Falkirk

Business Gateway in Falkirk offers businesses practical help and guidance. Whether you're starting up or growing a business, we provide access to publicly-funded business support services.

We offer additional start-up, financial and procurement assistance as well as signposting and networking support across Falkirk.

Thinking of Starting a Business?

There are many ways we can support your start-up journey.

Our Planning To Start tool is a great place to begin. It takes just 10 minutes to complete and provides you with an instant toolkit with key resources & information. We'll then connect you with a member of the team at our local office for further support.

Our website offers a business plan guide and template to download when you’re ready, market reports and research, as well as handy online guides and articles, video tutorials and podcasts. Plus, we have a great range of webinars to hone your start-up skills – from writing a business plan to marketing on a budget.

With our help, you could be in business sooner than you imagined.

Running a Business?

Our 1:1 advice, online resources and webinars can help you plan, adapt and grow.

We know that your time is in short supply, so we offer 1:1 advice at a time and day to suit you. Together, you and your business adviser can create a strategic action plan to suit your ambitions.

Our online resources and webinars can help you learn new skills, create opportunities and gain confidence. From HR to restructuring, innovation and digital marketing - we can help. And if specialist input is required, we can connect you to other sources of support.

Falkirk Growth Fund

The Falkirk Growth Fund is available to help businesses meet plans for growth and is funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The Fund can provide grants from £1,000 up to a maximum of £25,000 (75% of project expenditure, minimum project spend £1,333) to businesses located within the Falkirk Council area.

What can this fund be used for?

This fund aims to provide a financial contribution towards business growth projects which will bring economic benefit to the area by way of increased employment and/or turnover.

Examples of expenditure include:

  • Purchase of new equipment, plant and machinery
  • Property expansion or improvements
  • Exhibiting at a trade exhibition (first time attendance - stand costs, accommodation and travel subject to max levels)
  • Development of new products, services and processes (external costs)
  • Training relating to an investment and market development (external costs)

Eligibility Criteria

The business must have a dedicated business bank account (you will be required to provide the account details as part of the application process and this is the account your grant will be paid into if successful).

  • Business must be classified as a Small Medium Enterprise (SME) – Less than 250 employees and turnover less than £45 million
  • Business must not be in any debt to the council e.g. Business rate arrears
  • The business must be operated on a full time basis
  • The business must operate from commercial premises within the Falkirk Council area, for which they either own or there is a signed lease/rental /licence agreement in place
  • At the time of submitting the application, the business cannot be in bankruptcy, liquidation or similar
  • The business is not a community group, not for profit organisation, voluntary or charitable organisation (except social enterprises).
Energy Efficiency Fund

The Energy Efficiency Fund is a fund for local small and medium enterprises to embrace net zero ambitions and to support Scotland's national net-zero greenhouse gas emissions target by 2045.  

This discretionary fund provides financial assistance to help businesses meet their net zero targets. The fund can provide up to 75% grant support (up to £25,000 per grant) to support local businesses make energy changes to business premises and operations. For example, a move to low carbon heating systems, solar powered energy, or other measures to reduce emissions.

What can this fund be used for?

The Energy Efficiency Fund can be used to support local businesses make changes to business premises and business operations to support a reduction of their Carbon Footprint from energy consumption. This might include:

  • Changing to a low carbon heating system
  • Installation of low and zero carbon generating technologies, such as solar PV, biomass, micro-wind etc
  • Building fabric upgrades such as insulation, energy efficient lighting, draught-proofing, double or triple glazing

Eligibility Criteria

The business must have a dedicated business bank account (you will need to provide the account details as part of the application process, and this is the account your grant will be paid into if successful).

  • Business must be classified as a Small Medium Enterprise (SME) – less than 250 employees and turnover less than £45 million
  • Business must not be in any debt to the council eg Non Domestic business rates arrears
  • The business must be operated on a full-time basis and have a business bank account
  • The business must operate from commercial premises within the Falkirk Council area, for which there is a legally constituted signed lease/rental /licence agreement in place
  • At the time of submitting the application, the business cannot be in bankruptcy, liquidation or similar
  • The business is not a:
    • community group
    • not for profit organisation
    • voluntary or charitable organisation (except social enterprises)
  • Businesses can make more than one application if it is for separate projects and each application can demonstrate a reduction of CO2 emissions.
Digital Development Fund

The aim of the Digital Development Grant is to provide businesses located within Falkirk Council area with financial support to assist them with the development and implementation of new digital systems which aim to improve business performance and enable business growth.

