Invest to Grow funding for your business

The University of Derby's Invest to Grow programme provides grants and loans of between £15,000 and £250,000 to support private-sector businesses across the East Midlands to innovate, grow and create jobs.

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Read the Impact Assessment ReportCase Studies

EMbusinesses in the East Midlands can apply for funding
£15kminimum award size
£250kmaximum award size

For your project to qualify for Invest to Grow funding, you will need to demonstrate that it meets the following criteria: 

£97mof private sector funding injected into East Midlands economy
1,800jobs created and safeguarded by the Invest to Grow Fund
£25mawarded to 200 businesses across the East Midlands
An introduction to Invest to Grow Funding

View Introduction to Invest to Grow Funding video transcript

Key FAQs

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), large enterprises, sole traders and partnerships located in the East Midlands.

Funding is available for projects that will create new jobs and where these jobs can be sustained for a minimum of three years (five years for large organisations). In particular, projects are welcomed that create higher-skilled jobs (ie require knowledge and skills at or above NVQ level 4).

The types of project that Invest to Grow may support include:

  • Development or improvement of products and related services
  • Expansion or upgrading of business premises, machinery and/or equipment
  • Innovation in products, processes and systems that will result in business and supply chain efficiency, growth and profitability

The programme is aimed at growth sectors including:

  • Manufacturing (eg transport equipment and food and drink)
  • Life sciences
  • Construction
  • Logistics
  • Engineering
  • Technology
  • Creative industries
  • Low carbon

Invest to Grow does not support any companies which are business to consumer (B2C) focused, or in the professional services, agriculture and retail sectors.

  • Purchase of land and buildings
  • Refurbishment of land and buildings
  • Plant and machinery costs
  • Equipment costs
  • Product development costs

All project costs must be exclusive of VAT.

The minimum award size is £15,000, for which the minimum project cost must be £50,000. Maximum award size is £250,000 although higher awards can be considered for projects which offer exceptional value for money.

Grants and loans remain available. The majority of awards are a mix of grant and loan. Applications where the loan amount requested is higher than the grant amount will stand a greater chance of being successful.

The first stage of the application process is the submission of an Expression of Interest Form . For further details, please call the Invest to Grow helpline on +44 (0)1332 597907 or email

Read these key frequently asked questions about the Invest to Grow programme. For more information, please download our full list of Invest to Grow FAQs 2020.

Quotes from our partners:

“We have been very impressed with the Invest to Grow team - their clear guidance and expertise from day one has been second to none. Without them, we would have not been able to build the business to where it is now.”

Matt Francklow, Managing Director, Creation Reprographics 

“Our turnover is set to increase by 35-40% by the end of 2017. The funding has enabled us to increase production, become more efficient, and ‘step up a level’.”
David Smith, Managing Director, The National Forest Spring Water Company

“Before our relocation, we were turning down 75% of enquiries, but since relocating we’ve doubled our income in January and tripled it in February. In just two months we can already see the value of the project. Without Invest to Grow the move would have happened but the investment into the property would have had to wait. So the impact of the move would not have come for a long time.”
Cheryl Potter, Quality Manager, Penta Pattern and Model Ltd

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