Business Support (vector image)

Support Packages and Services

 

We deliver a programme of promotional activity to encourage and secure new inward investment and reduce barriers to growth for businesses looking to relocate or expand. We work to attract investment in key employment sites and regeneration schemes to help create high value jobs.

UK Shared Prosperity Fund Business Support Programme for Cheshire East 

This project is funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. For more information, see the Shared Prosperity Fund prospectus.

As part of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. Cheshire East has been allocated circa £12.4M, with a further circa £1.5M allocation specifically for Adult Numeracy programme (Multiply). The funding must be spent by March 2025.

Cheshire East Councils UKSPF Business Support Programme is a mix of support activities and grants for eligible businesses:

Business Support Hub

The Business Support Hub is an online support hub for entrepreneurs and small business owners that provides a range of tools and services including; on-demand webinars and training videos, a schedule of live workshops and masterclasses covering key topics from cash-flow forecasting to developing a sales pitch as well as a suite of useful business templates and guides needed to start and run a business. 

Flexible Workspace Grant

This scheme aims to incentivise and encourage investment in enterprise and employment site development projects in our town centres by offering grants to landlords/leaseholders to refurbish vacant or under-utilised property into flexible co-working spaces.

The grant scheme is offering grants from £25,000 up to £100,000. Grant recipients must therefore make at least a £75,000 contribution toward total costs to be able to receive a grant of £25,000 or at least £300,000 to be able to receive a grant of £100,000.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Only businesses (primarily landlords, long leaseholders, landowners) with ownership of a commercial property based in an urban centre within the Cheshire East Council boundary can apply for a grant. 
  • The applicant must be the liable party for paying business rates to Cheshire East Council (if rates are payable).
  • Businesses must apply to the Council via an online application form to be considered for a grant payment.
  • Businesses must hold a business bank account.

Refer to the scheme policy (PDF, 203KB) for full details of the Flexible Workspace Grant.

For direct enquiries please contact FWS@cebusinesshub.org.uk

If the property is leasehold, then you will need to upload a property owner consent form (PDF, 129KB) with your application

Sustainable and Inclusive Growth Programme Grant

This scheme is offering grants from £1,000 up to a maximum of £20,000 per eligible business to support businesses to invest in new equipment, technology, and business practices to decarbonise their operations, become more energy efficient and improve productivity to drive employment growth and to support long-term sustainability.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Only businesses and organisations trading from a property based in the Cheshire East Council boundary can apply for a grant. 
  • Businesses must apply to the Council via an online application form to be considered for a grant payment.
  • Businesses must have a Decarbonisation Plan or Business Growth Plan featuring decarbonisation in place to support the need for the grant. Assistance with developing these plans is fully funded through the programme Business Support Hub

  • Businesses can be from any sector but to be eligible they must be an SME with between 1 and 249 employees
  • Only expenditure that occurs after the 1 April 2023 will be eligible 
  • Businesses must hold a business bank account.

Refer to the scheme policy (PDF, 180KB) for full details of the Sustainable and Inclusive Growth Grant.

Note: Applications received after 16 May 2024 will be assessed in accordance with the revised scheme policy dated May 2024.

For direct enquiries please contact SIG@cebusinesshub.org.uk

Rural Business Grants

There are two capital grant schemes available specifically for rural businesses.

The Rural Business Capital Grant Scheme is offering grants from £1,000 up to a maximum of £10,000 per eligible business for small scale investment in micro and small enterprises in rural areas. Examples of eligible items include, but are not limited to:

  • Creation, improvement and expansion of rural leisure, hospitality, and tourism businesses
  • Purchase of equipment for food processing
  • Modernising existing equipment for increased energy efficiency or increased productivity through automation
  • Funding for resilience infrastructure and nature-based solutions that protect local businesses.
  • Diversification projects outside of agriculture (for example, creating rural leisure and tourism facilities)

The Cheshire East Visitor Economy Grant is offering grants from £1,000 up to a maximum of £10,000 per eligible business for the development and promotion (both trade and consumer) of the visitor economy in Cheshire East. The fund is intended to be used to enhance Cheshire East’s rural visitor economy and rural leisure opportunities, including:

  • Developing local attractions
  • Trails and visitor infrastructure
  • Developing visitor experiences
  • Tours
  • Tourism products more generally

Eligibility Criteria for both schemes:

  • Only businesses and organisations trading from a property based in the Cheshire East Council rural classification can apply for a grant.
  • Businesses must apply to the Council via an online application form to be considered for a grant payment
  • Only expenditure that occurs after the 1 April 2023 will be eligible
  • Businesses must hold a business bank account

Refer to the Rural UKSPF Capital Grant Programme scheme policy (PDF, 185KB) for full details of both the Rural Business Capital Grant Scheme and Cheshire East Visitor Economy Grant.

All live grant schemes are supported by the Business Support Hub

All our grant schemes are paid retrospectively once full payment of items can be evidenced.

When making an application to any of our grant schemes above you will be taken to an external website called ‘Grant Approval’. You will need to register with an email address to access the applications. Once registered you will be able to search for the schemes.

You can find out if your area is classed as rural by referring to the rural map instructions (PDF, 676KB)

Contact Our Business Growth and Investment Team

Repurposing our High Streets Grant scheme

The Repurposing our High Streets grant scheme is aimed at supporting businesses and organisations to take on empty premises in Crewe Town Centre. 

Led by Cheshire East Council and overseen by Crewe Town Board, the project includes a grant scheme for businesses and organisations that wish to take on vacant commercial premises in the town centre. 

Available support 

Capital grants of up to £30,000* for businesses/ organisations taking leases on vacant town premises, supporting their costs in improving the property for their occupation including fit-out costs, as well as other capital equipment purchased. 

* The amount of grant will depend on the type of property and the length of lease taken. For example, shorter-term ‘meanwhile use’ businesses would receive a smaller grant than those businesses committing to a five-year lease. 

* This is a retrospective scheme.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Businesses (including sole traders, community enterprises and charities) and some organisations that take on new leases of previously vacant commercial premises in Crewe town centre. 
  • Employs less than 50 people. 
  • Has a turnover of £10.2 million or less. 
  • Less than £1.5m on balance sheet. 
  • Has not reached Subsidy control limit over a 3 year period. 
  • Be taking on a new lease on a vacant commercial property within Crewe Town Centre.
  • Some types of organisations would not normally be considered eligible, and priority will be given to applicants diversifying the mix of town centre business uses.

Apply for a grant

Enquiries should be made by emailing ROHS@cheshireeast.gov.uk

This grant is funded by UK Government and powered by Levelling up and is part of a package of projects being supported by the Government’s Towns Fund and Crewe’s allocation of up to £22.9m of funding.

level up and funded by UK Government

Page last reviewed: 12 December 2023