

Available funding

Click on the headers below to find out more about current funding opportunities.

The Tech Welcome Grant is a South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) funded initiative, bringing the brightest tech and digital companies into the South Yorkshire region which includes Doncaster, covering the costs of accommodation up to a twelve-month period. Also now open to tech businesses based in Doncaster and South Yorkshire looking for their first physical office. 

The Tech Welcome Grant provides grants of between £5,000 to £10,000 to new and existing businesses including start-ups already here in Doncaster or wanting to relocate to Doncaster and create jobs in the region.

Download the Tech Welcome Doncaster leaflet here: DOWNLOAD

View the Tech Welcome Doncaster leaflet online here: VIEW ONLINE


Apply online now! Click the button below, which will take you to the Enterprising Barnsley Grant Portal. If you have any issues, please email:

Businesses in South Yorkshire will benefit from a £3.4million investment to help them reduce their carbon emissions, improve resilience, and protect jobs.

Running until March 2025, the project will provide support to 260 small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) in Sheffield, Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham to help them understand the opportunities available to reduce their carbon footprint.

Businesses will benefit from a free energy audit to identify potential energy saving improvements such as low-energy lighting systems or insulation. Delivered by South Yorkshire’s local authorities, the project is part funded by the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority’s Shared Prosperity Fund allocation.

Low carbon grants are also available to help businesses invest in solutions to reduce their energy consumption and costs, helping them to become more productive, resilient, and environmentally friendly.

As part of the package of support available, specialist advisors will provide comprehensive advice and support throughout the process.


About the UK Shared Prosperity Fund

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) is a three-year UK Government funding stream that replaces European Structural and Investment Funds.

The South Yorkshire UKSPF allocation totals £46.2m. South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) will administer UKSPF for South Yorkshire’s four local authority areas.

The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK, investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. For more information, visit GOV.UK: UK Shared Prosperity Fund: prospectus

What eligible businesses will receive

One-to-one support from a specialist advisor

Our sustainability expert will guide you through every stage of the process. They will:

  • help you understand your energy usage and identify where you could save energy
  • refer you for an energy audit or prepare a bespoke sustainability plan
  • support you to develop and deliver a plan for your energy saving improvements
  • support you to understand your options for funding improvements, including whether you could be eligible to apply for a Low Carbon Grant
  • signpost you to other sources of support available to help you reduce your carbon footprint

Carbon survey

You will get a free carbon survey of your business, to establish how much energy you use now and how you could save energy.

The report will identify energy saving improvements the business could invest in and provide a detailed breakdown of the carbon saving, cost, and return on investment for each, so you can decide what’s the right path to take.

Low Carbon Grants

The project includes a grant scheme through which businesses can apply for a financial contribution towards eligible costs of one or more energy-saving interventions.


To be eligible to take part in the scheme, your business must:

  • be a Small or Medium Sized Enterprise (SME), meaning 250 employees or fewer with a turnover of less than £36 million
  • have commercial premises in Doncaster (the scheme cannot support home-based businesses)
  • not have received more than £315,000 Minimal Financial Assistance subsidy over the last 3 years (contact us to discuss this if you’re not sure)
  • be able to provide 12 months’ energy bills to establish baseline energy use (or however many months you’ve been in your premises, if less than 12 months)

About the grants

As part of the Low Carbon scheme, businesses will have the opportunity to apply for funding towards eligible interventions identified in their carbon survey.

The grant will part-fund interventions, with the business making up the rest of the funding itself.

For projects costing up to £24,999, you can apply for a 50% grant contribution of £12,500.

For projects costing more than £25,000, you can apply for a grant contribution of between 10% and 50% of the project cost.

The minimum grant you can apply for is £1,500 (for a project with a total cost £3,000).

Eligibility for grants

To qualify for a grant through the project:

  • the measure must be identified in a carbon survey (recipients of Energy Audit reports delivered through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funded Low Carbon Business Support project are eligible to apply if you did not receive a grant through that project)
  • the investment you are applying for funding towards must be a capital project with a return on investment of more than one year – we can’t fund working capital or operational costs
  • the interventions must deliver a net carbon reduction
  • your business must not have previously received an ERDF Low Carbon Grant
  • the investment must be set to complete by December 2024
  • tenants must have the permission of their landlord to make changes to the building fabric
  • we cannot fund electric vehicles


To find out more, including whether your business is eligible for support, please contact Business Doncaster on:

Tel:  01302 735555


The Rural England Prosperity Fund is a capital grant programme integrated into the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) aimed at specifically addressing some of the challenges faced by our local rural areas.

The key aim of the programme is to facilitate sustainable economic growth in the rural areas of Doncaster, through supporting the delivery of innovative project activity. This will enable businesses and communities whose activities reflect the landscape, environment, culture and heritage of Doncaster to survive, diversify and thrive.

