Government Enhances COVID-19 Future Fund to Benefit More Firms

Government Enhances COVID-19 Future Fund to Benefit More Firms

The Government’s Future Fund, which is backing high-growth, innovative firms through COVID-19, has had its eligibility criteria broadened. Now, more start-ups and innovative firms are able to apply for investment through the programme.

Participants in accelerator programmes are often required to set up a non-UK parent company in order to participate, which means some did not meet the Future Fund criteria of having a UK parent company when it opened for applications in May. Changes to the scheme’s eligibility criteria mean that UK companies that have participated in highly selective accelerator programmes and were required, as part of that programme, to have parent companies outside of the UK will now be able to apply for investment.

Through the scheme, early-stage, high-growth businesses from a diverse range of sectors can apply for a convertible loan of between £125,000 and £5 million to help them through the coronavirus outbreak.

Initially, £250 million was made available by the Government, to be matched by private investors, with the Treasury making clear the amount could be increased if needed. Due to the popularity of the Fund, more funding has been made available, with around £320 million having already been invested.

The scheme changes cover accelerator alumni only and the Government says it remains committed to using the Future Fund to support economic activity in the UK. Companies will still be required to meet the ‘substantive economic presence’ tests (that half or more employees are UK-based and/or half or more revenues are from UK sales).

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said:

‘Our start-ups and innovative firms are one of our great economic strengths. As we begin to bounce back from coronavirus, they will help drive our recovery and create new jobs.

‘This change means that those start-ups who have strived to be the very best, and taken opportunities to grow their business, will be able to benefit from our world-leading Future Fund.’

The scheme is open for applications until the end of September 2020.

GRANTfinder is closely monitoring all the relevant news about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the consequences for the funding landscape. This dedicated page will keep you updated on which funds and extra support have been announced to counteract the impact of the outbreak.