Access to finance

Looking for funding options to grow your business? The main funding providers are listed below, click on the options below to see which are most beneficial for your business or please call the Access to Finance Team on 0161 359 3050 to discuss the products in more detail.


British Business Bank
The British Business Bank brings expertise and government money to smaller business finance markets.  

GC Business Finance
Offers a range of government backed finance products from start - up loans of £500 to equity investment up to £4 million for businesses who are unable to obtain funding through a mainstream lender.

Business Growth Fund
Established in 2011 to help Britain's growing smaller and medium sized businesses. Backed by five of the UK's main banking groups - Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS and Standard Chartered - they are an independent company with up to £2.5bn with which to make long-term equity investments.
Case study: RMS International

Business Investment Fund
The fund offers loans and equity of between £0.20m and £5m at commercial rates for businesses looking to create jobs in the region.

Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund
The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund provides commercially focussed finance through Microfinance, Debt and Equity Finance funds of £25,000 to £2 million. NPIF is a collaboration between the British Business Bank and ten Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in the north west.
Case study: Red Security Solutions

Access to Finance Team
Free assessment of your financial position and funding requirements, including development of your business plan.

Funding Circle
Funding Circle is a marketplace where individuals lend to businesses at a rate that suits everyone by cutting out the high costs and complexity of banks, 10% of eligible loans funded by the UK. Borrow between £5,000 and £1 million. Fast turnaround; Get a decision in 48 hours and your loan completed within six days on average.

Manufacturing Growth Programme
The purpose of the Manufacturing Growth Programme is to help businesses to:

  • Create jobs
  • Improve productivity through manufacturing efficiencies
  • Access new supply chains

Innovation and efficiency

Research and development tax relief
Company tax relief aimed at helping reduce a company tax bill, or provide a cash sum for smaller companies. Both SMEs and larger companies spending at least £10,000 on research and development activities during the accounting period of the company are eligible to apply. For SMEs, 150% of qualifying research and development expenditure may be deducted when calculating taxable profits, for larger companies, the deductible amount is 125%.

Innovation Voucher Scheme
The Innovation Voucher Scheme enable small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to apply for up to £5,000 funding to access expertise, research and specialist facilities to accelerate the development of innovation products and services.

Innovate UK Funding
Supports SMEs carrying out research and development offering a proof of concept grant (max £100,000) or the development of prototype grant (max £250,000), open for applications four times per year.


Help is available for local employers to access Kickstart to create new six-month job placements for young people. There are zero costs to employers with funding available to cover 100% of the salary costs relevant to National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week. Terms and conditions apply. Find out more about Kickstart.

Salford Skills for Business Apprenticeship Fund
The fund will invest in apprenticeship training within small to medium sized organisations (under 250 employees) to help create more quality and sustainable apprenticeship roles for Salford residents. It will also help existing employers close skills gaps in key sectors such as health and social care, digital, manufacturing and construction, hospitality, business and professional services. The employer must pay at least the National Living Wage for employees over 25 years of age.

Starting a business

Start up loans
Individuals must be setting up in business or trading for up to 12 months, fixed interest rate 6%, minimum loan £500, maximum loan £10,000, no arrangement fee.

This page was last updated on 22 February 2021

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