Finance and funding opportunities in Cornwall

8th October, 2018

Cornwall’s reputation as a rapidly growing global centre of next generation business attracts significant inward investment with multiple funding initiatives aimed at supporting industry growth across all sectors. Cornwall based businesses have access to varied RD&I opportunities via bespoke funding support targeted at digital technologies, advanced manufacturing & engineering. The region has developed a compelling range of financial assistance to support and accelerate business and industry growth.


Aerospace & Space


Supporting the high value space and aerospace cluster there is £1.285m grant funding for RD&I available with options including:

  • Match funding of up to 150,000K for projects with capital purchases & salaries
  • Programmes of up to 20 days fully funded training to accelerate supply chain competitiveness
  • Innovation vouchers of up to 5K for collaborative SME RD&I projects



As a Global Centre of Excellence for Agritech Research, Development and Innovation, powerful agricultural heritage with easy access to world renowned research institutions and access to the £10million Cornwall Agri-Tech Fund, Cornish Agritech is empowering farms and their supply chains, attracting business from the UK, Europe and rest of the world.

The £10m initiative for Research, Development and Innovation is in three strands: 

  • 50K to 250K collaborative research fund for businesses planning research, development and innovation
  • Voucher scheme for projects ranging from 2.5K – 50K to support areas such as consultancy costs, feasibility studies or for the commissioning of specialist research
  • Subsidised graduate placement programme with salary subsidies ranging from 1.5K to 2.25K

Marine Technology 

Industry Opt

The pioneering Marine-i programme aims to support over 100 businesses building on Cornwall’s strong maritime heritage, skilled talent base and unique environment. Funding includes:  

  • Reimbursable grants of 5K – 150K for research, new marine products and developing new processes or services for the market.
  • Graduate staff subsidies of up to 2.25K per graduate dependent on duration of placement (3, 6 or 9 months)

Health Technology


EPIC is a 3 year collaborative project between Creative England and the University of Plymouth to improve the use of technology in health and social care offering SME ehealth startups and developing businesses access to their EPIC Challenge Fund including:

  • Feasibility grants for the digital health market of up to 5K
  • Product service/development grants from 5K to 100K

Smartline is a research project investigating how technology can help us live healthier and happy lives led by the University of Exeter, Cornwall Council, Coastline Housing Ltd, and Volunteer Cornwall. Smartline offers:  

  • 1K Idea Generation Grant for SMEs looking to develop innovative ideas, products, processes or services.
  • 20K grants to support business innovation and growth in wellbeing and community health.

Creative & digital industries


Cultivator is a support programme for creative businesses and freelancers which offers:

  • Creative investment grants of up to 3K
  • Individual skills development of 1K


Industry specific funding streams are complemented by access to other funding and finance options.

Angel investment

Cornwall Trade and Investment can provide introductions to angel investment networks with many  business angels based in the South-West and open to exciting opportunities within the region.  From creating new business, assistance in fund-raising for startups, MBOs and expanding businesses and advising on further investment this is a potential route to securing private investment and business expertise.



Crowdfunder, the UK’s #1 micro-financing platform is based in Cornwall. To date it’s raised over £50m for projects from business, technology and sustainability to the arts, food and drink, education and health. In addition to providing a funding launchpad for ideas that matter, Crowdfunder can add up to 20K extra for qualifying community and social enterprise businesses. 

Equity crowdfunding

Headquartered in Exeter, Crowdcube offers opportunities for everyday investors to invest alongside professionals and venture capital firms in startup, early and growth stage businesses. It has achieved 700+ successful raises to date with a total of £490m invested in pitches.

Investment fund

The British Business Bank has a £40m commercially focussed Investment Fund for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (CIOSIF) to assist SMEs overcome financial barriers and address an equity gap for start-ups and development capital. The Fund will provide debt and equity finance from 25K up to £2m for growing small businesses transforming the SME landscape across the region.

Tevi fund

The newly launched Tevi fund will be providing an environmental challenge grant scheme for businesses that promote environmental resilience and mitigation. In addition, Tevi will include free business advice, a business support toolkit, and access to a network of SMEs in Cornwall focused on business and environmental projects.

SWIG Finance

The South West Investment Group (SWIG) is a not-for-profit company providing business loans to SMEs and start-ups. To date they have invested over £18m in more than 1,600 business looking to raise funds and accelerate growth. Providing an alternative funding stream, they pride themselves on saying yes ‘when the banks say no’.

The funding opportunities in Cornwall make the region an outstanding base for raising capital, launching start-ups, growing SMEs and supporting entrepreneurs with innovative, disruptive, new generation ideas.

If you want to know more or need help finding the funding that fits your business, get in touch with Cornwall Trade and Investment and see how we can work with you.

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