StartEast is designed to support cultural and creative small to medium enterprises (SMEs), sole traders, and start-ups either operating in or looking to operate in Norfolk and Suffolk. The StartEast Grants Scheme will provide one-o grants of between £1,000 and £10,000 to support cultural businesses to grow.

Eligible Business Growth Activity

  • Specialist advice on product development, including technical advice;
  • Participation in events, festivals, fairs and showcases to enable enterprises to enter, establish and expand in new domestic and international markets, and across sectors;
  • Product and service development that will lead to social innovation, public service application, new solutions through public service procurement and new cross-sector, domestic and geographic markets;
  • Co-production of new cultural products, events and services;
  • Purchase of specialist equipment.

Who Can Apply?

Sole traders, SMEs, clusters and business start-ups currently based in Norfolk or Suffolk which have taken part in our networking activities, workshops and seminars and have received business advice via our bespoke business route. Our grants can only be offered when other grants are not available or where the enterprise is not eligible. Please note, enterprises will be invited to apply for grants; this is not an open application scheme.

How do I apply?

StartEast Advisors will recommend eligible enterprises to apply for StartEast grant support. Enterprises whose advisor recommendation has been approved will be invited by the StartEast Team to complete an application form.

Applicants will be required to demonstrate why they need a grant, what difference it will make to their business and why they have been unable to secure grant funding from other sources. This will form part of the full assessment process.

Applications can be submitted at any time and applicants will be notified in writing of the outcome of their application within two weeks of approval by the StartEast Project Steering Group, which meets monthly.

If successful, the agreed award will be administered and monitored by Norfolk County Council.

Is there a match-funding and/or cashflow requirement?

There is no requirement to find match-funding but this is a competitive scheme and applicants will be required to make a strong strategic business case to attract a grant. Applicants will also be expected to demonstrate that they have enough available funds to cashflow at least 50% of the cost of the proposal.

Further Information

For further details on the StartEast Grants Scheme, please read the StartEast Grant Scheme Introduction and Eligibility Criteria and Management Arrangements. Please feel free to contact the StartEast team for further information at or fill in the form below.

Introduction and Eligibility Criteria

Management Arrangements

This is a simple application and a member of the StartEast team will arrange a chat to talk this through further. Feel free to drop us a line if you require more information or you’re not sure if StartEast is right for you.