Government Grants, All About


Whether or not you qualify for any particular scheme is dependent on 3 main criteria:

  • Location
  • Size
  • Industry

a) Location

The UK is comprised of four separate home countries. Each has its own institutions or awarding bodies offering their own schemes (in addition to those offered by the UK national government and the European Commission). The first element in the location criterion is, therefore, the particular home country in which then business is based.

The second element is whether the business is based in one of the many “special areas” into which the UK is divided. Since these areas are designated by the awarding bodies themselves and are different from each other – indeed, may be drawn up for one particular scheme – it is not easy to ascertain whether or not your business is located within the required boundary. It is necessary to consult the particular awarding body or the requisite map.

b) Size

Certain schemes are restricted to small or medium sized organisations (SMEs). These are companies with less than 250 employees.

Other schemes go further in their defined target definitions and may restrict application to those employing 50, or 20, or 10 employees.

c) Industry or Sector

The industry in which the company operates is the third eligibility factor. This may affect eligibility on an inclusive or exclusive basis. Exclusive schemes are those which apply generally across industry sectors but specifically exclude a certain industry or sector. Such schemes are not common.

More likely to occur are industry specific (or inclusive) schemes. These are schemes which are established to tackle particular problems or issues affecting an industry sector.


Although any of the above restrictions will, if applicable, debar a company from applying it should be noted that the vast majority of schemes apply without restriction to location, size, or industry sector.

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