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East Lothian Council grant funding for start-up businesses

Support provided by East Lothian Council UK Government Levelling Up - LOGO ONLY UK Shared Prosperity Fund - LOGO ONLY

What does this involve?

Grants of up to £5,000 are available for start-up businesses in East Lothian to help them purchase goods and services.

You can use the grant to help pay for:

  • new machinery or equipment
  • creating, upgrading or refurbishing facilities
  • IT software or systems
  • marketing initiatives
  • research and development costs
  • trade show attendance fees

The funding cannot be used for:

  • buying company shares or buying out members of a partnership
  • repaying or replacing existing loan and overdraft facilities
  • repaying debts – including taxes owed
  • paying interest on existing loan or borrowing facilities
  • illegal or political activities
  • certain revenue costs - for example, staff or payroll costs and utilities
  • consultancy

The funding is part of East Lothian Council’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) – Supporting Local Businesses 2024/25 Grant Programme. The programme aims to encourage employment, innovation, business growth and sustainability, and a transition to net zero carbon in East Lothian.

This grant programme is being delivered as part of the UKSPF Supporting Local Business Investment Priority to support entrepreneurship, business development, and local and social economies.

Am I eligible?

You are eligible if your business:

  • has been trading for 24 months or less
  • is located in the East Lothian Council area
  • is VAT registered or has a turnover of £60,000 or more
  • meets all legal requirements and regulations related to the operation of the business
  • can demonstrate its ability to grow
  • has no outstanding debts to East Lothian Council
  • can clearly demonstrate its need for funding
  • can show how the funding will benefit both the business and the local economy

Your business must also fit in with the key UKSPF outcomes, which are:

  • net zero carbon
  • business growth
  • innovation

Priority will be given to applicants whose proposals:

  • can demonstrate that they meet more than one of the key UKSPF outcomes
  • encourage employment
  • grow an existing East Lothian business
  • support sustainability
  • safeguard existing jobs or create new ones

What does this cost?

You can apply for a grant of up to £5,000. It is free to apply.

If successful, you'll receive an award offer from East Lothian Council. Once you've accepted, signed and returned the offer, you'll receive 70% of the grant amount.

The remaining 30% will be paid once you've submitted evidence of your expenditure and East Lothian Council is satisfied that the project is complete. 

Who is this for?

Start-up businesses based in East Lothian.

How long does this take?

Once you submit an enquiry, you will be contacted by East Lothian Council within 5 working days.

The deadline to apply is midday on 3 June 2024.

Applications will be processed in June 2024, and offer letters will be sent out from 17 June 2024.

Successful applicants will then have until 30 January 2025 to complete their projects.

To receive your second payment, you must submit your claim with all supporting evidence by 14 February 2025.

All grants will be paid out by 28 February 2025.

Important information

All grants are discretionary. East Lothian Council's decision is final, and you cannot appeal.

With your application form, you'll need to submit: 

  • one year’s accounts
  • an up-to-date business plan
  • your last 3 months bank statements

Next steps

Visit the East Lothian Council website for more information and to read the full guidance.

Support provided by East Lothian Council UK Government Levelling Up - LOGO ONLY UK Shared Prosperity Fund - LOGO ONLY