Support for business

South Lanarkshire Business Growth Grant

What is it?

The South Lanarkshire Business Growth Grant (SLBGG) is a discretionary grant fund targeted at assisting the growth of new and existing businesses based in South Lanarkshire. The grant fund supports local businesses to implement projects that will create new jobs and/ or help businesses reduce their energy usage and make progress towards achieving net zero carbon emissions in a quantifiable manner. 

SLBGG grants will provide up to 50% of eligible project costs (excluding VAT) and up to a maximum total grant award of £20,000. The grant is paid retrospectively, and evidence of expenditure must be provided prior to any payment of grant award. The South Lanarkshire Business Growth Grant (SLBGG) is a competitive, discretionary grant fund targeted at new and existing full-time businesses based in South Lanarkshire to support their long-term sustainability and growth. SLBGG grants will provide 50% of eligible project costs (excluding VAT), up to a maximum grant award of £20,000 to fund specific activities to help businesses recover and grow. This grant is funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Businesses can apply for grant support towards the following external costs:

  • Capital expenditure
  • Infrastructure improvement
  • Consultancy support
  • Training support
  • Exhibition support

Am I eligible?

If you can answer yes to all of the following statements, you are able to consider applying

  • My business is based in South Lanarkshire
  • My business is a micro, small, or medium sized enterprise (up to 250 employees)
  • If you employ staff, you pay them at least the Real Living Wage
  • My business does not operate in the following sectors:
    • gambling/betting establishment
    • drinking place that does not serve food
    • credit union
  • My business turnover is over the VAT threshold or expected to reach a minimum level of £85,000 within 12 months of the date of the application
  • My business has not incurred any project-related expenditure or made any confirmed commitments relating to this project/application
  • I am not in arrears for either of the following (whatever one is relevant):
    • Non-Domestic Rates for business premises
    • Council Tax for businesses operating from home
  • The project detailed in the application will directly contribute to one, or both, of the following outcomes:
    • The creation of new jobs to the business
    • Assist your business work towards net zero in a quantifiable manner

Unfortunately, businesses at the pre-trading or feasibility stage are ineligible to apply.

Also, the following project types will not be supported:

  • Any project leading to a reduction in jobs
  • Projects funded by Hire Purchase or equivalent finance agreements with repayments over a period of time and no outright ownership until the end of the agreement.
  • Projects paid for in cash
  • Projects required by law to meet legislative requirements.
  • Projects/applications for security systems, CCTV systems or fire alarms

Applicant businesses can be home-based or operate from dedicated commercial premises. If the application is from a home-based business the applicant must contact their local Planning office to ascertain whether they require planning consent. Some form of written confirmation must accompany this type of application. Home-based businesses can not apply for support with infrastructure improvements.

No indication of prior commitment – in order to be considered for grant support, no work must start on the project in question and no expenditure should be incurred until after the applicant company has received a formal decision from the council regarding their grant application. Also no other form of prior commitment, financial or otherwise (for example, order placed or deposit paid) can be made, any such application will not be supported.

What can I use the grant for?

Examples of projects

Applicants can apply for grant funding in support of the following project types:

Capital expenditure

  • New machinery to increase productivity or bring services in-house to improve productivity, efficiency and margin
  • New capital equipment to implement innovative processes, develop new or improved products, goods or services
  • Assistance to implement net zero plans to reduce carbon emissions. For example, significantly improve the energy efficiency of equipment and should demonstrate a significant reduction in the overall energy usage of the business.
  • New digital systems to increase productivity or competitiveness
  • General office IT equipment (monitors, hard drives, printers, scanners, laptops, desktops, telephony systems only) for new employees created as part of an eligible project.
  • Any non-excluded equipment or machinery (see exclusions below) that will contribute to one of the key objectives of the grant.
  • Mobile or hand-held equipment that will benefit business growth in terms of job creation, or which will help overcome a technological barrier enabling new or existing markets to be fully exploited. This includes certain mobile ICT equipment, such as tablets, where a case can be made that shows the direct benefit to the business.
  • Investment in servers or cloud-based systems.
  • Vans or pick-ups that have been extensively customised for the business and are used specifically for the sole use of the business - Note that the vehicle would need to be kept for at least 3 years and South Lanarkshire Council will require proof of ownership.

