Growth Capital

Entrepreneurial businesses with the potential to expand rapidly often find it difficult to obtain the funding required to grow. 

Many don’t have tangible assets to borrow against, while others are reluctant to relinquish equity or control – often a prerequisite with private equity or venture capital.

What is Growth Capital?

Growth Capital is a cost-efficient form of debt capital aimed at helping established UK businesses to grow faster and create new jobs. 

Growth Capital loans are generally between £500,000 and up to £5 million in addition to conventional lending. 

When it was introduced three years ago, the Breakthrough Growth Capital scheme committed to provide up to £200 million to Britain’s most ambitious SMEs. Since then the scheme has helped 41 businesses with over £109 million of total facilities.


  • Growth funding without relinquishing equity or control
  • Flexible rates and terms
  • No requirement for a business plan; the Breakthrough team will work with you to understand your business
  • Simple application process for eligible businesses.

Note: Lending is subject to status.

How does it work?

  • The money is advanced in the form of a loan with an agreed future repayment date. 
  • The terms of the loan mean the cash call on your business during the term is relatively low – the capital repayment only becomes due when your business has achieved its growth objectives. 
  • Companies that find themselves in a position to pay back the debt early can do so without penalty.
  • We receive our return through quarterly interest payments and annual interest accruals.

Does your business qualify? 

To qualify for the scheme your business will have:

  • an annual turnover up to £50 million
  • a track record of profitable cash-generative growth (20% per annum as a rule of thumb) probably stretching back at least three years
  • strong management teams and a proven track record of solid returns. This doesn’t necessarily rule out businesses with directorship gaps, as long as there is a willingness to bring new people on board.

The funding application process

A fully prepared business plan isn’t necessarily required, at least in the initial stages of the application – we will work with your management team to explore the potential at an early stage. As part of that process we’ll talk through issues such as the business model, costs and investment payback, as well as risk.

How to apply

If you’re interested in finding out more about Growth Capital, and submitting an application for funding, you should contact your local Santander Relationship Director in the first instance or:

Darren Hart
Head of Growth Capital 
Direct dial: 07808 397401 


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Where Next?

Breakthrough Initiative

Breakthrough Growth Capital is an innovative form of finance that enables established and profitable fast-growth businesses to reach their potential without diluting ownership by giving away equity. We are making available £200 million in the form of growth capital loans. Lending is subject to status.
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Breakthrough Masterclasses provide a unique opportunity to engage with, and learn from, some of the UK’s market-leading companies, as well as access vital networking opportunities.
Regular Live events and Roundtables provide opportunities for in-depth discussions, peer-to-peer networking and one-to-one dialogue with successful entrepreneurs and Santander executives.
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