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Allerdale Social Impact Investment Fund (SIIF) grants and loans

Funding is provided by Sellafield Ltd to the Council to deliver a range of social outcomes linked to its Socio-Economic Strategy.

We use the money to help businesses grow through our SIIF grant and loan schemes.


Apply for a grant or a loan from the SIIF funding

There are two ways to apply for funding to start or expand your business: 

  • The new funding for 2019/20 is available. 
  • A loan of between £10,000 and £75,000, administered for the council by Enterprise Answers. (You can find out a little more about the loan scheme below)

SIIF grants

The SIIF grant scheme is designed to be a source of one-off pump-priming funding, to enable business growth to happen through making up the shortfall after the business has exhausted remaining sources of funding. It is not an alternative to commercial funding, but is additional.  You must provide some of the financing needed – this can be the business or private funding, bank loans, crowd funding etc., and demonstrate that you have sought finance from other sources whether successful or not. 

New businesses must seek business advice from accredited providers – see public sector sources listed below.

Funding is for capital expenditure only - for the acquisition or creation of a physical fixed asset or expenditure that adds to and not simply maintains the value of an existing fixed asset.  Revenue expenditure - operating costs incurred by the business in providing its day to day services such as salaries, rent, rates etc. – is ineligible.

Guidance notes can be downloaded below, which will help you decide if your activity is eligible for grant funding and assist in completing your application. You will also be required to submit a state aid assessment form, which can be downloaded below.

Download the SIIF application guidance notes

Download the SIIF state aid assessment form

If a grant is awarded the recipient will agree to be monitored on achievement of outputs and expenditure in accordance with the terms within the offer letter.

Recipients' details will be published in accordance with the requirement from Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) for all local councils and fire and rescue authorities in England to publish spending information over £500 online.

Contact us for more information on the SIIF grant scheme.

Apply for a grant 

To apply for a SIIF grant, download the application form below and email it to Please use the guidance notes above for assistance in completing the form and include as much detail as possible.

Download the SIIF grant application form

SIIF loan scheme

Local businesses can now benefit from a new loans scheme which the council has set up by us alongside Penrith-based finance firm Enterprise Answers. The scheme allows businesses to apply for between £10,000 and £75,000 to help them with any expansion plans.  

We are providing £250,000 from the SIIF grant, and the loans will be administered on its behalf by Enterprise Answers. The interest rate on the loans will be between 6% and 12% depending on the size of the loan, its length and any risks associated with it.   

Enterprise Answers can also help businesses secure other funding too. Contact Enterprise Answers direct for more information on the loan scheme and to apply.

Past SIIF funded projects

The Council prioritised jobs and growth in the Council Plan 2015-19, and supports activity that demonstrates the ability to protect existing jobs or create new ones. For details of the projects the scheme has supported recently, download the SIIF annual report below:

SIIF annual report

Click on the centre circle to open in full screen

Download the Social Impact Investment Fund 2016/17 Annual Report 7.7 MB

Public Sector sources of business support

Starting a new business

Business Finance 

This Government guide for SMEs  sets out the full range of debt and equity finance options for start-ups and businesses looking to grow. GREAT Business also offers further guidance , including start-up loans and how to find private sector support. 

My Business Support Tool provides impartial information and support to businesses and entrepreneurs looking to develop and grow. Its website contains lots of information and support, including an appeals process if you've been turned down by your bank, tips for a successful finance application and advice on writing a business plan.

The Business Support Helpline offers advice and guidance to new and existing businesses. It has information on national and local schemes, grants and loans to help businesses start and grow.

Calls to 0300 number will cost the same as calls to geographic numbers (starting 01 or 02), and may be included as part of any inclusive call minutes or discount schemes in the same way as geographic calls as defined by your provider. Telephone: 0300 456 3565 Monday to Friday, 9am - 6pm