Doncaster has been allocated funding to provide capital grant funding (investment in assets such as buildings, plant, equipment and machinery) across two themes:

  • Funding for small scale investment in micro and small enterprises in rural areas
  • Funding for developing and promoting the visitor economy in rural areas

Grants of between £2,500 - £12,499 will be available, but you must be able to match 50% of any funding for which you are applying. Payments will be made at the end of the process, so you will need to be able to fund the project fully yourself before any reimbursements are made.

  • In exceptional cases we may consider applications for larger grants, however you must be able to demonstrate that your project significantly contributes to the outcomes of the scheme.

The grant money may be used under the following categories:

  • Rural Micro and Small Enterprises: Small scale investment in micro and small enterprises in rural areas, including capital funding for net zero infrastructure for rural businesses, and diversification outside of agriculture to encourage start up, expansion or scale up of these businesses where this involves converting farm buildings into other commercial or business use.
  • Tourism and the Visitor Economy: Developing and promoting the visitor economy including food and drink, outdoor leisure, local attractions, trails and tourism products.

Application and eligibility:

To apply, please follow the guidance and check your eligibility before completing your application form. Please check whether your postcode falls within an eligible rural area on the map here: If you are not in one of the rural locations, then you will not be eligible to apply for the grant.

Applications will be assessed on a first come, first served basis and subject to funding still being available. The scheme will be open for online applications from 10 July 2023.

If you have any questions or are unsure whether your project is eligible, please contact the Business Doncaster team on 01302 735 555 or

The Business Productivity and Digitisation Grant Project is a £9.3m project which is delivered across South Yorkshire and is supported and part funded by the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) and has attracted £5.2m of investment through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF). The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. For more information, visit

The project brings together the four South Yorkshire Local Authorities and the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) who will work in collaboration to support Small to Medium Sized businesses (SMEs) to identify and address their business productivity challenges.


The Aim of the Project

To support businesses in South Yorkshire to improve their productivity and digital innovation through the provision of capital or revenue grant, and to improve how they measure and report productivity gains.

The project will provide up to 50% grant funding for investments. The maximum amount of UKSPF grant that can be awarded per business is £12,499. The balance of the investment must be provided by you, the applicant.

Whilst the project is initially looking to safeguard businesses and jobs, priority will be given to those applicants that can best demonstrate how the investments will have a positive impact on productivity and the creation of potential new employment opportunities in South Yorkshire.  

How Will the Project Work?

A Key Account Manager / Specialist Business Advisor from Business Doncaster will work with you to review your business needs and support you in applying for the grant.

The project will run as a competition with an Open Call inviting businesses to apply for grants of between £2,500 to £12,499 to support capital or revenue investment projects that will lead to clearly evidenced productivity improvements.

Businesses must have been trading for more than 12 months to apply for grants over £5,000. Grants are available towards both revenue (specialist business support) or capital investment (machinery, equipment and the fit-out of premises*)

The call will remain open until the funding has been allocated.



Productivity and digitisation projects will differ from sector to sector and business to business. Below are several examples of the types of projects that could be supported. If you are unsure if your project would be suitable for this project, please contact Business Doncaster who will be able to provide clarification.  

Productivity Projects

  • An engineering company accessing specialist Productivity and Industrial Engineering consultancy support to increase production and the growth in demand of a finished and packaged product. Working in partnership with management and operators, a team of Consultants will identify a number of ‘quick wins’ which would increase production, reduce downtime and lost capacity.
  • A manufacturing business that has undertaken a quality management programme to improve product quality, to meet new supply chain standards. The programme highlighted a need to invest in new production equipment to improve product quality and to reduce waste.
  • A business and professional services business creating an open and communicative environment, by centrally locating the performance appraisal information within a formal online framework, managers can more easily communicate business strategy and create measurable goals for their employees that will support overall company objectives.

Digitisation Projects

  • A manufacturing business investing in a new digital printer to rapidly bar code all manufactured items, which will allow it to update its online inventory and improve efficiency in the production process.
  • A business investing in a new smart technology for its vehicles, which provides real time intelligence on the location of delivery vehicles for clients and more accurate information about delivery timescales.
  • A business investing in a new fully e-commerce enabled website, which links through to its stock control/inventory system, allowing the firm to increase its customer base and offer a seamless user experience.

