Funding Options for Business

Loans and Support Available to Businesses in the South West

South West Investment Group (SWIG)
SWIG offer business loans to either start up or grow business in the South West SWIG is a not-for-profit organisation and member of the Community Development Finance Association. For further details see

Growth Acceleration and Investment Network (GAIN)
GAIN can help advise on business investment for South West businesses. Led by Plymouth University, GAIN is able to provide access to finance, help develop business plans, and give practical support to maintain sustainable business growth. Sign up to access their finance finder decision tree tool. For further information see

Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership

The Heart of the South West LEP is the partnership between private sector, local authorities, universities and further education across Somerset, Devon, Plymouth and Torbay. Its purpose is to lead and influence economic growth, job creation and property across the area. HotSW LEP works with partners to attract funding from UK and EU Government for projects that generate economic growth and support the delivery of its Strategic Economic Plan. Visit the website for current information about funding opportunities

Inspiras Loan Fund
Inspiras is able to offer loans to businesses based in Somerset Devon and Cornwall to help fund step change activity which will create significant business growth and jobs. Applicants typically require between £100,000 to £250,000. For further information see

The Innovation 4 Growth programme is aimed at helping regional companies - both small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and larger organisations - to develop products, technologies, processes and services.
Led by the University of the West of England using Regional Growth Funding, it will provide up to 35% of research and development project costs, with a grants of between £25,000 to £150,000. For further details visit

Fredericks Foundation Business Loan Scheme
West Somerset’s would-be entrepreneurs who want to start up businesses and companies looking to expand but have been turned down by banks and mainstream lenders now have a second chance of getting financial help.
West Somerset Council has teamed up with the Fredericks Foundation to set up a new loan scheme to tackle barriers to business and to provide opportunities for local enterprises to grow. For more information on this scheme please visit

LEADER Funding
The next LEADER programme (2015 – 2020) has a strong economic focus which will increase support for jobs and growth in rural areas. The fund may be able to assist projects and businesses which focus on one or more of the following priority policy areas; increasing farm productivity, micro and small enterprises and farm diversification, rural tourism, rural services, cultural and heritage activity, increasing forestry productivity.
For the latest information contact Anne-Marie Spalding at or 01823 359242.

National Programmes

For information on support available nationally click on the BIS document on the right hand side of this page. This document outlines programmes provided by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

If you are working for yourself and have questions about tax, National Insurance, business records and expenses.

If you are working for yourself within the Construction Industry and have questions about tax, National Insurance, business records and expenses

If you sell or supply services to other European (EU) countries and have questions about dealing with VAT, keeping records and making additional returns.

HMRC website

Start Up Loans
A government funded scheme to provide loans for entrepreneurs. Please visit  for further information.

Funding Circle
Funding Circle is a peer-to-business lending platform connecting businesses and investors, where businesses can get fast business loans and investors can earn great returns on their investments. The Government-backed British Bank lends through Funding Circle. Visit and explore the website at

West Somerset Council advises that it is incumbent on businesses to check out the terms and conditions and check with other banks to see if they are offering similar schemes.