Funding advice

Investing in Kent's businesses

Kent has a number of interest-free business funding initiatives to support industry growth in the county

Kent offers a compelling range of financial assistance to support ambitious businesses with the aim of creating jobs in the county.

Business funding advice service

Whether you are making the decision to set-up, expand or invest in Kent, our business advisors can educate you on the best business funding and financial support available to you.

On top of a range of regional schemes backed by Kent County Council, there is also a raft of national funding support from the Government that is helping to attract overseas and UK businesses to Kent.

Our business services are confidential, impartial and completely free of charge, to find out if your company may be eligible for funding please get in touch.

Available Schemes

EIRA project (Enabling Innovation: Research to Application)


The aim of EIRA is to support the national Industrial Strategy by driving growth and increasing productivity in the East of England by transforming the way businesses connect with universities and colleges.

The EIRA network is led by the University of Essex working with the University of Kent and the University of East Anglia, fellow members of the Eastern Academic Research Consortium (Eastern ARC), which was established to encourage research collaboration and training.  Kent leads collaboration on Digital Humanities for Eastern ARC.



TALE – Transport and Logistical Efficiencies

TALE – Transport and Logistical Efficiencies is supported by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by the Haven Gateway Partnership.

This project will support SMEs in the Logistics sector to better understand and analyse their data to increase their efficiency.  It will also help them to understand cyber security and the implications on their data.  Specialist expertise is provided by the University of Essex and University of Kent.



KEEP+ programme

KEEP+ is a £6m European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) supported programme, providing grants to assist small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop innovative new products and services.

In partnership with six institutions KEEP+ provides flexible opportunities for knowledge exchange, capital grants for equipment purchase and funding for third party consultancy.

KEEP+ is open to SMEs.



Start up loans + 12 months mentoring

A government-backed personal loan available to individuals looking to start or grow a business in the UK.

With a fixed interest rate of just 6% per annum and the ability to borrow between £500 and £25,000, start up Loans offer an affordable source of finance to help new and early stage business owners bring their plans to life.

SME’s only.



Innovate UK

Innovate UK offers funding of between £25,000 and £10 million for the development of an innovative product, process or service by a UK-based company. Awards are made on a competition basis.

Any business size.




Low carbon across the South East (LoCASE)

Business development, growth and competitiveness initiatives for SMEs in the Low Carbon and Environmental Goods and Services sector.

£1, 000 – £20,000 match-funded grants for SMEs to cover 40% of your energy efficiency project costs.


Rate Relief + Benefits

Enterprise Zone rate relief

North Kent Enterprise Zone, made up of six sites across Ebbsfleet, Medway and Maidstone offers business rate relief of up to £55,000 a year for five years – a total of up to £275,000.

Applies to any business size.


Grants & 0% Loans

Partners for Growth

  • Focused on supporting Medway-based growth, the scheme provides a package of local funding and free business advice.
  • Start-up grants and 0% loans for growing SME businesses


Tax Relief

R&D Tax Relief

  • Corporation Tax relief on research and development activities
  • Applies to any business size



Manufacturing Growth Programme

  • Grants of up to 35% of the cost to deliver your manufacturing growth plan
  • SME’s only


Tax Relief

Patent Box

This enables a 10% Corporation Tax rate to apply to business profits attributed to patents and intellectual property registered in the UK.

Applies to any business size.




0% loans between £100,000 and £999,999 towards the development of innovation incubator spaces and other workspaces for start-ups and small businesses within Kent.

SME’s only.


Rural Grant Funding

Kent LEADER programme

Kent LEADER is a source of funding available to farmers, growers, foresters, rural businesses and communities to help secure a sustainable future for the rural economy of Kent.

The fund has a minimum grant award of £2,500 and a maximum of usually £50,000-£100,000 at a rate of 40% of eligible costs for commercial projects.

SME’s only.


South East Business Boost (SEBB)

Kent and Medway Growth Hub
Working with SME’s to offer:

  • 0% grant contribution (max grant value £10k) towards the cost of capital purchases which help to drive Business Growth
  • Business workshops
  • Business start-up advice and support


Boost 4 Health

Kent SME’s

For SME’s operating in the life sciences sector looking to network and trade internationally. Includes:

  • Micro financing to help travel and growth
  • Cross border networking and product validation
  • 1:1 growth coaching programme
  • Part funded visits to networks and clustering activity

Find out how these businesses have benefited from funding schemes

Download our free funding brochure for more information

Download now

Speak to one of our advisors now to find out how our Plus service can help you

Catherine Igoe, Business Development Executive
Direct: +44 (0)1732 520700
Mobile: 07576 610 160