In reality these grants are more concerned with the protection or creation of employment. Grant levels range between 10% and 20% of overall project costs (up to 40% for SMEs), alternatively, between £2,500 and £7,000 per job created.
Grants cover both design and delivery of training. Grants of between £1000 per person and 50% of training costs are available in specific instances whereby engineering training is particularly favoured. The terms are specific and restrictive.
R&D grants run typically at 30% to 75% of the total project cost. Costs may include salaries, consumables, related capital expenditure, consultancy, IPR protection and a substantial contribution towards overheads. Not for profit e.g. academic bodies, may have costs 100% covered.
These grants target specific areas which have suffered industrial or sectoral decline e.g. textile, fishing or defence industry locations. EU grants target transnational borders, culture and cohesion, environment. Grant amounts may run to many millions of Euro and typically cover 15-40% of project costs.
These grants usually heavily subsidise the cost of setting up export activities, e.g. finding agents, market research or exhibition attendance. They can equal very high costs if you were to carry out an equal activity yourself and are often more successful. They are potentially valuable but delivery is very varied. As far as UKIT are concerned, overseas market research may be subsidised by 50% up to £20k
Free or subsidised consultancy or provision of specialist information. Consultancy grants for specific tasks will run at up to 50% of consultancy fees. Specialist information services, access to databases etc is free or requires a nominal contribution. These services are actually very good value if they meet your requirements.
E.g. assistance for museums, rail and water freight projects, craft industries and rural development. The grant rates vary too greatly for real comment but range from 10 to 35%.
The key point is that in ALL instances grants and soft loans will always only meet a percentage of the total cost. The applicant will invariably have to demonstrate that the balance of funding to see the project through to completion is available.