What can this fund be used for?

  • Reducing (non-staff) operational costs
  • Improving market share
  • Enabling employment to be safeguarded or increased
  • Increasing revenues
  • Increasing profit margin
  • Improving cyber security
  • Moving business online

Eligibility criteria

  • Applicant organisations must be operating, located and trading from within Falkirk Council area
  • Must be trading a minimum of 6 months. (Applicant business must have been receiving sales income for at least 6 months).
  • Applicants must be a UK resident with the right to work in the UK.
  • Businesses must meet the European* definition of an SME in relation to employees, balance sheet and turnover.
  • All Industry sectors are eligible for consideration.

Further Eligibly criteria:

The business must have a dedicated business bank account (you will be required to provide the account details as part of the application process, and this is the account your grant will be paid into if successful).

  • The business has not breached wider coronavirus (COVID-19) regulations/requirements
  • The business is not connected to a tax haven, as set out in the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No. 2) Act 2020
  • Business must be classified as a Small Medium Enterprise (SME) – Less than 250 employees and turnover less than £45 million
  • Business must not be in any debt to the council e.g. Business rate arrears
  • The business must be operating on a full-time basis
  • The business must operate from commercial premises within the Falkirk Council area, for which there is a signed lease/rental /licence agreement in place
  • At the time of submitting the application, the business cannot be in bankruptcy, liquidation or similar
  • The business is not a community groups, not for profit organisations, voluntary or charitable organisations (except social enterprises).

Conditions:

  • Businesses must clearly demonstrate how their digital investment project will improve their business performance and will safeguard or increase employment.
  • Businesses must provide a business plan or strategy outlining their digital investment project, and demonstrating the commercial viability of their business
  • If a full business plan is not available, a mini business plan covering the following will be sufficient:
  • Executive summary: a brief overview of company proposals including digital development project and its anticipated impact
  • Management and organisation: the management team and the company structure
  • History, business, and products: a brief description and history of the business, a description of the principal products or services, and any proposed future developments.
  • Market and competition: a description of markets to be targeted, size of market, major customers, major competitors
  • 2 years financial projections – cash flow, profit and loss and balance sheet
  • Business must provide up to date audited financial accounts or most recent management accounts
Digital Clinic

Digital Clinic is a free advice appointment with a digital specialist.

What is available?

Up to 1.5 hours of support from a digital specialist on a topic of your choice. Topics covered are websites; digital marketing & social media; IT infrastructure and E-commerce.

Who can apply?

Open to businesses in the Falkirk Council area that need digital advice and do not meet the requirements for Expert Help support.

How to apply?

Contact Falkirk Council Business Gateway

business@falkirk.gov.uk

01324 590960

Low Carbon Advisory Service (LCAS)

The Falkirk Council Low Carbon Advisory Service (LCAS) offers professional expert advice and support to Falkirk area businesses to save energy, reduce carbon emissions, increase resilience, boost profits and help play your part in tackling climate change.

What does this service include?
  • Practical advice on how to reduce energy consumption
  • Advise on resource efficiency – materials, water, waste, supply chains etc.
  • Help with measuring and reducing your carbon emissions
  • Environmental audit
  • Climate change awareness training
  • Support with how to market your sustainability achievements
  • Advice on potential funding for improvements and practical help with applications - Falkirk council Energy Efficiency fund.
What is available?
  • Up to 3 days fully funded support
  • Practical advice from experienced, qualified, impartial, professional experts
  • Wide range of sectors and industries covered
Who can apply?
  • Any private sector business with less than 250 employees.
How to apply:

Contact Falkirk Council Business Gateway

business@falkirk.gov.uk

01324 590960

*Expert Help is funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).

Local Expert Help

The Falkirk Council Expert Help scheme allows businesses to access support from a specialist to help them grow and develop their business for free.

What can this support be used for?