Eligible Expenditure

Grants will be offered to help fund solutions for SMEs that will provide significant business benefit and growth. This may include, but is not limited to:

  • Client Relationship Management systems
  • Cloud solutions
  • New software development
  • Remote monitoring and working solutions
  • Collaboration technologies
  • Large data transfer solutions
  • Live high-quality video streaming
  • Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
  • New laptops, desktops or tablet computers and other peripheral devices, e.g. printers.
  • Development of apps
  • E-commerce solutions.
  • Integration and consultancy costs
  • Manufacturing / production equipment and or tooling (machinery, sensors, robotics)
  • Fit out of premises*(mezzanine floors /ventilation/ ducting, specialist racking etc)
  • Moulds, final designs, testing for final products ahead of mass manufacturing

Ineligible Expenditure

Below is a list of excluded costs, this isn’t an exhaustive list and the Programme Management Team have the discretion to omit costs if they deem them ineligible and/or not within the scope of the project.

  • Any retrospective costs incurred prior to the issuing of a grant funding agreement.
  • Reimbursement of goods/services already purchased prior to the date of a grant offer letter
  • Repayment of existing loans or debts
  • Recurring revenue costs (salaries, pensions, stock, rent, utility charges, service charges subscriptions, insurance, tax, recruitment fees, website hosting, equipment hire etc.)
  • Line rental and on-going maintenance costs associated with implementing a broadband product
  • Repairs and maintenance to existing technology, manufacturing equipment or premises
  • Like-for-like replacement of existing items
  • Accredited training
  • Licenses or subscriptions for services which would extend beyond the end of the project (currently March 2025)
  • Marketing costs
  • Any items where the applicant already has, or intends to get national funding
  • Extension to premises (replacing fronts, installing a new roof, window or, doors, rendering, stone/brick cleaning etc)


How Do I Apply?

To apply, you must contact your Local Authority. This is defined by where you pay your business rates.

The contact details for Doncaster are: Sharon Finch, Business Doncaster - Tel 01302 737630 or by email

Helping small and medium businesses realise their potential

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is an initiative launched by the government-owned British Business Bank providing commercially focussed finance through micro finance, debt and equity finance funds. 

If your business has a funding gap, the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund may be able to help you start up, scale up or stay ahead.

It is a key part of the Government’s ‘Northern Powerhouse’ vision, which aims to help reduce the North/South divide and create economic prosperity in the North of England on a par with London and the South East.

The Government firmly believes that smaller businesses (SMEs) form the foundation of the region’s future growth. NPIF, therefore, aims to nurture regional entrepreneurship by providing investment and support for SMEs. The funding will support new and growing SMEs, create jobs and encourage and attract additional private-sector investment.

Delivered by the British Business Bank, NPIF aims to drive sustainable growth and prosperity across the North and to enable the transition to a net-zero economy, by supporting access to finance for smaller businesses.

There are three types of commercial finance: microfinance, debt finance and equity finance. These funds provide funding options designed to plug common gaps in the provision of finance, giving your business access to the funding it needs to help it grow. 

The funding options are:

Microfinance - small business loan - £25,000 - £100,000

Debt Finance - business loans - £100,000 - £750,000

Equity Finance - early stage or late stage equity funding - £50k - £2m

If you are a business looking for finance support please call: 03330 00 00 39 or email:

Innovate UK EDGE’s highly regarded Scaleup Programme provides one-to-one, bespoke and funded support centred around innovative scaleups’ specific needs.

Participants are assigned a Scaleup Director who works with them as their designated single point of contact, to identify key scale up challenges and enablers that the collective resources, skills and connectivity of the board can address. A high level Strategic Advisory Board in turn provides another layer of connectivity and access to resources.

It is available to those scaleup companies achieving, or with the potential for, 50% compound annual growth rates (CAGR) and over.

It features a board of high calibre ‘Scale Up Directors’ who provide a matrix of skills and connectivity across domains such as finance, M&A, international markets, IP, supply chains, scale up leadership and talent management.

The Yorkshire Content Fund is a public-private investment fund for the TV, film, video games and digital sectors in Yorkshire and Humber, open to producers either based in Yorkshire or wishing to film or establish a base in the region.

  • Up to £500k investment available per project
  • Open to TV, film, video games and digital sectors

The YCF has been established to provide finance to businesses in the Yorkshire & the Humber region who are unable to raise sufficient finance from existing conventional sources for investment into creative content such as film and television programmes, games, web and mobile applications and interactive media. The YCF will aim to work with conventional financiers to enable funding packages to be completed.

Grants of up to £15,000 are available to charities, voluntary and community groups, local authorities, clubs, schools, and other not-for-profit organisations delivering sports and physical activities to improve the health and wellbeing of disadvantaged communities in England.

Schools are eligible to apply if their sports facilities are open for use by the wider community.

The funding is made available through Sport England’s Small Grants Programme which aims to encourage inactive and less active people, regardless of age, background, or level of ability, to become more active.

Funding could be used for coaching, volunteer training, service and facility alterations, and equipment.

