Supporting small businesses with big ideas

We’ve launched a grant scheme to support innovation in small businesses!

After a difficult few years for the economy, we’ve seen huge changes and challenges for local industry.  As part of our commitment to making sure Kirklees is a great place to live and work, we’re doing more than ever to support local businesses with innovation.

The Kirklees Innovation Voucher scheme is aimed at supporting small businesses to develop their big ideas.  Through this and other support, we want to drive real changes which will support our local industries and economy, and – in particular – help small businesses grow and succeed.

Who can apply?

The Vouchers are for local businesses who want to embark on their first collaborative innovation project.

They might want to develop a new product or enhance their business with new processes, by accessing specialist knowledge, technology or facilities.

The application process is now open to eligible businesses:

  • Start-ups which are at least a year old
  • Micro and small businesses with up to 50 employees

What does an Innovation Voucher cover?

Recipients of a Kirklees Innovation voucher will receive between £1,500 and £5,000 of funding for their innovation project.  This should cover half their project’s total cost – which means that for every £1 invested by the business in their project, the Voucher scheme also contributes £1, up to a maximum of £5,000.

These businesses will also receive assistance from expert advisors in the council’s Business, Economy & Growth service, as well as access to wider regional programmes like Connecting Innovation.

How is the scheme funded?

The Kirklees Innovation Voucher scheme is funded by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) working in partnership with the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership and the government’s Additional Restrictions Grant.

How should businesses apply?

If you’d like to find out more about Kirklees Innovation Vouchers, the application process and eligibility criteria – or if you’d like to register your interest – head to kirklees.gov.uk/business-innovation

Councillor Peter McBride, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, says:

“Over the last few years we’ve seen local industries challenged like never before, but we’ve also seen the most incredible resilience and innovation.

We’ve seen small businesses flourish because of their commitment to new ideas.  We’ve seen start-ups grow exponentially by capitalising on a gap in the market.  And we’ve seen huge changes to our economic landscape which both necessitate and reward innovation.

Kirklees Council will continue to support local enterprise at all levels, but we are especially focused on helping small businesses grow.  We hope that the Kirklees Innovation Voucher scheme will empower more small businesses to develop big ideas for the future.”