Looking for help for your local business?

Funding & Support Sources and Opportunities for Small & Medium-sized Businesses in Corby & East Northamptonshire

This is an overview of some of the main sources of help for small- and medium-sized companies in Corby & East Northamptonshire. It is not intended to be exhaustive and the ‘offerings’ may change over time but the list aims to incorporate the primary help-points for businesses.

Please follow the links for further information.


1. Northamptonshire Local Enterprise Partnership (NEP)

NEP is a Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), set up with the aim of increasing the prosperity of Northamptonshire’s businesses by supporting the creation of better quality private sector jobs. As such, it is the primary route for local businesses to obtain:

  • Funding – for both start-ups and established businesses ;
  • Support – through NEP’s business mentoring programme, face-to-face workshops and training and development days, help with apprenticeships and property search;
  • Access to business networks – a range of forums and groups operating locally in specific sectors.

LEPs are the primary channel used by central government for local economic development. NEP will also provide advice on opportunities presented through some parts of this constituency becoming an ‘Assisted Area’. This means that businesses located in the Assisted Area are able to submit bids, aided by NEP, to the Department of Business Innovation & Skills for funding for their projects via:

  • The Regional Growth Fund – generally for large-scale projects and programmes that are using private sector investment to create economic growth and sustainable employment;
  • Business Premises Renovation Allowance (BPRA) gives an incentive to bring derelict or unused properties back into use, by giving an initial allowance of 100% for expenditure on converting or renovating unused business premises in a disadvantaged area;
  • The Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative supports research and development, skills training and capital investment to help UK supply chains achieve world-class standards and encourage major new suppliers to locate in the UK
  • Enhanced Capital Allowances in some assisted areas.

As part of the ‘Love Northamptonshire’ campaign, NEP is offering a wide range of funding opportunities for start-ups and established businesses.  Established businesses in Corby are also eligible for the up to £10,000 grant from Velocity and free business advice from the Northamptonshire Growth Hub.


2. Growing Corby

Growing Corby is a European Regional Development Fund programme which supports local entrepreneurs and SMEs through:

  • Grants: Angle Technology is managing a grant regime for small businesses, offering a grant of between £1,200 and £2,500 in order to help support business growth. Applicants need to show that, by having the grant, their business could lead to increased employment opportunities. Businesses must also be willing to contribute 25% of the cost of the initiative;
  • Coaching: Growing Corby offers innovation and creativity coaching for SMEs;
  • Social Enterprise Support: specialist help and support needed to encourage growth of existing social enterprises or co-operatives grow via ‘one-to-one’ and ‘one-to-many’ coaching;
  • Free market research: this is provided in collaboration with the University of Northampton and gives SMEs the chance to receive up to 12 hours free market research with a dedicated Marketing Analyst, resulting in the generation of an insightful report using both local and national information.


3. The Corby Enterprise Centre

The Corby Enterprise Centre (CEC) is a recently established development providing flexible office and studio space for new enterprise and business start-ups in the area. CEC provides early stage companies with a supportive and inspirational environment and in-house business support designed to encourage business growth and development. Businesses located at the centre will also benefit from interaction and possible trade with the other businesses on site.

CEC has offices of varying sizes ranging from 200sq ft to 1600 sq ft, supporting between 2 and 25 people, and 15 studios ranging from 260 sq ft to 1900 sq ft.


4. Northamptonshire County Council

The Council offers access to a bank of premium business resources which provide advice, support and detailed market research portfolios via membership of local libraries (including e-membership which allows access from the office or home). The libraries can also signpost businesses to information about access to investment, as well as to a local business database to identify potential suppliers, customers and competitors.


5. Enterprise4Corby

Enterprise4Corby is a free service funded by the European Regional Development Fund and delivered by The University of Northampton. It encompasses a wide range of free-to-access coaching, networking and training support to individuals before, during and in the early stages of a business start-up. It aims to develop the skills and survival rates of established businesses and helps companies tap into their potential for growth and innovation.


6. UK Steel Enterprise

UK Steel Enterprise Ltd (UKSE) is the wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Steel tasked with the responsibility of helping the economic regeneration of communities affected by changes in the steel industry. UKSE achieves this by supporting small and medium enterprises with finance and premises and is able to consider provision of investment of up to £750,000 for projects. It can also consider that the addition of grant support through its Access to Finance Grant Scheme for developing businesses.


7. The Nominet Trust

Founded in 2009, the trust is now the UK’s largest ‘social technology’ investor. Nominet provides funding for small businesses and projects that use digital technology to address social issues. This programme provides funding and support to help entrepreneurs nurture, develop and test their ideas.


8. Growth Vouchers Programme

This is a government-run scheme designed to provide small businesses (49 employees or less) with help and advice on all aspects of running a business, ranging from managing finance and cash flow through to developing people management skills and the use of digital technology. As part of the scheme there is also the potential to receive a grant of up to £2,000 towards these training sessions.


9. Growth Accelerator

This government scheme provides coaching and advice to help small- and medium-sized businesses to grow quickly and sustainably. It is aimed at owners and managers in all sectors with high growth potential. The scheme will provide participating businesses with up to £2,000 match-funding per senior manager involved in the strategic direction of the business, in order to undertake agreed leadership and management training.


10. The Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme

This aims to support young, future entrepreneurs – applicants must be currently working less than 16 hours a week and be aged between 16 and 30 – through providing them with help to:

  • Create and hone a business plan;
  • Undertake business-related training;
  • Access start-up funding;
  • Participate in networking to build up contacts to establish the business once it commences trading.

The programme also offers a variety of funding options from low interest loans through to grants.


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