Sport England is also particularly keen to support projects seeking to reduce their impact on the environment through the goods and services they use to deliver the activity.

The Business Events Growth Programme forms part of Government’s commitment to grow the business events sector. The programme supports the attraction of international business events, which align with the Government's priority industry sectors, the growth of the international profile of business events in the UK, as well as the creation of new business events. Through the programme, VisitBritain supports all organizations in hosting international business events in the UK. Whether you would like to win international events or to develop, grow and internationalise your events, the Business Events Growth Programme can support.

  • Opening date: 5 May 2023, 12:01am
  • Closing date: 31 December 2023, 11:59pm

This grant provides lorry parking operators with support to improve HGV driver facilities through the provision of welfare facilities, parking and improved security.

National Highways is promoting a funding scheme of up to £20m to improve lorry parking facilities used by heavy goods vehicle drivers who rely upon good quality, safe and secure rest areas (the “Scheme”).  The Scheme is part of the National Highways Users and Communities Designated Fund.

Motorway service area operators and operators of service areas that provide facilities for professional drivers at rest areas operated by the private sector on major trunk roads close to the strategic road network (up to radius of 5km) can apply for funds to improve their facility providing it offers benefits to professional drivers.  Applicants must provide match-funding of at least 50% of the cost of the projects for which funding is sought.

National Highways will fund up to 50% of the capital cost of an improvement project. The funding ratio will be confirmed in each funding agreement. In your application you must be able to demonstrate that the improvement project will be completed by 30 March 2025.

  • Opening date: 6 March 2023, 12:01am
  • Closing date: 30 March 2025, 11:59pm

Urban Tree Challenge Fund provides funding to support the planting and establishment of standard trees in urban and peri-urban areas in England, particularly in areas of low canopy cover and high social deprivation. The fund encourages community involvement and education while providing benefits to wider society including health and well-being and addressing climate change.

  • Opening date: 8 February 2023, 12:01am
  • Closing date: 8 February 2024, 11:59pm

Innovative, ambitious businesses can benefit from the facilities and expertise provided by Catapults and Research & Technology Organisations (RTOs) through Innovate UK EDGE.

RTOs are specialised not-for-profit knowledge organisations dedicated to the development and transfer of science and technology to the benefit of the economy and society. They include hubs, laboratories, testbeds, factories and offices for cutting edge R&D. The Catapult network of technology and innovation centres established by Innovate UK supports businesses to transform great ideas into valuable products and services.

We can offer applicants with a suitable project a grant for 100% of eligible costs to a maximum of £15,000.

Businesses that are looking to grow & scale through innovation can use this grant funding to access Catapults and RTOs to:

  • Explore and test new product ideas
  • Seek technical expertise and specialist sector knowledge
  • Gain advice on regulatory and government processes as well as access networks of customers, services and funders
  • Receive sector-specific expert advice and support with market analysis; cost modelling; business‐case support; creation of industry‐relevant R&D project plans
  • Identify opportunities for R&D, collaboration, and partnership building
  • Receive support to commercialise their innovation, including improving efficiency, making their business operations more sustainable, or investigating market gaps. 

Is your business eligible for funding?

Please note:

  • Businesses must be a UK-registered, trading company, with up to 500 employees (250 in Northern Ireland)
  • The grant funding provided to the business will be under Minimal Financial Assistance or De minimis. The maximum value of ‘Minimal Financial Assistance’ allowed per 3 year rolling period under the ‘UK Subsidy Control Bill’ is £315,000
  • The ‘De minimis’ regulation, which has similar characteristics, but a maximum value of €200,000, remains effective for any awards to enterprises governed by the Northern Ireland Protocol (NIP) or based within the EU.

Helping entrepreneurs to navigate the funding landscape.

  • Applications open: 20 November, 2023
  • Applications close: 5 January, 2024
  • Programme launch: 15 January, 2024


The programme includes:

Online sessions cover:

  • Grant funding
  • Crowdfunding
  • Equity investment
  • Alternative ways of funding your business 

By joining you will:

  •  Improve your knowledge of the funding landscape
  • Learn about the available innovation grant funds and what makes a compelling grant application
  • Understand how to plan, market and deliver a successful crowdfunding campaign
  • Connect, network and learn from a cohort of ambitious businesses like yours who are looking to grow
  • Gain access to educational content
  • Receive additional support from the Eagle Labs team after the programme ends as well as mentoring from growth experts
  • Receive 1:1 mentoring support from a grant and/or crowdfunding expert*
  • Benefit from tailored and 1:1 investor readiness support to help you shape and deliver a compelling pitch to potential investors*
  • Attend a demo day*

*Selected Businesses Only

For further support from the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority click here:

For more information contact Sue Harrison

Last updated: 03 November 2023, 08:22