Glasgow City Council has introduced two sources of support to help tech SMEs in the city, the Tech Smart Rent Subsidy and the Tech Smart Meetup Subsidy. Businesses can apply for one or both.
The Council will provide a rent subsidy grant for tech SMEs that can be used to subsidise the costs of co-working space with the right levels of flexibility and suitability, to encourage these businesses to locate in collaborative environments and directly participate in and deliver market square activity, to enable the scaling of your business and workforce.
A two-year rent subsidy* capped at £10K in total will help eligible SMEs with the costs of co-working space in the city. This grant will allow SMEs to choose the working space and location that is appropriate for their needs.
A condition of the funding requires the SME to organise and deliver market square activity thereby building on the current events and activity already underway in Glasgow and ultimately enhancing the ecosystem. Businesses can also apply for the Tech Smart Meetup Subsidy which provides funding of up to £1000, details on funding support is available here.
The fund is now open for applications and will close to new applications on 20 December 2024 or when budget is fully allocated (whichever is earlier).
To be eligible for the grant, your business must meet the following criteria:
- You must be a small or medium-sized enterprise (as defined in the Companies Act 2006, see here and here for more information)
- You have not signed a commercial lease agreement or;
- You have signed a commercial lease within 12 weeks prior to the date of submission of your application
- Businesses must be a tech start-up or SME (our definition of a tech business is detailed below)
- Business co-working premises must be located within Glasgow City boundary (Postcode checker https://www.mygov.scot/find-your-localcouncil)
- Main business operations must be based or planning to set up within Glasgow City boundary
- Business must have a business bank account
- Businesses should not have exceeded the minimal financial assistance threshold of £315,000 over the current and past 2 financial years
What is a Tech Start-up/SME?
To be eligible for the Tech Smart - Rent Subsidy your business must be designing, developing and producing technology driven products, solutions or applications.
The Scottish technology ecosystem review defines a Tech Business as "A business that develops a product or service with a high degree of software engineering required to develop it". Further information can be found here
If you're unsure whether or not your business would be eligible, you can get in touch by emailing BusinessGrowth@glasgow.gov.uk
The following are not eligible for funding:
- Applicants who are undischarged bankrupts, subject to insolvency proceedings or an individual who has entered into an arrangement with his/her creditors (including a trust deed).
- Applicants who do not meet the STER definition of a tech business as detailed above
- Applicants who are in arrears of Non-Domestic Rates
Eligible businesses must complete the online form, including:
- A 500-word description of your business including product, key objectives for the next 12 and 24 months (e.g. product development, investment stage, revenue growth)
- A 250-word (max) outline of why you need this co-working space and grant support
- A 250-word (max) proposal on what market square activity you plan to deliver in each of the 2 years of this grant support e.g. hackathon, a Founders Event, technical focus meetup etc.
Conditions of support
- The subsidy will pay 50% of the annual rent for the co-working space, capped at £5k per annum. So, for example, an annual rental of £10k will receive a subsidy of £5k per year.
- Any rent-free period offered by your landlord will be deducted from the value of your grant award
- You must deliver two ecosystem events as outlined above
- The grant will be paid as follows:
- An advance quarterly payment of 50% of the overall quarterly payment, on acceptance of the conditions of grant and evidence of a signed lease, made no later than 2 weeks of your date of entry.
- Subsequent quarterly payments made on production of rental invoice for previous quarter and business bank statement showing previous quarterly rental payment being made.
- Applicants may not claim cash payments; handwritten invoices and receipts will not be accepted.