A £2.2million scheme to help businesses across the Marches expand and create new jobs has been launched today.
The new Marches Building Investment Grant (MBIG) programme will help growing companies meet up to £150,000 of the cost of building new premises, or extending and reconfiguring their existing ones, to help them grow.
The scheme – part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and supported by the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership and Marches Growth Hub – is an extension of the hugely-successful MBIG programme which will have created 268 jobs by 2025.
Programme manager Caroline Cattle said the maximum grant had been increased by £50,000 under the new MBIG scheme which could also now cover the purchase of some new equipment.
She said the scheme, delivered by Herefordshire Council and projected to create more than 80 jobs, would make a huge difference to the expansion plans of companies across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.
"This extension is fantastic news for the whole of the Marches region and means that we can carry on helping companies realise their growth plans, create new jobs and provide the economic success on which the region depends," she said.
The grant, which is dependent on new jobs or products being created, meets half the cost of successful applications meaning that projects costing up to £300,000 are now eligible. The scheme covers B2B businesses and does not include retail or agricultural companies.
"This is a real opportunity for businesses to invest in innovation, growth and a successful future. An independent report into the original scheme praised its effectiveness and said it will have added an extra £30million of value (GVA) to the Marches economy by 2025. We are convinced the new extension can bring even more benefits to our region."
Paul Hinkins, chair of the Marches Growth Hub, urged businesses to make the most of the new scheme – part of the £10million Growth Challenge the hub has set the region.
"The original MBIG scheme was a huge success for the whole of the Marches, creating jobs, wealth and prosperity. The new extension will help us continue that good work and build an economy which is successful for all."
Councillor Trish Marsh, Herefordshire Council Cabinet Member for Environment, Economy and Skills, said:"One of the key objectives of Herefordshire Council is to help our regional economy to grow and flourish. The Marches Building Investment Grant (MBIG) has already helped many businesses reach their potential and supported the creation of hundreds of jobs, and this further funding will continue that great work."
Councillor Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s Council Cabinet member for assets, economic growth and regeneration, said: "This is great news for businesses in Shropshire and across the Marches. The funding will help them to expand and create jobs, providing a real boost to local people and to the local economy.
"I urge businesses to contact the growth hubs to find out more and to apply."
Councillor Lee Carter, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for the Borough
Economy, said: "We have always positioned ourselves as a business winning, business
support council and have worked hard to encourage inward investment as well as
supporting existing businesses to expand.
"This scheme can only help us to achieve that and is a welcome boost for the borough’s
Herefordshire Council is the accountable body for the MBIG scheme. Full details are available from Caroline Cattle and Alison Rogers on [email protected] or by calling 01432 260 662.
The Marches Growth Hub Herefordshire can be contacted on 01432 261758 or email [email protected]
The Marches Growth Hub Shropshire can be contacted on 01743 250526 or email [email protected]
The Marches Growth Hub Telford & Wrekin can be contacted on 01952 567589
or email [email protected]