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Digital Growth Programme

Eligible enterprises registered to the programme can access a range of awareness-raising webinars, action-planning workshops, grant funding and 121 digital business advice.

To sign-up to the programme, SMEs are required to complete the online registration. To see if you qualify for support use the postcode checker.

Here’s what you can access once your business has registered:

Seminars and Workshops:

The programme delivers a range of webinars and action-planning workshops covering a range of topics from social media and website planning to email marketing and paid advertising.

Delivered by industry experts, sessions are structured to provide businesses with the latest digital knowledge and techniques. Each session allows you to consider strategic objectives and draw up a plan of action to develop and grow your business.

Webinar and Workshop themes include:

  • Website planning and Ecommerce
  • SEO, Optimisation and Measurement
  • Email Marketing, CRM and Automation
  • Social Media
  • Paid Digital Advertising
  • Visual Marketing
  • Cloud computing

Here is the link to the Webinar and Workshop Programme

Technology Grant Available:

Technology Grants from £2,000 to £25,000 are available, subject to conditions and that the business trades with other businesses, not consumers. The aim of the grant is to support businesses to utilise their existing technology solutions to full potential or assist in the introduction of new systems and software. All grants must be 65% match-funded by the business and details of the application process can be found on the technology grants page.

To further support your business, businesses who access grant funding will also be allocated a  Digital Business Adviser who will provide advice in your development and growth. They will work closely with you to gain a better understanding of your business and the breadth of technology that exists in your current structure and help develop a plan to move forward. They will also support and assist you with the grant application process.

Green BELLE (Provider is Leicester City Council)

Phase 2 of Green BELLE is now open – offering grants from £1,000 to £7,000 to eligible SMEs in Leicester and Leicestershire towards the cost of energy efficiency measures. 

To be placed on our waiting list, please submit a contact form.

Green BELLE supports Small or Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Leicester and Leicestershire to increase their energy efficiency, reduce their energy costs and lower their carbon emissions. Grants of £1,000 to £7,000 are available to support the installation of low carbon and energy efficient technologies in local SMEs.

If you are applying for a Green BELLE grant, your proposed measures should reduce carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency.

Potential eligible measures:

  • Energy efficient heating systems and controls, e.g. boiler replacements and heat pumps  
  • Low energy lighting replacements (LEDs) and controls
  • Renewable energy systems – e.g. biomass, solar panels
  • Innovative low carbon measures, such as heat recovery systems
  • Replacement Energy Efficient Machinery – e.g. Air Compressors
  • Insulation
  • Building Energy Management Systems

This is not necessarily a full list, and the Green BELLE Grant Panel will consider other measures that can be shown to save energy and reduce carbon emissions. Green BELLE can also support multiple energy efficiency measures, up to the maximum grant amount. Please also see the Potential Measures page.

Participating SMEs will receive a site visit, carried out by a dedicated Project Officer. The visit will be used to discuss the best energy efficiency options for their premises.

SMEs can apply for a grant of £1,000 to £7,000, at 50% of the total project cost. The remaining contribution is required as match funding from the SME.

Any additional cost above this grant maximum (i.e. above a total cost of £14,000) will also need to be paid for by the SME. Note that a minimum grant amount of £1,000 also applies, so the minimum total cost of the measures, with the SME’s match funding, is £2,000.

New Government Loan Recovery Fund Launched

A new government-backed loan scheme launched on 6 April 2021 to provide additional finance to those businesses that need it.

• new loan scheme will provide further support to protect businesses and jobs
• loans will include 80% government guarantee and interest rate cap
• government has backed £75 billion of loans to date as part of unprecedented £350 billion wider support package

The Recovery Loan Scheme will ensure businesses continue to benefit from Government-guaranteed finance throughout 2021.

Further details, eligibility criteria and links to find an accredited Recovery Loans lender can be found on this link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/recovery-loan-scheme

Grant Funding for Businesses

If you have ambitions to grow your business but just don’t have enough capital to make it happen the information below might help you realise your goals:

Leicester & Leicestershire Business Growth Grants (Provider is the LLEP)

DEVELOP YOUR BUSINESS WITH HELP FROM THE BUSINESS GROWTH GRANT

This grant has been created to support the growth and development of existing small and medium-sized businesses.

Is your business:

  • An SME in Leicester or Leicestershire with less than 250 employees?
  • Looking to grow, introduce new products, processes or innovate?
  • Trading a minimum of 24 months?
  • Trading business to business?
  • Looking to create or safeguard jobs?

If YES you may be eligible for this grant!


The Business Growth Grant can be used to help your business grow or diversity:

  • New innovative technology products or services that improve performance
  • Premises improvement or expansion related business development, new product or services
  • Upgrading capital equipment to enable a more technical or automotive approach, flexible working for staff or enhancing customer services.


Grants from £2,000 up to £25,000 are available providing 35% towards the cost of capital projects.

A business adviser will support you throughout the process. Discuss your needs with one of our team to determine your next steps. Call us on 0116 366 8487 or ‘Submit an Enquiry’ using this link:  

If you are interested in this funding programme please contact the Growth Hub to discuss your next steps.

Call them:0116 366 8487 or email:growthhub@bizgateway.org.uk

Funding Boost to get more young people into work

New £1,000 cash support for businesses to help with the cost of providing a traineeship.

The government has announced employers can now apply for a £1,000 cash boost to help them take on new trainees.

This new scheme will support young people to gain the skills and experience they need from the very start, helping them to get a job, an apprenticeship, or pursue further study.

The cash boost – which is available until 31 July 2021 - will help businesses with the cost of providing a high-quality work placement for a trainee. This includes:

  • providing facilities,
  • uniforms or;
  • helping with travel costs.

Businesses offering new traineeship opportunities will receive the £1,000 bonus for every trainee they take on with up to a maximum of 10 trainees. Employers can claim the cash incentive for all work placements that have been completed since 1 September.

More information can be found by visiting GOV.UK

You can apply for the scheme by visiting Traineeship employer incentive.

Other Sources of Advice

Citizens Advice Bureau

Federation of Small Businesses

Chamber of Commerce

Institute of Directors

Department for International Trade

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Last updated: Wed 7 July, 2021 @ 15:17