Grants for SMEs in the East

4th September 2017

KEEP+ is a £9.3m European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) supported programme, providing grants for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) to access knowledge and expertise through collaboration with university and research institutions for the development of new products and services.

KEEP+ is a collaboration of seven institutions working together to promote the programme across four LEP areas, including Anglia Ruskin University as lead partner, University of Brighton,
The East of England Local Government Association, University of Essex, University of Greenwich University of Hertfordshire and University of Suffolk.

By accessing the programme SMEs can harness academic and graduate talent to bring new knowledge into the business. KEEP+ has a range of opportunities on offer depending on the specific project requirements to support innovation and business improvement.

Who is eligible for KEEP+?
The programme is open to SMEs with their registered head office, as per its Companies House records, within England, with the Programme's core geographical focus being the following four Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) areas:

  • Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Rutland (Greater Cambridge/Greater Peterborough LEP)
  • Hertfordshire (Hertfordshire LEP)
  • Suffolk and Norfolk (New Anglia LEP)
  • Essex, Kent and East Sussex (South East LEP)

The types of innovative projects that could benefit from KEEP+ are potentially broad and cover a wide range of sectors, although it is worth noting that there are a few sectors which are ineligible for ERDF funding, namely: fishery and aquaculture, agriculture, Coal, steel and shipbuilding, Secondary educational activities, banking and insurance – most of these are covered by alternative funding sources.

You may already have business contacts looking for expertise to develop a new product or service that could take advantage of the programme. If you have a business who you think may have a suitable project, the first step would be to invite them to speak to the KEEP+ team who can discuss their project requirements in more detail and conduct the business meets EU SME eligibility criteria.

How can you help?
The KEEP+ programme has a large operational area and we work closely with a number of agencies including our partners, other academic institutions, growth hubs, chambers of commerce and business networks to promote the project. Our Local Authority contacts are particularly valuable as they come into contact with a diverse range of businesses through promotion of your own regional business development services.

With that in mind we would be incredibly grateful for any support you can offer in terms of helping us to identify eligible businesses who could benefit from KEEP+.

Part of our core strategy for marketing the project is through dissemination of information through our network of contacts via newsletters, web presence and business facing events. As such we welcome the opportunity to be involved in any regional events you may be organising.

Get in Touch
We’d love to hear from you to discuss how the KEEP+ programme can help businesses in your region and how we can engage with them. Feel free to contact Cheryl Cook, Marketing and Administration Manager on or one of our delivery partners. Full details about KEEP+, including case studies, events and current project tenders are available on our website



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