website png

East Midlands Accelerator

The East Midlands Accelerator is led by East Midlands Chamber and operates across seven local authority areas in Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire after the region’s leading business representation group successfully bid for £5.36m of the Government’s new £220m fund. The CRF is the forerunner to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which will eventually replace EU structural funds that help to deliver local business support and skills development programmes.

The East Midlands Accelerator, which will be delivered in conjunction with local authorities, universities and other business support services in the region, includes a Race to Zero-Carbon Accelerator, Digital Transformation Accelerator, Start-Up to Scale-Up Accelerator, Kickstart Accelerator and Financial Accelerator.

Project partners include universities and organisations such as The Food and Drink Forum, Nottingham Business Venture, B-Global, Marketing Peak District and Derbyshire, and Leicester Startups CIC.

Supporting growth in food and drink

How we can help food and drink businesses

As the lead partner for food and drink, we can assist businesses and individuals across two themes: ‘Start-Up to Scale-Up – for food and drink manufacturers’ and ‘Race to Zero Accelerator – for food and drink manufacturers’.

Individuals and SME businesses must be in the following supported areas:
  • Nottinghamshire County Council covering Bassetlaw, Mansfield, and Newark & Sherwood
  • Derbyshire County Council covering Derbyshire Dales and the High Peak
  • Nottingham City Council
  • Leicester City Council

Start Up to Scale Up

This project is part-funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund.

The project is aimed at food and drink manufacturing businesses, including individuals who are about to start a business through to established businesses that require the support to innovate.


The Race to Zero Accelerator

This project is part-funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund.

This project is aimed at established SME businesses looking to improve or benefit from the sustainability and low carbon agenda.

Links to Support Available

Grants and Growth Vouchers

A new application window for Bassetlaw, Mansfield, and Newark & Sherwood businesses has been made possible by the recent extension of the East Midlands Accelerator project. All funds must be committed by 31 July, and fully claimed by 19 August.

Businesses are being invited to apply for the following:

  • Grant funding of up to £8,000 (covering 80% of costs) to support their plans for growth. Help can include, but is not limited to:
    • adopting digital solutions;
    • introducing carbon reduction solutions; and
    • providing a wage subsidy to support Kickstart or Graduate job retention.
  • Growth vouchers of up to £2,000 (covering 100% of costs) for consultancy advice or specialist training.

As part of its application, a business must:

  • either safeguard or create a job; and
  • commit to creating or updating a sustainability plan for their business.

To register your interest, please complete the Expression of Interest form included at:

Development Kitchen Support
Providing access to specialist Development Kitchen support at Food WorksSW (Feb to June 2022). This support will enable you to spend 2/3 days in either the dairy, bakery, general development, or bottling kitchen at Food WorksSW with our NPD and Innovation manager, Zoe Plant, who will support you with the formulation of recipes, development of specifications, costing out products and the practical development of your products.

If you are interested in applying for this opportunity, click here to complete the action plan template to access the development kitchen support growth voucher.

Support to enable you to develop your decarbonisation plans
If your organisation could benefit from spending time with our specialist team to enable you to develop a decarbonisation plan, please email to arrange your first appointment.

Alternatively, please register your interest by booking one of the following appointments. The dates provided are based on location, but please note that multiple time slots are available (on a first come first serve basis). Please follow the links below to find out more.

Upcoming Programme of Events

Contact Us

To discuss how the East Midlands Accelerator can support your food and drink business, please contact Trudi Waldram using the contact details below.


T: 0115 975 8810

website png

Start your food business journey today