Growth Guarantee Scheme

What is the Growth Guarantee Scheme?

The successor scheme to the Recovery Loan Scheme, The Growth Guarantee Scheme (GGS) launched in July 2024 and is designed to support access to finance for UK small businesses as they look to invest and grow.

The Growth Guarantee Scheme aims to improve the terms on offer to borrowers. If Ulster Bank can offer a commercial loan on better terms, we will do so.

Growth Guarantee Scheme-backed facilities are provided at the discretion of Ulster Bank. We are required to undertake our standard credit and fraud checks for all applicants.

Scheme features

Up to £2m facility per business group

  • The maximum amount of a facility provided under the scheme is generally £2m per business group for borrowers outside the scope of the Northern Ireland Protocol, and up to £1m (or such other sum as notified from time to time by the Business British Bank to the lender in accordance with the relevant legal agreement(s)) per business group for Northern Ireland Protocol borrowers. Minimum facility starts at £25,001 for term loans.

Term length

  • Term loans facilities are available from three months up to six years.

Access to multiple schemes

  • Businesses that took out a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS), Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) or a Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) facility before 30 June 2024 are not prevented from accessing Growth Guarantee Scheme, but borrowing under these schemes may reduce the maximum amount the borrower is eligible for.


  • Interest rates and fees charged by Ulster Bank will vary and will depend on the specific lending proposal. Our pricing will take into account the benefit of the Government guarantee.

Personal Guarantees

  • Personal guarantees can be taken at our discretion, in line with our normal commercial lending practices. Principal Private Residences cannot be taken as security within the Scheme.

Guarantee is to the lender

  • The scheme provides the lender with a 70% government-backed guarantee against the outstanding balance of the facility after it has completed its normal recovery process. The borrower always remains 100% liable for the debt.

Decision making delegated to Ulster Bank

  • Growth Guarantee Scheme-backed facilities are provided at the discretion of us. We are required to undertake our standard credit and fraud checks for all applicants. 
  • The assistance provided through Growth Guarantee Scheme, like many Government-backed business support activities, is regarded as a subsidy and is deemed to benefit the borrower. There is a limit to the amount of subsidy that may be received by a borrower, and its wider group, over any rolling three-year period. Any previous subsidy may reduce the amount a business can borrow. More information on subsidies is available here.

Eligibility criteria

Turnover limit:

  • The scheme is open to smaller businesses with a turnover of up to £45m (on a group basis, where part of a group); 


  • The borrower must be carrying out trading activity in the UK and, for most businesses, generating more than 50% of its income from trading activity; 

Viability test:

  • Ulster Bank must consider that the borrower has a viable business proposition; 

Business in difficulty: 

  • The borrower must not be a business in difficulty, including not being in relevant insolvency proceedings; 

Subsidy limits:

  • Borrowers will need to provide written confirmation that receipt of the Growth Guarantee Scheme facility will not mean that the business exceeds the maximum amount of subsidy they are allowed to receive. All borrowers in receipt of a subsidy from a publicly funded programme should be provided with a written statement, confirming the level and type of aid received.

Please note, the following are not eligible under Growth Guarantee Scheme:

  • Banks, Building Societies, Insurers and Reinsurers (excluding Insurance Brokers)
  • Public sector bodies
  • State-funded primary and secondary schools.  

Important application information

  • Speak to your Relationship Manager to discuss your needs.
  • You must be authorised to apply for a loan on behalf of your business.
  • We will complete a full credit check on all key principals of the business using a credit reference agency.

Business guidance

The British Business Bank’s Business Guidance pages have a range of guidance and resources for businesses, including information on how to manage your cashflow and where to find independent advice.

Growth Guarantee Scheme

The Growth Guarantee Scheme is managed by the British Business Bank on behalf of, and with the financial backing of, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. British Business Bank plc is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government. It is not authorised or regulated by the PRA or the FCA. Visit the British Business Bank.

Information Message

Questions you may have about the Growth Guarantee Scheme

Other important information

Customers with hearing and speech impairments can contact us using our Relay UK Service: 18001 0345 366 5592.

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For more information visit the accessibility page.

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