Business grants

Regional Selective Assistance grant

Regional Selective Assistance (RSA)

Grant funding for projects that will create or protect jobs

What is Regional Selective Assistance (RSA)?

Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) funding is a discretionary grant aimed at helping projects that will create or protect jobs in Scotland. The level of grant is based on the size of your business and your location in Scotland.


What projects can the RSA grant support?

The nature of RSA grants means we can support a range of projects, as long as they’ll create or protect jobs in Scotland. They should also involve some kind of capital investment,  and should service markets wider than Scotland only or compete with companies outside Scotland. Typical projects include things like setting up a new base, office, or manufacturing plant somewhere in Scotland, diversifying your business, or investing in your business to increase capability and output.


Read our quarterly RSA results for a list of companies who have recently received RSA.

Some of our previous RSA grants

£100k to help a manufacturing company invest in capital equipment, creating 1 job and safeguarding 12

£1.3m to fund growth at a digital technology company, creating 110 new jobs

£350k to fund new premises and laboratory facilities, creating 29 jobs and safeguarding 14

The details

If you’re interested in an RSA grant, here are some of the key details you’ll need to know.

Am I eligible for RSA funding?

You may be eligible if:
  • You’re an SME based in Scotland or your project is based in Scotland

  • The project will directly create or safeguard jobs that pay the Real Living Wage within your business

  • It won’t be offset by job losses elsewhere

  • It involves an element of capital investment. 

  • Most of the project funding comes from the private sector, including your own cash resources

  • You haven’t already committed to the project, or the project wouldn’t go ahead if you didn’t get the RSA funding.

  • The project will be financially viable, make commercial sense and contribute to Scotland's economy

RSA is restricted from intervening in several sectors, notably local consumer type service activities serving a local market, where there could be considered high job displacement impacts. These restricted sectors include the retail, tourism and leisure sectors.

For large companies there are more specific criteria which we can discuss with you. Please get in touch for more information. 

All companies which are awarded an R&D grant will have the opportunity to work with our specialist teams to review their approach to Fair Work. This will include:

  • Appropriate channels for effective voice and employee engagement, such as trade union recognition
  • Investment in workforce development
  • Action to tackle the gender pay gap and create a more diverse and inclusive workplace
  • No inappropriate use of zero-hours contracts
  • Payment of the Real Living Wage

Real Living Wage guidance from the Living Wage Foundation

You must be able to demonstrate that new jobs created from the project will not simply be offset by job losses elsewhere in Scotland. This is because the RSA grant aims for real gains in net employment in Scotland, not just to shuffle jobs between businesses. 

We are therefore more likely to assist projects which service markets wider than Scotland only, and/or where competitors are largely based outside Scotland. Businesses wholly or mainly competing in a local market will not qualify – the retail and catering sectors are examples of this – and nor will projects aimed at an already well served market.

What types of RSA funding are available?

Projects that require significant investment in capital expenditure may be eligible for RSA ‘Aid for Initial investment’. These projects will also need to create or safeguard jobs. 

Projects that involve relatively low levels of capital expenditure but will create a number of new jobs can still be eligible for assistance through 'Aid for job creation'. Only new jobs are eligible under this type of funding, not safeguarded jobs. 

What level of funding is available?

The amount you’re eligible for depends on the size of your business and your location in Scotland. Over 90% of grant offers are made to SMEs and most offers are between £100k and £250k, but we can offer smaller or larger grants than this.  

Grant money is likely to be paid out in arrears and in instalments.

European Commission's definition of an SME

Check what funding you could receive

Use our postcode checker to find out what level of funding could be available to you based on your location and business size.

Can’t use the postcode checker?

The table below gives an indication of the maximum aid available towards eligible costs based on the size of your business and the tier you fall into (which is based on your location.) 


  Small enterprise Medium enterprise Large enterprise
Tier 2 Up to 30% Up to 20% Up to 10%
Tier 3 Up to 20% Up to 10% 0%


Project assessment

We’ll review your project and the amount of grant available will depend on assessment of many factors, including:

  • Location, size and cost of your project

  • Size of your business

  • Number of jobs created or protected

  • Quality and type of jobs created or protected

The grant is discretionary and the level offered (within European Community limits) will depend on our assessment of how much is needed to make the project go ahead.

Certain activities may be subject to special European Community restrictions on aid. We can advise you on this and answer any queries you have about eligibility when you contact us.

Before you apply

To avoid having multiple live grants, we advise you to take a two to three-year view when considering a project. However, it is possible to have more than one live RSA offer at a time.

You can apply for a second or third grant. The first RSA grant enables you to properly establish your business project, while a second grant enables you to take it to a higher level.

Projections and forecasts

You’ll also need to provide forecasts and a breakdown of project capital expenditure using our templates or you can use your own format and complete the additional financial questions form

Are you a foreign-owned company or a new inward investor?

Make an enquiry via the Scottish Development International website

How to apply 

To get started, complete the initial enquiry form and send to:

Initial enquiry form (Word, 89kB)

Application process


Complete the initial enquiry form and send to We may arrange a meeting with you to discuss if you should apply, and how much you may be eligible for.


Complete the application form and send to You’ll also need to provide forecasts and capital expenditure or you can use your own format and complete the additional financial questions form


We may contact you to clarify information you’ve provided, request more information or arrange a meeting. Once we have all the information we need, we’ll assess your application.


Once your application has been approved, your grant manager will send you an offer letter which clearly sets out all the conditions of your grant.

Requesting a review

If you believe any decision during the grant process is incorrect or unfair, or if you can supply more information, contact us to request a review.

You must clearly set out why you believe the decision to be unsound. Our decision will fully reconsider the extra information or explanations provided.

Contact our team

If you’re interested in applying or just want some more information, get in touch to discuss your business and project.