Scale-up Growth Projects

The Programme


Provides access to growth capital in the form of secured or unsecured debt to support growth projects.

Application Window

March 2021 – December 2022

Job Creation

Job creation must be supported as an output of the capital investment project.


Projects Cost

There is a maximum 50% intervention rate against total capital project costs such as plant/machinery, land and building purchases or capitalised software.

Funding Requests

There is a minimum £20k loan (against total project costs of £40k), max loan is £240k (against total project costs of £480k). Expected terms to include staggered drawdown mechanism and repayment profile between 1-3 years.

Match Funding

The project must be match funded through private sector mechanisms (company reserves, banks HP etc.) The project can’t be supported with any other grants or government subsidy.


Target Companies

Operational company that has validated its product, market and organisational effectiveness, and that is growing.

Operation for at least 12 months and has a defined growth project/plan that requires funding.


Loan to be fully drawn down within 1 year of original offer being made followed by a 2 year monitoring period.


Derby City location or within a 7.5 mile radius of Derby City and will commit to create jobs for Derby City citizens, graduates and/ or students.

Application Process

Expression of Interest

An online form requesting headline details of the project.


Full Application

Business is invited to full application and must provide Business Case and supporting documents such as financials.


Selection Panel

Ascend presents on companies behalf to Selection Panel who make the ultimate decision.

Due Diligence

In depth assessment of the business, viability and deliverability of the project.

If you would like to register your interest and complete the application process, use the link below which will take the Expression of Interest form. In order to complete the form you will require a myAccount with Derby City Council.

Ascend has three programmes for businesses to apply for:

Ascend Growth

Provide access to high quality multi-disciplinary business support, mentoring, coaching and technical expertise to support in the development of a detailed two-year growth plan.

Ascend Investment

As per growth readiness, but with a focus on developing an investment case, in the form of an Investment Memorandum, which can then be used to begin meaningful discussions with potential equity investors.

Ascend Scale-Up
Growth Projects

A loan scheme designed to assist in supporting the physical business growth in the form of capital investment in Derby with the ultimate aim to create sustainable new jobs. This fund enables businesses to invest in projects that would not otherwise happen.