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Helping new businesses to grow for the future

Match-funded grants to organisations offering support services to develop businesses and sole traders are now available through the Folkestone Community Works (FCW) scheme.

Folkestone Harbour

In the latest rounds of calls opened for applications, there's also a chance to create an enterprise hub to encourage local entrepreneurs for years to come.

These opportunities are available through the fifth and sixth phase of the FCW programme funded by the European Regional Development Fund, and interested parties are being encouraged to get in touch with their ideas.

Cllr David Wimble, F&HDC Cabinet Member for the District Economy, said: "This is a brilliant platform to nurture an innovative idea into something which is successful and also supports the local community.

"Our programme management team is on hand to help applicants in making the process as simple as possible. We want projects to succeed just as much as those behind the exciting proposals we're looking forward to receive."

Further details of the opportunities (calls) available are below:

Call five: creating a hub for businesses and residents:
Funding for projects which would provide sustainable and integrated hubs for businesses and residents. This could include a space hosting business services, training sessions, CV writing and skills workshops, or a meeting room/hall for hire.

The maximum grant is £250,000 plus match-funding by the application, meaning an investment of up to £500,000 for Folkestone. It would also create a place(s) to provide business support for years to come.

This could be by bringing an empty building in the area back into use or repurposing a space currently underutilised.

The deadline for expression of interest forms and eligibility questionnaires is 22 May.

Call six: Delivering business support services

This funding is for projects to provide business support for budding entrepreneurs at the beginning of their journey into business, as well as advice for sole traders, start-ups or established businesses.

Grants are available from £25,000 to £174,000 plus match funding by the applicant. There is some match-funding available to the right project.

Projects could have a broad remit or focus on a specific sector such as hospitality, manufacturing, or on-line selling.  

The deadline for expression of interest forms and eligibility questionnaires is 22 May.

Folkestone Community Works is an ambitious programme that aims to help hundreds of people into work or training.

It was set up in February 2018 after F&HDC successfully secured £2.5m from the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund.

The money is helping people in the east, central and harbour wards of Folkestone build businesses and increase employment.

For more information about the Folkestone Community Works project, or either of the opportunities open please visit

Folkestone Community Works

European Structural and Investment Funds

The project is receiving up to £2.5 million of funding from the England European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Department for Work and Pensions (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) are the Managing Authorities for European Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund funding through the Growth Programme, funds established by the European Union to help local areas stimulate their economic development. By investing in projects the funds will help to support innovation, businesses, skills and employment to improve local growth and create jobs. For more information visit

Date published: 1 May 2020

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