Grants and Funding for Businesses

Funding for Rural Businesses

Grants of between £2500 and £50000 are available for rural businesses in the Sussex area. West Sussex County Council is the accountable body for two LEADER Local Action Groups:

  • Central Sussex which covers the rural areas of Horsham, Lewes and Mid Sussex Districts.
  • Sussex Downs & Coastal Plain which covers the rural areas of Arun and Chichester District and Hayling Island.

There is a map of the two LEADER areas and more information about for applying for the grants.

LEADER, Local Action Groups award grant funding to local businesses and organisations to help them carry out projects which create jobs and benefit the rural economy.

This money will be used to support projects proposed by farmers, growers, foresters, other small rural businesses and rural community groups that will benefit the economy of the LEADER areas.

SE Assist

Supported by the Coast to Capital LEP, SE Assist is a new approach to social investment, which brings together large businesses and social enterprises. SE-Assist Sussex aims to support local social enterprises that are struggling to access capital and support from elsewhere. Successful social enterprises will receive a support package which includes:

  • an interest free loan of between £10,000 and £30,000
  • Legal & General employee as a mentor
  • access to a bank of experts

To apply you must be a social enterprise that:

  • trades for a social and/or environmental purpose
  • will have a clear charitable mission, which means it will know what positive difference it is trying to make, who it aims to help, and how it plans to do it
  • brings in most or all of its income through selling goods or services
  • reinvests profits to further its social mission; and/or which, in a ‘wind-up’ situation, remaining assets would be passed on to another non-profit social enterprise that has a charitable purpose.

For more info please visit the SE Assist website

Start-Up Loan for Young People

If you’re looking to start your own business, you might be thinking about a start-up loan. Let’s Do Business Start Up, part of the Let’s Do Business Group, has a proven track record in successfully delivering start up loans and business mentoring to people ready to take their first steps in the business world. The website provides all the information you need.

Apply for funding to support your local economic development project or event

The District Council is offering the chance of grant funding to support community and economic development in Mid Sussex. District Council funding may be available to help projects, including events, that will support and develop the economy of all or parts of Mid Sussex. A number of local projects and events have already benefitted from financial support from this fund, so contact the Council's Planning Policy and Economic Development Team  ( to see if you might be eligible. 

Business Small Grants Scheme  

The Sussex Active and Healthy Workplace Initiative has a small grants scheme to help local businesses improve the health and wellbeing of their workforce.  The scheme is designed to support employers to make a positive change and increase the opportunities available to employees throughout Sussex and work towards improving the health of the local workforce.  For more information on the Active and Healthy Workplace Small Grants Scheme go to the funding pages on the Active Sussex website.

Application form