Business support

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Businesses in East Sussex are fortunate to have access to a wide range of business support and funding opportunities. Some funds will get withdrawn or amended from time to time, so we always advise checking the relevant websites for the latest details. 

Locate East Sussex

Any small business that is looking to grow will need access to funding and support. 

In Newhaven and across East Sussex, it is worth speaking to the Locate East Sussex team. Locate East Sussex is funded by the county council, district and borough councils, and the European Union’s Regional Development Fund (until 2023).

Locate has a dedicated team to support any size of business based in Newhaven, or East Sussex, and companies moving into the county who are looking to access funding to create jobs and to support the local economy.

Locate East Sussex has an extensive network to help you to access finance and grow. Their partners include local planning and economic development teams, the Let’s Do Business Group, Clean Growth UK, and the Universities of Sussex and Brighton.

  • 12 hours free business support
  • Business loans up to £100K for established business.
  • Support accessing other forms of business funding
  • Via the Start Up Loans Company, £500 to £25K loans with a fixed interest of 6% pa plus 12 months of free mentoring.
  • Pre-start up support sessions, a free advice session from an approved accountant and a free advice session from an approved solicitor.
  • Help finding commercial premises

Contact them on their website as these funds regular change.


I-Construct is a free ERDF-funded business support programme for SMEs in, or supplying to the construction and built environment industry. Their programme of support includes:

Free 1:1 business mentoring and advice (worth £1,200)

Grant funding of £1K to £20K to part-fund development and launch of a new service or product. This funding can also be used for software and hardware, consultancy or to create a new role to manage a project.

The network is free to join if your business is eligible. You then get access to a member portal, where you can sign up and participate free for members-only webinars and benefit from other business opportunities.

Find out more from

£5m Investment Programme for Sustainable Tech Start-ups

As part of Sainsbury’s pledge to reach Net Zero in its operations by 2035, the supermarket chain has launched its Innovation Investments programme. The programme will invest in early-stage companies commercialising innovative, sustainable technologies that look to reduce operational carbon emissions and water usage.

The Innovation Investments programme seeks to deploy around £5 million over four years, with initial investments of up to £500,000, with potential to expand further.

It will lead or co-invest alongside other investors. Companies will also benefit from the investment experience of Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE). They will receive technology development, product, manufacturing and supply chain guidance, and introductions to WAE’s partners and co-investors.

Sustainable start-up and early-stage businesses headquartered, or with a base, in the UK may be eligible for support.

Applicants should be developing new and disruptive technologies that have the potential to be deployed across Sainsbury’s operations, supporting the company’s net zero goals. Businesses can be at the post proof-of-concept stage, pre- or post-revenue, pre-seed, seed or Series A stage.

Newhaven Sites and Empty Property Fund

New grants are being offered to businesses in Newhaven to inject life into empty commercial buildings.

This fund will finance feasibility studies, masterplans, site investigations, pre-planning and business case development to support the case for commercial sites that have remained undeveloped for over twelve months to raise finance.

The fund is open to all businesses and landowners located in the BN9 Postcode. 50% match funding is required up to a maximum grant of £25,000.

Projects will need to meet the following criteria:

  • Support our Strategic Objectives
  • Leverage investment (a minimum of 1:1)
  • Demonstrate impact and benefits
  • Demonstrate value for money
  • Will be delivered within a 12-month period

Find out more and apply at the Newhaven Enterprise Zone.

Get in touch with Newhaven Chamber via our contact form.