Excluded capital expenditure includes:

  • Any equipment that is not purchased outright, for example, hire purchase or under a finance agreement.
  • Smartphones
  • Off-the-shelf software packages such as MS Office, and other office equipment.
  • replacement of equipment/items ‘like for like’
  • items replaced due to ‘wear and tear’ or which are faulty
  • purchase of vehicles – vans, pick-ups (unless it has been extensively customised and used specifically for the sole use of the business.)
  • any equipment directly related to farming or agribusiness

Infrastructure improvement

  • Construction/installation works associated with expansion or conversion of office or workspace
  • Cabling and ICT infrastructure (such as network installation, three-phase power supply)
  • Construction of walls or fences
  • Installation of energy efficient systems, equipment, or building fabric that will demonstrably reduce carbon emissions in the business and/or assist net zero aspirations, including but not limited to:
  • renewable heat technologies such as installing an air source heat pump.
  • installing LED lighting.
  • installing solar panels, wind turbines and wood-burning stoves
  • upgrading the energy efficiency heating, ventilation, and air conditioning
  • improving insulation, draught-proofing, double or secondary glazing

Excluded infrastructure projects include:

  • Cosmetic or non-essential improvements (such as painting, landscaping, and so on)
  • Temporary or removable improvements
  • Repairs required to ensure premises are wind or watertight or repairs required to ensure premises are compliant with relevant Health and Safety Regulations or Building Regulations
  • Projects/applications for security systems, CCTV systems or fire alarms
  • Businesses working from home, including Bed and Breakfast businesses, will be ineligible for infrastructure improvement support.

Consultancy support

  • new marketing strategy
  • e-commerce capacity to enable online trading and help sell into new domestic or international markets (retail or wholesale)
  • quality accreditations and technical certifications
  • bespoke business software/IT systems, or the customisation and integration of ‘off the shelf’ business software and systems

Excluded consultancy projects include:

  • Projects that could be supported through the Expert Help Framework support through South Lanarkshire Council/ Business Gateway.
  • Business plans.
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Energy audits
  • In-house consultancy.
  • Development of information or brochure websites that lack a clear focus on e-commerce trading.
  • Purchase and installation of off-the-shelf software packages (for example Microsoft Office software, standard Sage packages and so on)

Training support

  • Any external training required to help improve skill levels in business, increasing productivity and efficiency or
  • Any external training to allow the business to expand or diversify the products or services they provide, for example training for a new piece of equipment or process that is new to the business. 
  • Sustainability and Net Zero Training Courses which improve the ability of the business to reduce carbon will also be considered.

Exclusions for training support include:

  • Training that has already commenced
  • Training delivered internally by the company’s own staff
  • Any training which is a legal requirement (including training required in order for businesses/operatives to be compliant with relevant health and safety legislation)
  • Exam registration/certification fees
  • Cost of travel to and from the training venue
  • Accommodation and subsistence costs

Exhibition support

  • Attendance at UK or International Trade Exhibitions

Exclusions for exhibition support include:

  • Trade missions which are already funded via other agencies, for example SDI.
  • Staff costs.
  • Travel and accommodation costs.
  • Subsistence costs (such as food and drink, hospitality.)
  • Hire car costs.
  • Taxi fares, transfers and parking charges.
  • Fuel costs.
  • Support is not available if the business has attended the same event previously.

Please note that SLBSG funding cannot be used to provide working capital and certain exclusions apply please see full guidelines.

Applying for a grant

We would encourage you to start the process by calling the Business Gateway on 01698 442837 and speaking to a business adviser about your business and the eligibility of your project to make sure you maximise the wider support available for your business and explore all the alternative sources of funding available. Whatever stage your business is at, Business Gateway offers practical help, advice, and support to help you grow your business, including workshops and events.

Please read the detailed guidelines first before you proceed. This gives more details on company eligibility, conditions of the grant and what information and evidence you will need to provide.

If you have any questions, please email business.support@southlanarkshire.gov.uk.