South East Business Boost Grants

Supporting SMEs in the South East with growth grants...

SEBB is available to support businesses in the SELEP region to grow. Its focus is on Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SME’s) and start-up companies.  The objective is to boost companies and increase employment through support, guidance and grants. The project will improve business resilience, profitability and competitiveness.

The programme will provide ‘growth grants’ to local businesses, creating new jobs and ‘new to the firm’ products. It will also support ‘pre-start’ companies and ‘start-up’ companies.

The Offer:

The programme can fund up to 30% of the cost of qualifying projects, with the remaining 70% being met by the business.

The minimum grant that can be awarded is £1,000. The maximum grant amount is £10,000.

Projects must demonstrate that they will lead to business growth.

Grant funding from SEBB may be used to cover the following types of expenditure:

  • Premises: Business related extension and improvement. These costs are reliant on building ownership/length of lease.
  • Specialist IT equipment/Higher cost Specialist Software: Software development/programming costs are not eligible.
  • Plant, Equipment, Machinery and Tooling: Costs of and installation of machinery and hardware, and training required to operate it.
  • Specialist Training: Relating to a capital purchase.

Eligible area:

Businesses in the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) region can apply for support from the SEBB project. This includes:

  • Essex
  • Southend-on-Sea
  • Thurrock
  • Kent
  • Medway
  • East Sussex

Who Can Apply?

To be eligible for a grant, businesses must:

  • Be considered small or medium enterprises (i.e. employ fewer than 250 people, and have an annual  turnover not exceeding €50 million or a balance sheet not exceeding €43 million);
  • Spend the full value of the SEBB grant on a project taking place within the SELEP region (East Sussex, Essex, Thurrock, Southend-on-Sea, Kent or Medway)
  • Secure 70% of the costs of the project in cash from private sector sources before the SEBB grant agreement is concluded;
  • Not be engaged in a restricted sector according to the state aid regulations and ERDF requirements. Sectors that are not eligible are:
    • Fishery and Aquaculture
    • Agriculture
    • Coal, Steel and Shipbuilding
    • Synthetic Fibres
    • Education
    • Banking and Insurance
    • Membership organisations that are politically affiliated
    • Charities and voluntary sector organisations, that are not using a trading arm
  • Not exceeded the de minimis state aid limit (€200,000 over three years) or to be in a position where the de minimis state aid limit would be exceeded were the application to be approved.

To download a PDF document about SEBB please click here: SEBB Information

If you are interested:

Please go here to make an expression of interest 

The SEBB programme is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund 2014-2020. It is a partnership between Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, Kent County Council and Medway, East Sussex County Council, Essex County Council, Thurrock Council.

The government’s Department for Communities and Local Government has authority for management of the European Regional Development Fund programme. The fund was established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects that will support local businesses and create jobs.