Finding small business and franchise grants in the UK can take a bit of searching. You need to be sure that you meet criteria specific to each grant if you want to apply.

But there is a whole range of potential grants out there. It really depends on where you are based in the UK and the type of franchise business you intend to buy.

Here is everything you need to know about how to get started:

Table of Content
Table of Contents:
  1. What’s the difference between grants for a franchise start-up and a loan?
  2. Small business grants in the UK – a list
  3. How to find more government grants for franchises

What’s the Difference Between Grants for a Franchise Start-Up and a Loan?

Unlike a loan or many other sources of funding for your franchise business, a grant is money that you do not have to pay back. Once you have met the criteria for the grant, the money is yours to use and invest in your business.

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That is a pretty good deal. Plus, meeting the criteria is usually less difficult than getting a loan. However, it can still take a little work.

Small Business Grants in the UK – a List

There is a huge variety of grants out there. They range from government grants to start a business, local council grants for specific regions or industries and for other purposes such as youth investment funds.

Some grants require you to be starting a specific type of business. For example:

  • Grow It Award – you can claim £15 000 if you can prove that your business will solve a social issue, such as developing a resilient local community.
  • Heritage Enterprise UK – this is designed to fund the restoration of historic sites and buildings.

These types of grants are not suitable for most business owners. So, if you are looking for grants for a cleaning business or other home services – a proven type of franchise which has a great ability to whether things like recessions – you should investigate options such as:

1) The Prince’s Trust

The Prince’s Trust offers funding, resources, training, and mentoring programs to young people aged between 18 and 30 years old.

If you are between those ages and have become self-employed or the owner of your own business in the past four years, you can also claim their special COVID-19 grant.

2) SEIS (The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme)

This scheme is specifically designed to help start-up businesses raise money to open their doors. £150 000 is the maximum the scheme awards, but there is a range of conditions.

3) British Council Grants

You can use British Council Grants for a select range of purposes, usually limited to research, travel, and workshops. But they do have new options all the time, so it is always worth checking their website.

4) New Enterprise Allowance

This is a great option if you are currently unemployed while opening your business. It’s a smaller grant – £1274 spread over 26 weeks – but it’s still very helpful if you have no other income while you are setting up your new franchise.

You can also claim New Enterprise Allowance if you are self-employed and on Universal Credit, though it may be even more limited.

5) Countryside Stewardship

The Countryside Stewardship offers a range of several hundred different grants. Some of these will almost certainly be suitable for your new franchise business.

6) Business Relief Rates

If you own property or your business only uses one property, you may be able to claim business relief rates via your local council.

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7) Area-Specific Grants

Many grants depend on you being based in the right part of the country to claim them. For example:

  • Adur and Worthing Small Business Grants – a grant of up to £2500 open to small businesses looking to grow in the Adur and Worthing areas of the UK.
  • Boost Business Lancashire – are you based in Lancashire? There are more than a dozen potential grant options you could claim through the Boost Business Lancashire scheme.
  • Chichester District Council grant programme – you can apply for a range of small grants from your local council if you live in Chichester.
  • New Anglia Small Grants Scheme – if you are in Suffolk or Norfolk, you may be able to claim grants between £1000 and £25 000 from the New Anglia LEP.

You might try searching for “grants” plus your city, county, region, or local council name to see if there are any schemes running in your local area.

The government and local councils aren’t allowed to discriminate, so you can easily source franchise grants for minorities or any member of society.

How to Find More Government Grants for Franchises

In addition to searching for local grant options, you can explore government grants to start a business through’s finance and support for your business tool and ticking the “grants” box.

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  • Last update: October 15, 2021

Posted in Industry Insights