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Grant support is available to East Ayrshire businesses.

East Ayrshire Net Zero Support grant

The East Ayrshire Net Zero grant is a non-repayable grant which should cover 50% of the approved project expenditure, up to a maximum of £3,000.

This is intended to help businesses in their transition to net zero carbon emissions by assisting small to medium sized businesses with the implementation of energy and resource efficiency improvements and can be used following activity:

  • green skills training
  • purchase of equipment that would contribute to energy saving
  • renewable energy installations (for example solar, ground or air source heat pumps)
  • waste management or recycling
  • lighting systems
  • roof and building insulation
  • low energy heating

Eligibility criteria for the Net Zero support grant

To apply for this grant you must:

  • be based in East Ayrshire
  • have been trading for at least 12 months
  • employ between 3 and 49 people
  • be working with Business Energy Scotland (BES) or the University of Strathclyde and have completed a business energy efficiency audit delivering a carbon reduction plan

We contributed to a Low Carbon Challenge Fund (LCCF) programme managed by University of Strathclyde. This service also allows small and medium sized enterprises businesses to access up to seven hours of free support around carbon reduction and energy efficiency which ultimately provides a carbon reduction plan for the business.

To discuss the East Ayrshire Net Zero Support Grant, please email to arrange meeting with a business adviser.

Community Wealth Building

Community Wealth Building (CWB) is part of the Ayrshire Growth Deal (AGD).

Through supporting businesses and third sector organisations across a pan Ayrshire approach to economic development, CWB aim to promote benefits in:

  • economic recovery
  • inclusivity
  • equality
  • tackling the climate crisis and
  • take on other issues Ayrshire faces

Specifics of Community Wealth Building grant

  • Capital expenditure grant (ie not protracted building projects)
  • Can be used to cover consultancy costs linked to CWB pillars, such as fairer work, procurement
  • Business to pay total costs of project initially - upon proof of payment for project, we will reimburse in line with grant agreement

Eligibility criteria for the Community Wealth Building grant

To apply for this grant your business must:

  • be small and medium-sized enterprises, employing two or more people and fewer than 251
  • be able to present evidence that your project is in line with the CWB principles and falls under one of the five pillars - for example investment in green technology, capex spend which will ultimately create employment, procurement benefit
  • be able to demonstrate the immediate need for investment and positive impact for business sustainability and growth associated with this
  • be able to demonstrate growth ambitions and the associated opportunity to create new jobs in the longer term
  • be able to demonstrate that investment is not based on replacing equipment on a like for like basis, unless the replacement is a green alternative replacing a less environmentally friendly asset
  • agree to undertake, or have completed, a fair working review
  • have business premises registered for non-domestic rates - businesses that pay rates through their landlords rather than directly must provide evidence of this

If you’re considering a CWB project, please email to speak to a CWB officer who will produce a personalised package of support. 

Business Growth grant

The Business Growth grant is available to support the eligible costs of implementing growth plans. Eligible projects would include:

  • digital marketing
  • IT
  • staff training
  • industry accreditations
  • attendance at UK and international trade exhibitions

The business growth grant cannot be used towards equipment, machinery or property development/upgrade.

The grant will cover 40% of eligible costs.

The minimum grant award is £500. The maximum grant award is £3,000. 

Eligibility criteria for the Business Growth grant

Businesses that meet the following criteria may qualify for the grant of up to £3,000:

  • a turnover greater than £200,000
  • employ at least five people
  • some percentage of revenue is generated outside of Scotland
  • falls within one of the key sectors for support:
    • technology and engineering
    • food and drink
    • tourism
    • textiles
    • energy (renewables)
    • creative industries
    • life sciences
    • construction
    • healthcare and biotechnology
    • forestry and timber

All other businesses may be considered for the lower level grant award of between £500 and £750.

Energy Audit Voucher Scheme

Energy Audit Voucher Scheme is for small to medium sized businesses based in East Ayrshire.

This will provide up to £2,500 of financial grant support to help businesses address specific, immediate priorities in direct response to the combined challenge of the rise in energy costs and the Climate Change Emergency. It will enable business to gain a bespoke audit of their business, buildings, processes and practices to enable them to make changes that will reduce energy consumption and their carbon footprint. 

The Scheme aims to fund the costs associated with an energy audit to support businesses to save money on their energy bills and help them reduce their carbon emissions and help tackle climate change.

