The Government has recently published two announcements about grant funding to help smaller businesses recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.



Due to overwhelming interest in our grants, the call for completing the gateway diagnostic tools have now closed.  Submissions will now be validated by Exemplas and those who are eligible will be contacted.


As demand far exceeded our expectations, we were forced to close both schemes during the launch day on Tuesday 15 September. We are now analysing the responses we have received to assess whether funds potentially remain available.


We only had around 100 grants available to distribute, but if some funds are left we will want to make an early decision on how applicants can access these.


We will, of course, be in touch as soon as we have more information, however you may wish to sign up to our newsletter to get the latest information on other grants which may become available.


Business based in Croydon should register their interest here and business based in Lewes should visit this webpage




There are likely to be around 100 grants available combined across both schemes, however we expect to see hundreds of expressions of interest and have therefore capped the number of submissions on our Gateway Diagnostic Tool in order to avoid unnecessary disappointment.


The gateway will close when the maximum number of Expressions of Interests has been reached – likely within an hour of opening - this may mean that you are no longer able to progress through the tool if it closes before you have completed it.


Further information, including eligibility criteria and the information you will need to have ready to check your eligibility via our gateway diagnostic tool are detailed below and in the related resources box to the right


Business based in Croydon should register their interest here and business based in Lewes should visit this webpage


Please note, grant payments will not be made until up to 10 weeks after the purchase of the item or service your business has paid and claimed for.


Our team are unable to provide further information about this scheme by telephone or email. All enquiries are being directed to this webpage. 


Funding is extremely limited and we expect the scheme to be very popular, so you should complete the gateway diagnostic tool as soon as possible after the scheme opens. We are not operating a waiting list so decisions will be made on a first come, first served basis. The gateway diagnostic will close when the limit has been reached. 


There is no obligation for businesses to contribute financially as the grant is fully funded. 


The Kick-start Tourism grant is aimed at businesses within the visitor economy with fewer than 250 employees, while the Restart and Renew SME grant is aimed at all other businesses with fewer than 250 employees. Applicants for both must have been impacted by COVID-19 and must satisfy further eligibility criteria. Businesses can apply for grants of between £1000 - £3000 (up to £5000 in exceptional circumstances) toward professional services to help them adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic or to purchase new equipment. 


Important note: it is anticipated that the call for eligibility diagnostics will be open for a very short period before it becomes oversubscribed. Therefore, to ensure you have the best chance, please have the following information to hand before you enter the Gateway Diagnostic Tool. To check if you’re eligible and prepare for the diagnostic tool in advance, please read the Eligibility Criteria document in the Related Resources (to the right).


How you’ll be assessed:


Grants will be awarded on a first come first served basis. All decisions will be final, with no opportunity to appeal. Eligibility checks will also take the following into account:


  • Your potential to respond/adapt/strengthen from the impact of COVID-19 
  • Your ability to identify opportunities to rebuild following the impact of COVID-19    
  • Your ability to deliver within the timescales available (one month)


What happens after gateway diagnostics are submitted?


The lead partner in this project is Exemplas Ltd. Applicants who pass the gateway diagnostic on the Growth Hub website will be invited to send their details to Exemplas, who will be in contact with a full application form via email and will manage the rest of the application process. 


Due to the high volume of eligibility diagnostics expected, it may take up to 10 working days for full application forms to be sent. LEP or Growth Hub staff will not be able to provide an update on the status of your application.  


Successfully submitting an eligibility diagnostic through the Coast to Capital Growth Hub diagnostic tool does not guarantee that you will be successful in your application. 


What happens if my business is successful in obtaining a grant? 


If successful, you will receive the relevant documentation from Exemplas detailing the next steps. Please note, funds will only be paid upon production of an invoice for the service or item you have claimed against. 


What if my business is not eligible or unsuccessful for a grant?


We are unable to provide individual feedback for each grant, however if unsuccessful you can contact Our Growth Hub which has a dedicated team of experienced advisors who may be able to provide further advice. 


Terms and conditions:


  • Only one eligibility diagnostic can be made per business. Multiple attempts to apply may invalidate all expressions of interest for your business. 
  • Grants must be claimed within two months of you receiving confirmation that your application has been accepted unless agreed otherwise.
  • The grant must cover 100% of the service your business is procuring (up to a maximum total project value of £5,000). This grant cannot be used to part-fund expenditure. 


Take a look at the short video below which explains the full application process. 

Kickstart Tourism and Restart and Recovery SME Grant information from Enterprise M3 LEP on Vimeo.




Should you require additional assistance in order to complete the gateway diagnostic, please complete a Request Form so that an adviser can get in touch. 

Visit our growth hub

Business Navigator Growth Hub

Get in touch
01293 305965

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