1. What is a grant?
A grant is a sum of money given to an individual or business for a specific project or purpose.
A grant usually covers only part of the total costs involved.
Grants may be linked to business activity, employment creation or a specific industry sector. Some grants are linked to geographic areas, eg those in need of economic regeneration.
2. The application process
Before you apply for a grant, you should ensure that you:
- meet the conditions of the scheme
- are ready to put up some of your own money or secure a private sector funding match
- need the money for a specific purpose
- don't start the project before you get an agreement from the funding body/provider
When you have identified the right grant scheme for your needs, you will need to provide:
- detailed project description
- an explanation of the potential benefits of the project
- a detailed work plan with full costings
- details of your relevant experience and that of other key managers
- completed application forms
3. Pros and cons
- most grants don’t have to be repaid and are not shown as debt in your balance sheet
- the application process can be time-consuming
- there is a lot of competition
- you may have to demonstrate progress of the project to the grant body
- you may need to match funds, as grants do not usually cover the full cost of a project
4. Common mistakes
Your application may be turned down if:
- your area of research / work is not relevant to the body awarding the grant
- you haven't explained how your research ideas would be put into action
- your proposal or application makes statements that aren’t backed up with supporting facts
- your research plan is unfocused and lacks clarity
- you haven't communicated the impact of the work on the wider community and industry effectively
- the information you have provided in the application is not up-to-date
- you haven't clarified the importance of the funds to the project's success or failure
- you can't prove that you have matched funds
- you haven't proven your need for grant support
If your business is declined for a grant, you can ask for feedback on why the application was turned down to help with future applications.
5. Funding sources
The main groups that award grants are:
- the Welsh Government
- the UK Government
- the European Union
- local authorities
- charitable organisations
Use our Finance Locator to search for grants.