East of Scotland Investment Fund (ESIF)

Midlothian Council is part of the East of Scotland Investment Fund (ESIF) consortium of 10 Local Authorities working together to provide loan finance to new and growing businesses within the east of Scotland.


Our main aim is to encourage and support the creation, development and growth of small and growing businesses within the east of Scotland so that they will in turn be able to contribute to and strengthen the local economy in terms of jobs, growth and wealth.

Who can apply?

Businesses with commercially viable proposals but who may experience difficulty in raising all of the required funding from the usual commercial sources can apply. Applicants must be able to demonstrate a funding gap as we will not be the sole funder of projects.

Traditionally we have targeted manufacturing and service to manufacturing. However, more recently our list of eligible sectors continues to grow and now includes tourism, farm diversification and other service based sectors. Every attempt is made to accommodate priorities at the local level and we would welcome all enquiries.

We welcome applications from all eligible businesses.

How can the funds be used?

Loans can be used for the purchase of plant and equipment (new or used), for the provision of working capital, for the purchase or refurbishment or expansion of commercial property and for the purchase of a business. Loans cannot be used for speculative property development for sale or lease or to finance private cars.

Our terms

Loans of up to £50,000 are available to all businesses. ESIF will reserve the right to seek any form of security where it is deemed appropriate.

ESIF will normally operate in conjunction with other commercial lending agencies and applicants must demonstrate that at least 50% of the total funding package is being provided by the private sector .

Interest rates are fixed, currently at 6%, for the duration of the loan with the maximum repayment period being 5 years. Consideration will be given for 'capital repayment' holidays on a case by case basis.

What to do next

If you would like to speak to someone to discuss a possible application, please contact your Local Authority Officer or the Fund Manager by telephone or email. Every attempt has been made to keep the whole application process as streamlined and as user-friendly as possible.

Completed applications forms should be accompanied by a business plan, supported by audited accounts, unaudited accounts or financial statements (where appropriate) and at least 2 years detailed financial projections.

How long does the application process take?

Usually a decision can be made about your application within 8 weeks, depending on when it is received.  

Other sources of funding

EDS also offer a service to help search and source funding opportunities to help with your business.

If you are looking for funding to help with business development, marketing and promotions, R&D, purchasing of equipment, energy efficiency, recruitment or training then there may be a funding source suitable for you.

Economic Development

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0131 271 3435 (tel)

0131 271 3537 (fax)