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.Close
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.Close
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 business 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 Sector 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 £5000 - £100,000 grants) whilst the Growth Programme funds larger projects, (generally from £35,000 to around £200,000 grants).Close
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 - £100,000 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||Website||Programme manager||Telephone|
|Vale Action||Alan Truscott||01380 732814|
|Plain Action||Alan Truscott||01380 732814|
|North Wessex Downs||Dawn Hamblin||01488 680458|
|Heart of Wessex||Sarah Dyke||07826 907361|
|New Forest||Sally Igra||023 8028 5588|
|Cotwolds||James Webb||01451 862033|
Defra is launching a number of Rural Growth Programme Funding calls in late January 2017 and the programme will be open until 2019. Funding includes £3.6 million for rural businesses in the Swindon and Wiltshire area (as part of Swindon and Wiltshire LEP’s European Structural Investment Funds) and will provide:
- Food processing grants to SME manufacturers (urban or rural) for larger capital grants
- Tourism accommodation grants for more and better quality visitor accommodation
- Small scale tourism infrastructure grants that improve the local rural tourism offer
- Business innovations that improve the natural capital and its ecosysyem services
Individual businesses can obtain grants of up to £200,000. Larger amounts are available for food processing.
An additional funding call is expected later in 2017 and will provide a further £300,000 to fund a small number of tourism cooperation projects to bring together small tourism-related businesses around a geographical area or activity theme.
SWLEP is holding a Launch event on 8 February at The Corn Exchange, The Market Place, Devizes, SN10 1HS – come and find out more.
For further information check the ‘Rural Growth Programme calls Open for application’ section below.