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.