Finance and funding

Business Support during the Covid-19 crisis

  • Covid-19 business support information and government grants

  • Free bookkeeping courses and one year's free accounts software subscription
    Lancaster City Council is working with Lancaster & Morecambe College to offer FREE bookkeeping courses to SMEs and self-employed workers across the Lancaster District, funded by the Leading Lancashire project. Upon completion, Lancaster City Council will contribute up to £300 towards a maximum one-year subscription to a recognised accounting software package - for example Quickbooks or Xero - for micro businesses, social enterprises and charities based in the Lancaster District.

  • Government support is available for businesses and the self-employed, including Self Employed Income Support and the Job Retention Scheme

  • If you would like to register your details on our Business Support database we will keep you updated as and when we receive information on any future Covid-19 related funding and the ongoing support available: Register for updates
  • Many of the organisations listed below are offering specific support to help with business recovery during the pandemic. 

Access to Finance

Are you looking to grow your business but struggling to find the finance to make it happen? Are you considering alternative sources of finance like venture capital, business angel investment or crowdfunding and need further specialist support?

Our Access to Finance service works with Lancashire businesses to assist them in raising finance to fund their growth. Our specialists provide one-to-one support with developing business plans, financial forecasts, investment readiness and applications for funding.

The team have access to a diverse and expansive network of finance providers and funding outlets and cover all corporate finance products available, including loans and overdrafts, venture capital, Business Angels, cashflow finance, asset finance, invoice finance, crowd funding and grants.

Start-up Finance

Are you starting a new business or been trading for less than two years and need finance for your new business? Looking to borrow between £500 and £25,000 over one to five years to help your business grow?


Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund

Are you looking for growth finance to help you achieve your ambitions? Whether you're an entrepreneur, a start-up or an established SME business the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) has a range of finance options for you.

Manufacturing Made Smarter

If you are manufacturer, engineer or maker with facilities of operations in the North West and want to invest in new digital technology or upskill your staff so that they can use them, then register for an assessment.

You will be supported with fully-funded, impartial, expert advice and grant funding to support your project implementation.

Your technology project might involve:

  • Creating bespoke products with 3D printing
  • Delivering consistent production quality with machine learning
  • Making training safer through virtual reality
  • Increasing productivity through automation

What can Made Smarter offer?

  • Fully-funded specialist advice to assess your current operations and develop your digitalisation strategy
  • 50% grant funding to implement new technology, software and hardware into your manufacturing
  • Access to a subsidised Leadership Development programme, designed specifically to support the programme
  • Access to student placements to help you understand how to implement the technology

Find out more at

Chamber Low Carbon Grants

If you are an eligible, Lancashire based, small to medium sized enterprise looking to install equipment, or measures to improve your energy or resource efficiency, or perhaps thinking about installing on-site renewable energy generating equipment, the Chamber Low Carbon Programme could be in a position to help.

Typical projects have funded Installation of: • LED lighting • Solar Photo Voltaics • Solar Thermal • Biomass • Anaerobic digestion • Small hydro power • Ground and Air Source Heat Pumps • IR Heating • Variable speed drives • Voltage optimisation... and more.

Find out more

Or call: 01254 356482 email: 

UCLAN Investment Readiness Programme

A coherent, structured programme for Lancashire SMEs who are looking to become investment ready. Investment Readiness will help businesses with everything from knowing how much investment they need to how to best pitch their ideas to gain investment.



Looking to raise growth finance for your start-up, early stage or growing business? Do you want to retain control of raising finance while building a crowd of investors who believe in your business?


Do you want to raise investment to finance your startup or growing business? Considering crowdfunding but need legal advice and support to easily present your business to a large community of potential investors?

Rosebud Business Finance

Are you looking for fast, flexible funding to grow a Lancashire business? Struggling to get bank finance because the bank wants you to source additional funding? Rosebud business finance could be exactly what you’re looking for.

  • Loans provided between £10,000 and £300,000 for ambitious growing businesses seeking to expand their workforce
  • Interest rates typically will be between 6-10% with an admin fee of 2.5%

  • Loans are typically taken out for three to five years. And there's no penalty for early repayment

  • You'll need to disclose if you've got a bad credit history, but it won't necessarily stop you from getting fundin

Find out more at Rosebud business finance

Funding Circle

Are you looking for a quick and affordable loan of up to £1m for your growing business without the costs and complexity of dealing with a bank?

Lancaster University Impact Acceleration Account

Lancaster University has been awarded £840,000 to renew its EPSRC (Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council) Impact Acceleration Account for the period 2017 to 2020. The majority of awards have involved collaboration with SMEs, reflective of Lancaster’s strength in this area.

The IAA provided both seed funding (up to £10,000) and co-funding (up to £25,000 matched in cash by an external partner) for Lancaster researchers working with small & medium sized employers.

Projects funded included;

  • Model Prototype & Application Prototype
  • New Algorithm(s) or Data Analytics Methodology
  • Patents, Filings or Patentable Inventions
  • Licence Agreements & Potential Licence Agreements
  • Spin Out or Start Up

For more information Contact Lancaster University or download the brochure