Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Welcome to our FAQs where we hope to answer the most common questions we receive about the Tooling Funding Programme.

Where can I find the Guidance for Applicants, Expression of Interest and Application Form?

The Guidance for Applicants and Expression of Interest forms can be downloaded from or by email request to:

What are the minimum & maximum amounts I can borrow?

The minimum amount is £50,000 and the maximum is £1m, although in exceptional circumstances amounts in excess of £1m can be considered, following consultation with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Can I get a grant from the fund?

The Fund will only provide loan funding.

What is the expected length of a project/loan and over what timeframe can the funding been drawn?

It is anticipated that, in the case of funding the manufacture of a tool, a loan will be made for a maximum of 18 months.  Funds will be drawn in up to 3 tranches to match agreed milestones in the tool manufacture, with these drawdowns occurring within the first 9 months.  Applicants for funding to expand the tool making capacity of the business would normally repay the loan as per their business plan, as agreed with Finance Birmingham, but by no later than March 2019.

Is this funding competition based or open ended?

The Fund is available on a first-come first-served basis.  The size of the Fund is currently limited to £24m, but it is a revolving facility and, as loans are repaid, additional funding to new applicants will become available.

What size of businesses can apply?

There is no restriction with regard to the size of the business, although it does need to be a Limited Company, or equivalent, with a minimum of a 2 year trading history.

Are there any geographical restrictions?

The final manufacture of the tooling and subsequent parts manufacture must take place in England.

How quickly can my application for funding be processed.

We will use best endeavours to make funds available to you within 6 weeks of your application being received.  Finance Birmingham will keep you updated with regard to timings.

How many applications can I make?
As long as each application is for a minimum of £50k and the total avalue of applications does not exceed £1m outstanding at any one time, there is no limit on the number of applications you can make.

How much of the required project funding can I apply for?
We will only lend up to 90% of the project costs; the remainder needs to be funded by you.

What security will you take?
No personal security is required, however, we will ask to take a debenture from the company.  To avoid this impacting on the facilities provided by your existing financial providers, we will work with them to establish the necessary priority in their favour and to their satisfaction.