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 Government finance and support in the UK and Europe.

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In brief:

Loan. On deferred repayment terms.


For businesses, about to trade or already trading, with up to 50 employees.




To be used for:
Vocational education / training of staff.
Up to 90% of cost of consultancy on training matters (up to £5,000).


SFTL are available through the Department for Education and Employment (DfEE) and eight major banks (Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds TSB, Natwest, Bank of Scotland, Clydesdale, Co-operative and Royal Bank of Scotland).
The scheme helps businesses with up to 50 employees pay for vocational education or training, by offering loans on deferred repayment terms.

Firms can borrow between £500 and £125,000 to cover education and training costs and subject to a maximum loan of £5,000, up to 90% of the cost of consultancy advice on training matters.

There is nothing to pay for between 6-12 months of training, according to the amount of the loan. The DfEE pays the interest for this period.

Loans are repayable over a minimum period of one year and up to a maximum of seven years. Interest rates may be fixed or variable.

Any education or training course is eligible as long as small firms can show that it will help them achieve their business objectives.

Firms eligible to apply are sole traders, partnerships, co-operatives, franchises or limited companies already trading or about to trade.

Applications must be endorsed by the local TEC / LEC before they are submitted to the bank if the loan is over £15,000 and / or you are applying to a bank other than the bank which holds your main business accounts.

An information pack and application form can be obtained from the Web site or by calling the Freephone number.

Contact: Links:

Most of this information was sourced from the DTI publication : A Guide to Help for Small Business, (URN 99/1112)


Every effort has been made to ensure that the information on this page, is accurate, but no legal responsibility can be accepted for any errors or omissions.


Or from:
DTI Publications Orderline
Admail 528

T. (0870) 1502 500
F. (0870) 1502 333
Textphone: (0870) 1502 100



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