We are inviting expressions of interest for companies to help us to deliver support to Chelmsford businesses in 2023/24.

We have received funding from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), which aims to build pride in place and increase life chances. 

We have allocated £30,000 of the funding to this project, which relates to the ‘Supporting Local Business’ priority and intervention E23 (‘Strengthening local entrepreneurial ecosystems, and supporting businesses at all stages of their development to start, sustain, grow and innovate, including through local networks’). 

Chelmsford is home to more than 9,000 businesses, which contribute over £5bn to the national economy. Over 90% of Chelmsford’s businesses are ‘micro’ businesses, meaning that they employ less than 10 people.

We help businesses access support, so they can thrive. This includes:

  • business support
  • forming proactive partnerships
  • signposting to other business support providers.

Over the last couple of years, we have provided local businesses with:

  • fully funded FSB membership
  • fully funded Visit Essex membership (for businesses in the visitor economy)
  • import and export support
  • one-to-one Instagram training
  • carbon literacy training and certification
  • one-to-one procurement training

In late 2022, we carried out a business survey.

We are also a member of the North Essex Economic Board (NEEB) and financially contribute to business support initiatives across north and mid Essex. 

NEEB has recently commissioned business support for 2023/24 and 2024/25 which includes:

  • one-to-one business diagnostic meeting
  • generalised business support (including how to grow business, increase productivity, and run a business sustainably)
  • business finance support
  • digital support
  • business start-up support workshops

Eligible organisations

You can apply for funding if your organisation is a:

  • public sector organisation
  • higher and further education institution
  • private sector company
  • voluntary organisation
  • registered charity

You cannot apply if you are an individual.

Eligible projects

All project proposals should be mindful of the current business support landscape (set out in the context section) and complement, rather than duplicate, the existing offer.

You cannot use the money to pay for:

  • anything that has already been ordered, contractually committed or paid for
  • lobbying, entertaining, petitioning or challenging decisions
  • payments for activities of a party political or exclusively religious nature
  • VAT reclaimable from HMRC
  • gifts, or payments for gifts or donations
  • statutory fines, criminal fines or penalties
  • works or activities that the lead local authority, project deliverer, end beneficiary, or any member of their partnership has a statutory duty to undertake, or that are fully funded by other sources
  • contingencies and contingent liabilities
  • dividends
  • bad debts, costs resulting from the deferral of payments to creditors, or winding up a company
  • expenses in respect of litigation, unfair dismissal or other compensation
  • costs incurred by individuals in setting up and contributing towards private pension schemes

Additionally, all funding is subject to the government’s subsidy control regime.

You need to give us details of the anticipated outputs and outcomes that your project hopes to achieve.

Outputs for intervention E23 include the number of:

  • businesses receiving financial support other than grants
  • businesses receiving non-financial support
  • potential entrepreneurs given help to make them business ready

Outcomes for intervention E23 include:

  • number of jobs created
  • number of jobs safeguarded
  • number of new businesses created
  • reduced vacancy rates
  • number of businesses adopting new technologies or processes

If you are interested, you need to complete our online expression of interest form to pitch your project ideas.

Apply now

You are welcome to pitch more than one project idea, but you will need to complete a separate form for each.

As part of your application, you will need to provide:

  • an outline of what your project will involve
  • details of any anticipated outputs and outcomes that your project will achieve, including forecast totals
  • an outline budget or your project

The deadline to submit your expression of interest is Friday 9 June 2023.

After the closing date, we will assess all applications. We will notify you as soon as we have made a decision.

We will then invite shortlisted projects to make a full detailed application.

If your organisation's project is successful in attracting funding, the organisation will enter into a formal agreement covering:

  • funding
  • outputs and outcomes
  • evidence requirements
  • other conditions around publicity, branding, procurement of goods and services and other matters

If you have any questions about Chelmsford’s UKSPF, you can contact the Economic Development Team.

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