Kent and Medway Business Fund

We're offering 0% loans between £50,000 and £500,000 to small and medium sized businesses in Ashford, Canterbury, Dartford, Dover, Folkestone and Hythe, Gravesham, Maidstone, Medway, Sevenoaks, Swale, Thanet, Tonbridge and Malling, and Tunbridge Wells.

The scheme aims to deliver investment to businesses across Kent and Medway and is funded by loan repayments from our previous Regional Growth Fund schemes (Expansion East Kent, Tiger and Escalate).

The Kent and Medway Business Fund will be open to new pre-applications from the 25 June 2019.

You can apply for a loan if you:

  • are a sole trader, partnership, limited company or a not-for-profit business
  • are located or seeking to locate in Ashford, Canterbury, Dartford, Dover, Folkestone and Hythe, Gravesham, Maidstone, Medway, Sevenoaks, Swale, Thanet, Tonbridge and Malling, and Tunbridge Wells
  • are seeking a loan between £50,000 and £500,000
  • are creating or safeguarding jobs
  • currently have fewer than 250 employees
  • are developing or expanding products, services, or processes that will lead to new jobs, deliver business growth and improve productivity
  • can provide security or personal guarantees as required - when security is required it will need to be provided for at least a value equal to the loan capital and administrative charges over the term of the loan
    • for all loans between £50,000-£99,999, security or personal guarantees may be required on a discretionary basis
    • for all loans of £100,000 and over, security or personal guarantees will automatically be required
  • work in an eligible sector based upon the area’s key strengths and growth prospects:
    • artificial intelligence
    • creative and digital
    • engineering
    • food production and technology
    • innovation rural businesses
    • manufacturing and pharmaceuticals

Please note, applications from other sectors are also eligible, where they can demonstrate innovation, added value and sustainable job creation.

The following sectors are not eligible for a loan:

  • coal
  • defence sector activities
  • energy generation
  • fisheries and aquaculture, primary production of agricultural products, processing and marketing of agricultural products
  • franchises
  • hospital, medical services and publicly and privately owned nursing homes, or care related hostel or residential activities
  • organisations engaged in political activity or lobbying at any level or activity of an exclusively religious nature
  • professional services (e.g. accountants, legal, financial, insurance)
  • road haulage, distribution and warehousing
  • schools (including state, free and private schools)
  • shipbuilding
  • steel production
  • synthetic fibres
  • tourism and leisure activities (except in the designated assisted areas).

Please read our application guidance (PDF, 1.1 MB) for further information.

There are 4 stages in the application process. We will provide you with feedback at each stage.

Step 1: Pre-application

Your pre-application helps us check that your business proposal meets our criteria and provides us with basic information about your business and your proposal for growth. This means that you don't waste time completing a full application if you aren't eligible.

Pre-applications can be submitted from 25 June 2019.

Submit your pre-application

Step 2: Full application

If your pre-application has successfully passed our initial assessment, we will send you a link to our full application form. The full application form asks for more detailed information about your proposal, including supporting evidence.

Getting to this stage does not guarantee funding.

Step 3: Appraisal

We will check that you have supplied everything we need to appraise your application.

Providing you have, your application will be appraised. The level of the appraisal will be proportionate to the level of funding you have requested.

Your application will be appraised for:

  • financial viability and sustainability
  • funding
  • jobs created and sustained
  • state aid compliance
  • value for money and benefits to the wider economy.

Step 4: Approval

The Kent and Medway Investment Advisory Board will consider our appraisal of your application and invite you to attend a board meeting to present your proposal.

The board will then approve or reject your application, or defer the decision if more information is needed.

If approved, the board will set the conditions of the loan (e.g. payback periods) and the type of security required.

Questions about your application

If you have any questions about your application please email

General business advice

Kent and Medway Growth Hub is government funded service provided by Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce that provides help and support to new and existing local businesses.

Find land or premises

Locate in Kent offers a range of free services including commercial property searches and business finance assistance to help businesses expand in or relocate to Kent and Medway.

Support from your bank

Why not speak to your local bank about the support they can give you?  The following banks are working in partnership with us to support this initiative:

Royal Bank of

Support from your district council

Contact your district council for additional support and advice about services available in your district area.

If you are located in medway contact Medway Council.