ERDF Match funded grants to help your small businesses grow.

Invest4 grant funds are a strand of the ERDF funded Hot House programme, run by University of Chichester. The grants programme is managed by Brighton & Hove City Council. Grants are available to both pre-start and to growing established businesses.

These are ‘match-fund’ grants where the 40% balance is provided by Invest4 for:

  • Small grants of between £2,000 to £5,000. For these you submit a small grants application form. Start ups can only apply for small grants.
  • Large grants of between £5,000 to £170,000. For these you need to submit an Expression of Interest form in the first instance

You can request an application form and guidance at

Please see our FAQs page for further information.

How Invest4 grant funding is affected by COVID-19

Invest4 grants are not part of the government package of Covid help and rules on EU business grant funding are clear that Invest4 funds cannot be granted to ‘undertakings in difficulty’ which is defined as: 

“A business in difficulty is a company that is unable, whether through its own resources or with funds it is able to obtain from its owner/shareholders or creditors, to stem losses, which without outside intervention by public authorities will almost certainly condemn it to go out of business in the short or medium term.” 

This constraint has been relaxed for the calendar year of 2020, meaning that if a business cannot be defined as an undertaking in difficulty up to 31st December 2019 then it is able to apply to the Invest4 grant fund. 

Every application to the Invest4 grant fund will be assessed on its own merits and each application will be subject to a due diligence process, whereby eligibility is assessed alongside the relative merits of a business or a business idea.

How are Invest4 grant applications assessed?

All applications are assessed for eligibility.  All the information that you provide is self-declared, but the fund manager may be required to make further checks. These checks will include: 

  • Review of application 
  • Legal status of applicant business 
  • What sector is the business in?
  • What is the project spend for?
  • Need for funding 
  • Is the need for the grant justified to bridge a funding gap, bring forward a project or enable a project to be undertaken to the required quality standard?

It should be noted that this is not an exhaustive list. 

What due diligence will Invest4 undertake?

For grants of up to £40,000, all applicants will be subject to a due diligence review, which may be contracted out to a third party and may include credit references.

Applications for grants greater than £40,000 must include an independent Due Diligence Report, the cost which must be met by the applicant and the risk that the application may not be successful must be borne by the applicant. The report will be assessed by the panel and must be produced by an individual or organisation that is external to the applicant. 

Develop your knowledge through Business Hot House workshops

Gaining grant funding can help to accelerate growth within your business, and you can also develop your knowledge around how to create this growth through our other free workshops and advice sessions:

As part of the Business Hot House free business support program you can attend our free Finding Finance & Funding workshop which will help you to understand how to write a strong funding application.

You can book your place on our workshops via our Eventbrite page, by contacting any of the delivery partners directly or through the Coast-to-Capital Growth Hub.

Delivered by:

Brighton & Hove City Council