How We Can Help

The Productivity Programme, delivered by the University of Lincoln and funded by the European Regional Development Fund, is designed to enable Greater Lincolnshire SMEs to advance and develop their ambitions – driving levels of productivity and investment as well as collaborative engagement, leading to new products, processes and services and creating and exploiting new markets. Your project must have an innovative element which will impact your business and provide economic benefit.


Lack of finance is one of the biggest barriers to business growth. To overcome this we offer small business grants from £1k – £10k towards research and development costs that support productivity and business growth, which we ask you to match at 50%. This could be anything from a piece of equipment or software, marketing testing, product testing or independent advice or expertise, it is flexible to fit your needs.

Unlike a loan, grant funding doesn’t need repaying. We want to see your ideas and business succeed and are prepared to support that functionally as we know what a relatively small amount of investment can result in large economic benefits for the wider county.

The grant cannot be applied for retrospectively, so get in touch in the early stages of your project development to see if we can provide funding towards your costs.

Productivity vouchers provide a business with access to the University of Lincoln’s academic and/ or technical expertise and equipment.  The aim of the voucher is to support businesses by addressing a specific need to drive forward a new idea, product, process or service.  A business might be developing a new piece of software but not have the knowledge in house to develop an essential algorithm – in this situation the business would be able to work with a mathematician who specialises in this area in order to advance the software to the next stage.  The vouchers  provide up to 20 days of support and are fully funded through the programme with no financial cost to the business.

The University of Lincoln has a wide range of disciplines and specialisms, and the productivity vouchers offer an unprecedented opportunity to tap into this wealth of sector specific knowledge, experience and expertise.



The Productivity Programme provides funding to support the recruitment of graduate positions.  Being a university, graduate employment is important to us, not only for our students once they have completed their studies, but also those who have studied elsewhere yet want to progress their career in Lincolnshire.

Injecting higher level skills, or specific knowledge lacking within an organisation, an intern can support the delivery of a productivity activity.  Through our internship scheme if you employ a member of staff who has graduated in the past 3 years on a 3 – 6 months contract, you could be eligible for between £1500 and £3000 towards their costs.

Whether you are a start-up, a small business or an established medium sized business, advice is crucial along the way.  We have experienced and approachable business advisers and a network of industry experts, who can help your business grow, increase productivity and profitability.  The Productivity programme provides one-to-one expert advice, specialist business support programmes and a range of events – all free of charge.



High growth and scale up businesses often require equity investment as part of their early funding mix.  The Business Angel Network will work with SMEs seeking equity investment to refine their proposals and strategies to increase investment opportunities.  A working group of business angels and VC investors will be set up to support these businesses.

Growing Graduate Enterprise is an enhanced business start-up and growth programme aimed at supporting Lincolnshire’s graduate talent to make the most of their academic and entrepreneurial abilities. Support ranges from “light touch” development needs analysis through to more intensive support such as coaching/ mentoring plus access to a start-up grant of up to £10,000.  The offer is open to recent graduates located in Greater Lincolnshire, they could have attended any UK University and returned to Greater Lincolnshire after graduation.



The Productivity Hubs Programme is a University of Lincoln initiative, funded by the ERDF and delivered by a range of industry experts, consultants, mentors and advisors. The Programme is aimed at helping businesses in and around Scunthorpe, Boston and Grimsby to develop, grow and thrive.

Eligible business will be provided with either or both of the following:

Business Development
Access to a business development manager who will work with you to identify key challenges and opportunities and help you to develop a plan to drive your business forwards to increased productivity and profitability.

Business Acceleration
Aimed at ambitious start-ups that are committed to accelerating the growth of their business. Eligible businesses will get a package of intensive support designed to improve performance and drive growth, and an opportunity to pitch for seed-funding grants of up to £10,000.


The Productivity Programme for Greater Lincolnshire is funded through the European Regional Development Fund

To fit with their eligibility criteria a business must be:

  • Based within Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire or North East Lincolnshire
  • An SME; employing fewer than 250 people and have an annual turnover not exceeding €50m
  • In receipt of less than €200k of De Minimis state aid in the past 3 years.
  • A business must not be based in the following sectors:

  • Fishery and aquaculture sectors supported by the European Fisheries Fund
  • Primary production, processing and marketing of agricultural products, supported by EAFRD
  • Coal, steel and shipbuilding sectors
  • The synthetic fibres sector
  • Generalised (school age) education
  • Banking and insurance companies
  • Retail business or retail service business such as restaurants, hairdressers etc.
  • The programme cannot support replacement/upgrade of existing like for like machinery or any activity/purchase which is considered as an every day business activity.

    It all starts by making contact.
    For all questions or enquiries, please use the form below.

      This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google
      Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.