Over the past few months, tax specialist Catax has given Forwarder’s readers a crash course in tax relief and how to get the most out of money that has already been spent. 

But lots of businesses get a big cash injection without spending a penny.

The third and final pillar in this business support series – following on from Research & Development (R&D) tax credits and Capital Allowances
— is GRANTS.  

There are hundreds of schemes run every year that deliver millions of pounds into the hands of industries specifically chosen because they have a significant contribution to make to the environment and economy through innovation and technological advances. 

The logistics sector is one of those. Catax believes that official bodies are targeting the sector with grants for one reason and one reason only

Fuel is expensive, polluting, and haulage companies have been facing increasing costs because of the way the dirtiest vehicles are being targeted by congestion charges and low emission zone penalties all over the world.

The way goods are delivered must change, and policy makers are using grants to encourage more rapid progress. 

Fuel is going to continue to be the biggest issue for the logistics industry. When the diesel vehicles that constitute most fleets are not allowed into any city centres, haulage firms are going to have to find another way of transporting goods the last mile to their final destination. This is where a lot of the pressure for greater use of electric vehicles is coming from. What will emerge over the next few years are more aerodynamic trucks that rely on much greener battery technology. You don’t see many electric delivery vehicles on the roads at the moment but these advances in technology are needed now. There’s some urgency to this. It’s no longer about future-proofing the sector, and that’s why there are already plenty of grants available to companies making improvements in this area. 

Chris Parkhurst, Regional Development Director (Grants), Catax

Other leaps that will complement greener vehicle technology will be measures that make other aspects of the delivery process more efficient. These will include automated warehouses, navigation improvements,  cleaner waterborne transport and Connected, Cooperative and Automated Mobility (CCAM). 

On the right is just one example of the kind of UK grant scheme available to the logistics sector right now. Deadlines vary but the most successful claims are those that include a proper cost-benefit analysis that sets out the impact the funding will have on your business and the wider sector.  

Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF)

Driving the electric revolution, supply chains for net zero.
Competition closes: Wednesday 30th June 2021 at 11:00am.

This is aimed at companies in the Power, Electronics, Machines and Drives (PEMD) space and could include manufacturers of electric vehicle drives, designers and those involved in recovering valuable materials from electric vehicles that have reached the end of their life. 

ISCF is working with Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, on this competition to release up to £22million to  innovation projects. The aim of the grants is to support the Government’s efforts to nurture a green industrial revolution in transport, energy and industry. This will strengthen the supply chains for the electric vehicle industry in the UK and help the Government achieve its drive for net zero. Any bids for funding must satisfy the objectives set out in the ‘Driving the Electric Revolution’ challenge and your project’s total eligible costs must be between £500,000 and £5million.

Grant applications are often complex. It’s important that applicants are able to explain clearly how the money invested will be used, and what difference it will make to the organisation concerned and how the advances it is aiming for will benefit the wider industry. 

 You face intense competition when you make these grant applications. The selection process itself is even called a ‘competition’ in most cases and you will be up against plenty of other determined leaders in the industry. If you can’t explain why you, above nearly all others, deserve the investment then you won’t succeed. We come across plenty of businesses who missed out in the past because they weren’t able to put their best foot forward and fully explain the value they would add. It’s a crying shame when that happens because grants can have a terrific impact on the future trajectory of a business. 

If you want to find out more about which grants you’re eligible for and how to go about applying, contact Richard Armstrong at