Eligibility criteria for the Energy Audit Voucher Scheme

Businesses can apply for grant funding to commission suitably qualified consultants to undertake an energy audit to:

  • identify where large amounts of energy are being consumed and provide guidance of how to reduce energy consumption
  • investigate interventions to building infrastructure that could reduce energy consumption and reduce the business' carbon footprint
  • advice on how to adapt their business model to deliver a new or amended service/product offering that reduces energy consumption

Applicant business (including social enterprises) must be based in East Ayrshire and operate from commercial premises.

Home-based businesses will not be eligible.

Eligible businesses must also be a micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (up to 250 employees).

Mini Capex Grant Support Fund

Mini Capex Grant Support Fund will provide 50% of the costs to implement an immediate project to reduce energy costs to a maximum grant of £1,000.  This will allow micro businesses that have identified a project that will immediately reduce their energy costs. 

Where specific improvements requiring further capital or infrastructure expenditure are identified within the audits, business growth advisers will work with the organisation to identify potential sources of funding from both the Council and other organisations. This will include the Council's Net Zero Support Grant Scheme, Community Wealth Building grant scheme and for smaller immediate products the Mini Capex Grant Support Scheme.

East Ayrshire Recruitment Incentive grant

The grant can support private and third sector employers with a grant of up to £5,000 towards the costs of recruiting and employing an East Ayrshire resident who meets eligibility criteria. The funding can be used to recruit an employee for a new job or a modern apprenticeship and can cover a range of costs such as wages, training and travel.

This grant is funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. 

Eligible jobs will:

  • offer a minimum of 26 weeks employment/52 weeks apprenticeship
  • guarantee a minimum of 16 hours per week
  • provide a contract of employment
  • ensure employees are paid at National Minimum/Living Wage or preferably at the Real Living Wage rate

Eligibility criteria for the Recruitment Incentive grant

Eligibility criteria:

  • the employer needs to be a small to medium sized enterprise based in East Ayrshire
  • employers who hold Employee Liability Insurance
  • the employee must be 25 years and over (excluding the Modern Apprentice (MA) programme) currently not in employment, education or training
  • the employee must fall into one or more of the participants barriers
    • above 54 years of age
    • armed forces veteran
    • asylum seekers
    • care experienced/care leaver
    • criminal convictions
    • disability
    • employed status affected by coronavirus (COVID-19)
    • from employment deprived area (SIMD)
    • homeless or affected by housing exclusion
    • living in a jobless household
    • long term unemployed
    • long term physical illness / condition
    • low income employed
    • low skilled
    • material deprivation
    • mental health issues
    • migrant with a foreign background
    • no or limited work experience
    • primary carer of an older person
    • refugee
    • rural
    • substance related conditions
    • under 25 years of age (relates to MA only)
    • underemployed

How employers can apply

A maximum of three applications per employer per year can be made. Please contact on how to apply. 

Ayrshire Skills Investment Fund (ASIF)

The Ayrshire Skills Investment Fund (ASIF) is an Ayrshire Growth Deal revenue project aiming to address skills gaps across the region and will support key growth sectors and priority groups to deliver regional, inclusive, economic growth.

The fund provides an opportunity to increase business productivity, ensuring current and future skills are developed to contribute to delivering a regional economy where individuals have the necessary skills. Employers can apply for up to £3,000 per person.

Eligibility criteria for the Ayrshire Skills Investment Fund

Employers and must meet the criteria set out to target priority sectors and priority groups.

Applications supporting skills development within the following priority sectors are invited:

  • engineering
  • digital
  • visitor economy
  • clean growth

These sectors may change as other priorities emerge.

The following priority groups have been identified using the Ayrshire Inclusive Growth Diagnostic:

  • young people
  • females
  • people with long term health conditions
  • people in low paid employment

How to apply for an ASIF grant

The first round of the fund opened on 23 October 2023 and closes on 8 November 2023. Successful applicants will be notified by 24 November 2023.

A second stage will open on 9 November 2023 and will close on 26 January 2024. Successful applicants will be notified by 16 February 2024. Further funding rounds will be available on a rolling programme.

Employers can contact for any support completing the form.

Apply for an Ayrshire Skills Investment Fund Grant

Contact Information


Business Support
Opera House
8 John Finnie Street
Telephone(Ayrshire Business Support Helpline): 0330 678 1611