This support can be used for the following purposes

  • Marketing
  • IT and Digital Media
  • Finance
  • Procurement
  • Strategy, Organisational Development and HR

What is available?

  • Up to 3 days fully funded support
  • Advice from experienced, qualified, professional experts
  • Wide range of sectors and industries covered

Who can apply

Any SME (< 250 employees) involved in manufacturing or business to business services with ambition to grow turnover over the next 3 years.

The retail sector or B2C may be considered where the market is wider than local area eg implementation of e-commerce platforms.

How to apply

Contact us

Expert help is funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).

Improve your Digital Skills

Access webinars, online guides and a Digital Health Check.

From digital marketing strategy to social media, e-Commerce, cyber security and more, we can help boost your digital performance.

Our Digital Health Check is a great place to start. It will help pinpoint your digital strengths, areas you could improve, and how we can help, and it only takes 5 minutes to complete.

Human Resources Support

Business Gateway Falkirk offers a professional HR Advisory Service providing information, advice and support in a broad range of employment matters.

Whether you already employ people, or are looking to hire someone for the first time, let us help you ensure you meet legislation and have the right staff for the job. With our dedicated HR Business Adviser, helpful guides, templates and workshops, you can select the method which suits you to ensure your staff are happy and your business can be a success.

Our expertise covers all areas of employment, from recruitment, working hours, training, legislation, health and safety and payroll.

Small Business Bonus Scheme

This scheme offers reduced non-domestic rates on qualifying business premises.

More information is available on the Scottish Government website.

Falkirk Business Panel

Its aim is to enable all businesses both large and small to work collectively to create a strong, business-focused environment for the benefit of the local and regional economy.

Core objectives are to improve communications between businesses across the sectors, raise the profile of the business community both within and outside their areas, and to engage the business community in the economic regeneration activities taking place.

All businesses in the Falkirk area are eligible to receive regular e-zines. They will also be invited to participate proactively in key business events taking place throughout the year. You can find more business support information on the Falkirk Council website.

Falkirk Business Clinics

Falkirk Business Clinics have been launched to provide access to specialist advice on topics such as HR, legal, digital, procurement and funding. Local professional experts on these topics are available for appointments at various clinics.

Lending Clinics

An opportunity to meet and discuss your potential business lending requirements with a business lending specialist. Find out what process and information is required to progress a lending application. Hear more on The Falkirk Loan Fund and other sources of funding.

Contact us to book

Digital Clinic

Need some more advice on Digital Matters?

Topics covered are websites; digital marketing & social media; IT infrastructure and E-commerce.

Contact us to book

Legal Clinic

An opportunity to access legal advice from a local lawyer, providing expertise in many matters:

  • Company Law
  • Corporate Law
  • Commercial Contracts
  • Intellectual Property
  • Data Protection

Contact us to book

Falkirk Council Procurement Clinics

Wanting to discover the best way to sell to Falkirk Council?

The Procurement and Commissioning Unit provide a support service to Falkirk Based Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) who are interested in doing business with the Council and are looking for procurement guidance and advice.

Procurement clinic spaces are free and can be booked by contacting us

The Women's Business Centre

The Women's Business Centre is a website designed to support women at the pre-start and start-up through to growth stages of their business journey.

Operated by Women’s Enterprise Scotland, the Women's Business Centre website is free to access and offers dedicated, needs-based content on starting and growing a business, including stories, encouragement and top tips from leading business owners across Scotland.

Supplier Development Programme (SDP)

The Supplier Development Programme provides support through a range of free tender training, e-learning modules and Meet the Buyer events to help Scottish SMEs, social enterprises and third sector organisations in bidding for public sector opportunities.

Redundancy Support

Your local Business Gateway office can offer free support to any business considering making redundancies.

Our advisers can help you look at your business challenges and then help you make the next practical steps. Along with that we can introduce you to PACE – Partnership Action for Continuing Employment.

Other Business Support across Scotland

Information on the free advice and support available from Scotland’s public sector business support organisations is available to find, all in one place, at Find Business Support.

Find your nearest office

Business Gateway Falkirk

Falkirk Stadium
4 Stadium Way
Falkirk
FK2 9EE
Get directions
01324 590 960

Opening hours:

Monday to Friday

09:00 to 17:00