Grants up for grabs for Rochdale’s innovative businesses

Date published: 18 November 2022

The Business Growth Hub has also launched its #HereForBusiness support package this month helping local businesses to manage the increasing cost of doing business.

Innovative businesses in Rochdale are being urged to apply for grant funding to bring their new product or service to market.

Firms with a big idea can get match funding of up to £5,000 via the GC Business Growth Hub, as well as support from a local university or research facility.

Innovation Vouchers are up for grabs by local small- and medium-sized businesses (less than 250 employees) with ambitions to grow.

All that’s needed is an innovative plan for a new product or service - and a willingness to invest £1 for every £1 in grant funding.

Grants of between £3,000 and £5,000 are available, with the programme open for applications between now and the end of the year.

Companies can use the funding for research and development, to access facilities or equipment and to take forward product design. Support with knowledge transfer and consultancy is also available.

Dharma Nurse, Senior Innovation Development Manager at GC Business Growth Hub, said: “The Innovation Vouchers scheme is a fantastic opportunity for businesses in Greater Manchester to take their growth ambitions to the next level. Our local business community is brimming with ideas - and all many of them need is a helping hand to turn their dreams into reality.

“Investing in innovation isn’t always easy however, despite the R&D tax incentives which are available. Also, funding isn’t the only requirement - being able to tap into expertise and support is also vital and that’s where the Innovation Vouchers come in.”

Long-term partnerships are available via the scheme with Greater Manchester’s world-class universities including The University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, The University of Salford, The University of Bolton, and The Science and Technology Facilities Council campus based in Daresbury. Recognised research institutions (usually not-for-profit) can also provide expert advice and support through the voucher programme.

Support is available via the GC Business Growth Hub team with all aspects of the application process and decisions are usually made very quickly.

One Greater Manchester company which has already used an Innovation Voucher to help realise its growth ambitions is UBU Environmental Ltd.

UBU helps to keep Greater Manchester’s streets clean via its fleet of 120 road sweepers. The firm converts leftover road sweeping waste into ‘soil cake’ which has until now been disposed of in landfill at an annual cost to the firm of more than £300,000.

Innovation voucher funding is helping UBU’s ongoing efforts to find a more sustainable and efficient solution to the problem - which will allow the soil cake to be used safely in a range of environmental projects such as tree planting.

The voucher scheme enabled the firm to develop its idea, ahead of the launch of a Knowledge Transfer Protocol (KTP) project with Manchester Metropolitan University.

UBU owner Rebecca Murphy-Peers said: “I would recommend the scheme as it combines funding with support, which makes the application both valued and considered. It’s a very positive process and we are very grateful to the team of people at the Growth Hub who assisted us on this journey.

“We received a great deal of support from our dedicated advisor which was consistent and followed a systematic pathway to ensure that we were suitable for the voucher scheme. This included a full business review and considered aspects such as business planning, IP environmental impact and areas of business strength and development.

“The support has been invaluable for the business and has allowed us to set the steps in place to successfully implement the KTP with MMU. The teams work in collaboration with one another which means there is little duplication and there is a seamless transition between the funding and the implementation of the KTP.”

In partnership with Greater Manchester Combined Authority, the Local Enterprise Partnership, Local Authorities and Business Representative Organisations, the Business Growth Hub has launched #HereForBusiness to support the region’s businesses.

The campaign brings together support available to Greater Manchester businesses along with practical solutions they can take to deal with energy price rises and other increasing costs. 

A dedicated website has been launched which includes useful information and advice on what support is available, blogs and case studies.

To find out more and apply for an Innovation Voucher, visit:

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