How to apply for the Coronavirus Future Fund (updated June 2020)

The scheme was launched in May 2020 and offers convertible loans of between £125,000 and £5m to ‘innovative’ companies facing difficulties due to COVID-19

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Launched in May 2020, the Coronavirus Future Fund provides government loans of between £125,000 and £5m to ‘innovative’ companies that are facing financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic.

Backed by the British Business Bank, an initial sum of £250m was made available for the scheme, but the government has already approved £320m worth of future fund loans to over 320 companies.

The government says the Future Fund has been designed for companies that rely on equity investment and that are unable to access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan.

It forms part of a new £1.25bn support package for firms operating in the most dynamic sectors of the UK economy, including tech and life sciences. Another £750m will be made available for small businesses involved in research and development.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Britain is a global leader when it comes to innovation. Our startups and businesses driving research and development are one of our great economic strengths, and will help power our growth out of the coronavirus crisis.

“This new, world-leading fund will mean they can access the capital they need at this difficult time, ensuring dynamic, fast-growing firms across all sectors will be able to continue to.”

Who is eligible for the Coronavirus Future Fund?

Currently, the eligibility criteria for the scheme are:

  • You must be a UK-incorporated business (if your business is part of a corporate group, only the parent company is eligible)
  • Your business was incorporated on or before 31 December 2019
  • None of your shares are traded on a regulated market, multilateral trading facility or other listing venue
  • You must be able to attract the equivalent amount of funding from third-party private investors and institutions
  • You must previously have raised at least £250,000 in equity investment from third-party investors during the last five years

If your business is headquartered in another country (such as the US for financing purposes), then you need to prove that you meet one of the following criteria:

  • At least 50% of your employees are UK-based
  • At least 50% of your revenues are from UK sales

If you’re not sure whether you qualify, then use the British Business Bank’s Future Fund eligibility checker.

Additionally, any business that successfully raises money from the scheme must use the funding solely as working capital.

That means you can’t use it to:

  • Repay any borrowed money
  • Make any dividends or bonus payments to staff, management, shareholders or consultants
  • Or to pay any advisory or placement fees or bonuses to external advisers

How to apply for the Coronavirus Future fund

The scheme will be open for applications until the end of September 2020, and you can apply online through the Future Fund website.

Upon application, your business will be subjected to customer fraud, money laundering, and KYC checks.

We’ll make sure to update this page with any new information as soon as it’s available.

You can find a full breakdown of the financial support announced by the government in response to the Covid-19 outbreak on our Coronavirus small business advice page.  

Written by:
Henry Williams headshot
Henry has been writing for since 2015, covering everything from business finance and web builders to tax and red tape. He’s also acted as project lead on many of our industry-renowned annual indexes, including Startups 100 and Business Ideas, and created a number of the site’s popular how to guides.
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