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. The programme is now funded by the repayment of loans awarded to successful applicants.

Read the Impact Assessment ReportCase Studies

£98mof private sector funding injected into the East Midlands economy
1,900jobs created in the East Midlands by the Invest to Grow fund
£26mawarded to businesses across the East Midlands

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

EMbusinesses in the East Midlands can apply for funding
£15kminimum award size
£250kmaximum award size
A man in a factory fixing some machinery.

Invest to Grow exceeds job targets

Helping generate more than 1,900 jobs in the East Midlands – exceeding its target, set at 1,873 jobs by 2024.

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An introduction to Invest to Grow Funding

View SureScreen: 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 a variety of 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 adaptations 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. The maximum award size is £250,000.

Grants and loans remain available however current demand and competition for the Invest to Grow funding is high. Each funding request will be judged on its own merit depending on the availability of funding at the time. The majority of awards are a mix of grants and loans. 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 investtogrow@derby.ac.uk.

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 .

Quotes from our partners:

“It was a good experience working with the University of Derby regarding Invest to Grow. We have also subsequently had positive experiences of working with its careers department and now employ a number of the University’s alumni.”

Peter Evans, CEO of Orderly

“Working with Invest to Grow has broadened our knowledge of the University and how we can engage with it. It has been a really good experience working with Nic and the team, which has led to us developing a broader relationship with the University in other areas.”
Andy Flinn, CEO of RDS Global

“Our engagement with Invest to Grow showed us that the University of Derby is not just about academic activity, but that it also has a commercial focus. We have therefore engaged with the University further through various means, and would look to do so again in the future.”

John Mayers, Owner Positive ID Labels

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