Forgot password
Growing Kent & Medway logo

Growing Kent & Medway Business Sustainability Challenge

Funding Available: £10,000-£50,000


Who is eligible to apply: SME businesses operating in the horticultural and plant-based food and drink sectors.

Opening date: 03.04.2023 End date: 31.05.2023

Grant Information

Are you ready to take on the Growing Kent & Medway Business Sustainability Challenge? Do you have a project idea to sustainably transform the fresh produce, food and drink supply chain and create viable circular economies in the Kent and Medway region?

We are offering grants worth between £10,000 and £50,000 for short-term, high-impact, innovative projects. Proposals demonstrating collaboration between businesses are encouraged. Applications are open.

What is the Challenge?

We are looking to fund innovative ideas, processes or technologies to support sustainable production, products and packaging in the fresh produce, food and drink supply chain.

Who can apply?

Applicants must be a business operating in the horticultural and plant-based food and drink industries, or propose a project which will positively impact these sectors.

You can apply individually but we encourage collaborative applications between businesses. If you're looking for potential businesses to collaborate with, please add your details to our collaboration form. Your information will only be circulated to other businesses seeking partnerships for the purpose of the grant application. 

The lead applicant must be a Kent or Medway-based micro, small or medium sized business. At least 75% of project activity needs to take place in the Kent and Medway region. You must also demonstrate impact on the Kent and Medway economy.

A grant of 50% of the eligible project costs will be reimbursed at the end of the project. You (and if applicable your partners) will need to co-invest a minimum of 50% of the total project cost through match funding.

About your project

Your project idea must be innovative. You may research or develop a new process, product or service, or improve an existing one. It can relate to any part of the horticultural, and plant-based food and drink supply chain. Examples of the types of projects relating to sustainability and circular economies are provided below. This list is not exhaustive.

  • Moving towards net zero carbon emissions targets
    • Testing and implementing innovative solutions to reduce emissions from your business(es)
  • Improving resource sustainability
    • Selecting more sustainable resources
    • Finding ways to ‘close the loop’ on otherwise wasted resources
  • Minimising waste and maximising recycling
    • Finding alternative uses for waste or by-products instead of sending to landfill or incineration
  • Procure food ingredients from sustainable sources
    • Replacing animal proteins with alternative protein sources
  • Use natural resources efficiently
    • Reduce fossil fuels
    • Optimise water use
    • Reduce pollution of waterways
    • Maintain soils
    • Increase biodiversity
  • Sustainable packaging
    • Optimising packaging use
    • Using recycled materials
  • Reduce food waste
    • Extend shelf-life

How to apply

This is a competitive process and full guidance will be provided shortly.

You will need to supply the following information:

  • Business details
  • Information to assess your eligibility
  • Details about your project
  • Project costs

If you are unsure if your business or project idea will be eligible, please book a meeting with one of our team. They will be happy to discuss your proposal and help connect you with other businesses if required. 

Watch our online briefing for further details about scope, eligibility and how to apply:

Please note we will only accept one application per business.

The closing date will be 31 May 2023.

We recommend registering to become a Growing Kent & Medway member so you can save and edit your application prior to submitting your final form.

Guidance and Supporting Documents

Eligibility and scope

Application process

Contracts, finance and reporting


What to consider


The grant will be paid upon completion of the project. You will need to provide a proof of payment to be reimbursed.

The business(es) should co-invest a minimum of 50% of total project cost through match funding with eligible costs (e.g. staff time, travel, raw materials, capital usage costs).

This funding scheme can therefore support proposals with total project costs of between £20,000 and £100,000+.

Subcontractors are allowed up to 30% of project costs. 

This competition provides funding in line with the UK's obligations and commitments to Subsidy Control. Further information about which can be found within the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation agreement and the subsequent guidance from the department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Collaborative projects

If you’re applying with one or more partners, please note:

  • Your partner business can be any sized UK-registered business
  • Large businesses cannot draw from the grant
  • A lead partner will sign the funding agreement on behalf of the collaborating businesses
  • We recommend you develop a collaboration agreement at the start of the project, prior to the generation of any intellectual property.


Successful applicants will be notified in August. Projects will need to start within 2 months of outcome notification.

Projects can last up to 8 months.

Social value

Grant recipients will be expected to contribute to our social value goals.


For questions about the application process, please contact [email protected] 

Apply now
10 steps to raise £20k for your food and drink business


Paul Grant presented how to raise funding for a food and drink business. Here are ten steps to help you finance your start-up business successfully.

Business Sustainability Challenge offering grants worth up to £50k announced


New grant fund for businesses with ideas to sustainably transform the fresh produce, food and drink supply chain and create circular economies.

Business Innovation Vouchers: Winning Projects


We have awarded £154,000 to 11 projects to find sustainable solutions to research challenges facing horticulture, food and drink. Meet the winners.

Horticulture, food and drink businesses awarded £154,000 research vouchers


We have awarded over £154,000 to 11 businesses for research projects to improve the sustainability of the horticultural, food and drink sectors.

  • Talk to us about this grant

    Robert Saville


    Robert Saville
  • Talk to us about this grant

    Sophie Packer


    Sophie Packer
  • Talk to us about this grant

    Parag Acharya


    Parag Acharya

Please use the form below to contact us

Get in touch to find out more about this research facility

Get in touch to find out more about this research project

Send an enquiry about this listing

By registering your details you will be sending us your Personal Data. To read how we handle your data please follow this link to read our Privacy Notice: Privacy Notice