Exit Accessibility View

Business advice and support

Sources of funding

If you are an entrepreneur looking to start-up or expand a small business in the area, The Enterprise Network has a range of workspaces designed and managed for the needs of new businesses. Even if you just need a room or a desk for an hour or a day, the network can help you, call 01264 848311. The network runs regular events guiding and inspiring the next generation of business leaders and these are open to everyone. It focuses on helping women start successful businesses and also military personnel and dependents become their own boss.


For smaller businesses the first port of call for advice should be the Wiltshire Business Hub. The hub works with both existing businesses and people thinking of starting-up. It will help with business skills, planning, and funding. Contact the hub by calling 01225 402096 and speak to them about help with exporting, manufacturing or business leadership; or any other advice you need.


If you have potential to be a high growth business, the government’s Business Growth Service might help you accelerate growth with its broad ranging schemes on finance, exporting and leadership. Funding is available from a range of sources, including places such as banks. Entrepreneurs are looking to collective crowd-funding to help ventures get started as well as from start-up loans.


The Fredericks Foundation provides loans to viable small and micro businesses in Wiltshire which cannot gain access to credit through the banking system.


Community First provides information, advice and support to tackle and promote rural community issues. They provide practical help, especially to social enterprises, community groups and village services, such as community shops and post offices. They can provide loans, grants and funds for community projects and as well as for youth inclusion projects.


The Wiltshire Community Foundation manages a huge range of business, community, educational and welfare funding schemes and operates a free funding database.


Develop offer a wide range of help to local groups on improving the way they fundraise and work with volunteers. Support provided includes fundraising courses, one-to-one support, application review and fundraising health checks as well as regular funding news and updates via an e-bulletin. The majority of services are provided free of charge. Call 0845 0345250 or email enquiries@developecs.org.uk for more information.


For community-led ventures, Locality provides extensive support and also runs the My Community scheme on behalf of government. The scheme is linked to neighbourhood planning and can help people take control and manage local community assets. The Big Lottery’s Power to Change is also geared to support local people run services and enterprises. The Wiltshire Council Area Board Grant Scheme can provide grants for community projects up to £5,000 to community groups, town and parish councils.


Rural economic development funding

This section provides information about grant funding available for economic development in our rural areas.

Wiltshire is a highly rural county and these rural areas are home to a wide range of businesses, from the traditional farming and food sector to ITC, design and technology and advanced manufacturing. Driving growth in the rural economy is a key element of our work and that of Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP).

SWLEP’s Rural Economy Group provides the strategic steer and support necessary for appropriate and sustainable economic development in rural areas, in accordance with SWLEP European Structural Investment Fund Strategy (ESIF). Members include Wiltshire Council, Swindon Borough Council and business sector representatives from the LEP’s rural areas. In the medium term we aim to achieve this strategic support primarily with EU funding through two elements of the Rural Development Programme for England:

  • LEADER Programme
  • Growth Programme rural economy grants

LEADER funds smaller projects (generally £5 - £50,000 grants) whilst the Growth Programme funds larger projects, (generally £50,000 - €200,000 grants).


The LEADER Programme is part of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), delivered nationally by DEFRA in partnership with local authorities and communities. It aims to create jobs, stimulate new business start-ups and growth in rural areas, by providing European funding through Local Action Groups (LAGs).

  • Grant amounts: £5,000 - £50,000 generally, with some flexibility.
  • Grant rates: up to 40 per cent in most cases (higher rates may be available to non-profit organisations in exceptional circumstances).

LEADER has six national priorities:

  • Increasing farm productivity
  • Micro and small enterprises and farm diversification
  • Rural tourism
  • Provision of rural services
  • Cultural and heritage activity
  • Increasing forestry productivity

If you are interested in applying for a LEADER grant please contact the relevant LAG Programme Manager before completing an Outline Application.

For further information on LEADER, visit the GOV.UK website.

Local action group
Programme manager
Vale Action


Alan Truscott
01380 732814
Plain Action


Alan Truscott
01380 732814
North Wessex Downs


Dawn Hamblin
01488 680458
Heart of Wessex


Sarah Dyke-Bracher
07826 907361
New Forest


Sally igra
023 8028 5588


James Lloyd
01451 862000


SWLEP's European Structural Investment Fund (ESIF) programme has nominal funding from three EU funding streams including approximately £3.9 million European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) funding for the rural Growth Programme. This is specifically allocated to provide competitive grants in rural areas. The SWLEP and its Rural Economy Group plan to use this allocation to make a number of funding calls in 2016, to boost specific sectors of the rural economy:
•Rural tourism
•Food and drink
•Natural capital (environment and heritage)

•Grant amounts: from £50,000 up to the EU de minimis threshold (€200,000).
•Grant rates: up to 40 per cent in most cases (higher rates may be available to non-profit organisations in exceptional circumstances).

Funding calls will be notified on this page when they are published by DEFRA on the GOV.UK website.


•None currently

To apply for funding under these calls see Growth Programme: grants for the rural economy on the GOV.UK website.


South West Growth Fund is provided through collaboration between South West Manufacturing Advisory Service Ltd, Plymouth University’s GAIN team, South West Water Business Services and the Western Morning News. It offers business growth grants for capital investment in new equipment, technology and processes, and training to support new technology and processes. Grants to SMEs range from £15,000 to £999,999 at a 10%-45% intervention rate. Projects must have been completed and grant spent by the end of March 2017.



LAGS area map PDF (306kb)
Registrations Contact Us

Contact us

Economy Regeneration
Wiltshire Council
County Hall
BA14 8JD
01225 434689

Share this page

Last updated: 15 November 2016 | Last reviewed: 15 November 2016