Local Contacts:

Mindir Paul; e:

Business Growth Fund (LEP Capital Grant)

For capital investment projects (building alterations, new machinery and equipment) that help SMEs based in the Leeds City Region, or plan to invest here, grow and create jobs.

  • Projects need to create full time permanent jobs.
  • Grants between £10k-£250k with an intervention rate of 10% or 20%.

Access Innovation

  • Support for SMEs to develop new products or processes.
  • Connecting SMEs with the relevant research organisations, such as universities and Catapult Centres.
  • Revenue grants to support the cost of accessing R&D expertise and facilities. Grants between  £5k-£100k.

Resource Efficiency Fund

  • Provides support and advice for SMEs on how to save money through more efficient use of energy, water and waste.
  • Eligible businesses receive a free resource efficiency assessment.
  • Grants of up to £10k with a 50% intervention rate. (*25% on lighting projects*).

Apprenticeship Grant (AGE)

  • Grants available to SMEs offering apprenticeships to 19-24yr olds, who have never offered apprenticeships before.
  • Core Grant - £2000, with potential of a £500 top-up.



Ad-Venture Local Contact – Kate Gledhill & Keith Evans



  • High-growth programme for pre-starts, start-ups and early stage businesses (up to 3 yrs old).
  • Intensive support including mentoring, workshops, peer-to-peer learning and grants.
  • Grants up to £25k available dependent on stage of business. Intervention rate up to 50%.

Local Contacts:

Peter Mackenzie-Shaw:

Nick Jenkin:

Digital Enterprise Programme

Supports SMEs investing in digital technology;

  • Digital Growth Voucher – up to £10000 available to assist with projects which look to digitally transform your business.(from  Autumn 2019)
  • Connectivity Voucher - worth between £500 and £1,000 to help eligible businesses to cover the cost of upgrading to faster broadband (over 30mbps).
  • Digital Knowledge Exchange - a programme of workshops, masterclasses, mentoring support and digital audits to help businesses improve their understanding of digital technology and the solutions available to help them to develop their business.

Exporting for Growth

  • Package of support from the Department for International Trade on how to start or increase exporting.
  • Grants of £2k-£5k are available (50% intervention rate) for businesses on the programme.

Manufacturing Growth Programme

  • Package of support tailored to SME-manufacturers
  • Grants of £1k-£1.5k (30% intervention) to access industry experts and deliver improvement projects (e.g. lean manufacturing).

Skills Service

  • Help to develop the skills and expertise of staff through a bespoke training plan.
  • Advisors on hand to identify the right training solutions.
  • Funding up to 40% of training costs available.

(NEW for 2019) Product and Process Innovation (PAPI)

Grants available for SMEs in eligible sectors looking to invest in machinery which will allow them to grow through innovation (ie bringing a new product to market).

  • Minimum project cost of £20k.
  • 40% intervention rate, maximum grant of £20k
  • Projects must create at least 1 FTE job.

(NEW for 2019) Supply Chain Programme (Delivered by The University of Huddersfield)

  • Support for SMEs to develop new Supply Chain Strategies.
  • Connecting SMEs and LEs to develop new opportunities.
  • Reduce Supply Chain risk and look at new market opportunities.
  • Help SMEs evaluate and integrate new technology systems, optimising process and people performance.
  • Help the development of Supply Chains in larger businesses through securing local SME provision, improving performance of current suppliers and finding local alternative local suppliers.
  • The potential to introduce 3rd party specialists to support the implementation of key actions.
  • Grants of up to £5k with an intervention rate of 50%

(NEW for 2019) Gigabit Voucher Scheme

Vouchers available up to £2500 to assist SMEs with the installation costs of gigabit-capable connection.

(NEW for 2019) Construction Industry Training Board (CITB)

3 types of funding streams for ‘in-scope’ businesses;

  • Skills and Trading Fund - Up to £10k skills and training funding for small employers.
  • Flexible Fund - For a project you have identified that meets CITB priorities and addresses industry needs.
  • Structured Fund - For projects where CITB has identified a need for investment.

*more information at

Travel Plan Network

  • Supports businesses of all sizes to adopt more sustainable and cost effective travel.
  • Discounted travel for staff and business journeys, including the corporate M-Card to reduce public transport costs.
  • Specific advice on travel-planning for firms moving within –or to- the region


Employment Support

Local Contact:
Andy Queenan; e:
Melanie Wray; e:

(NEW for 2019) Employment Hub

New programme, aimed at 16-24 year olds, to support unemployed, young people into employment, training, apprenticeships.  The project team includes dedicated careers advisers and employer engagement officers to support the candidate and employer through the process to secure sustained employment.

Further information at

  • Apprenticeship Support for SMEs and Levy Payers.
  • Signposting to suitable training organisations.
  • 90 %  funding of training costs available to qualifying businesses ( 100 % for 16 -18 year olds)  (*SMEs).
  • £ 1000 Grant for recruitment of a 16-18 year old (*SMEs).
  • Digital Account Service advice (*Levy Payers).

School Engagement 

The Enterprise Adviser Network
Connects senior leaders in business to senior leaders in schools, to influence and develop the school's career and enterprise strategy, giving students regular and relevant access to employers.  The programme can form part of the business' corporate social responsibility (CSR) commitment. Contact Danielle Hutchings (

Primary Futures
Encourages children to look to the future, be aspirational and think about the career path they might take after leaving secondary school.  Helping to see links between what they are learning in their lessons and their future careers and occupations.  Signup to being a volunteer to help inspire young people to think about what is possible in their futures – go to