£23.5 million funding programme helping companies grow

£23.5 million funding programme helping companies grow
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Published: February 18th, 2020

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A £23.5m funding pot for businesses across the Marches is delivering real results for small and medium-sized companies across the region, the chair of the Marches Growth Hub said today.

Paul Hinkins said the ERDF Business Growth Programme 2 had already helped a number of SMEs across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin expand – and could still help more follow suit. Mr Hinkins said the programme – delivered in association with the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership – was a key tool in helping both start-ups and established SMEs access the cash they needed to finance their growth plans.

It forms part of a package of programmes which make up the hub’s £10m Growth Challenge, designed to ensure the region’s companies access as much of the funding support available to them as possible.

"The Business Growth Programme 2 was extended last April and now offers an even better opportunity than ever to our start-ups and SMEs," Mr Hinkins said.

"Grants of between £2,500 and £10,000 are available for start-up businesses whilst existing SMEs can access between £10,000 and £1million. The money can be used to buy capital equipment, fund relocation and expansion, or support new product and market development. Start-ups can also use the grants for set up, installation and internal refurbishment costs.

"We already know that the programme has been instrumental in helping many companies in the region expand and create new jobs, and would urge any business which thinks it could benefit to get in touch with our growth hub teams as a matter of urgency."

Businesses which have benefitted include:

  • Ledbury-based Galebreaker – a specialist manufacturer of ventilation screens and doors for the agricultural industry, power stations and the oil and gas sector, received a £30,000 BGP grant to help fund a new high-tech welder, creating three new jobs.
  • Bishop’s Castle building materials manufacturer Jesmonite was able to ‘internationalise’ its business after receiving a BGP2 grant to help translate its website into various languages, and then add in the necessary functionality so it could automatically appear in the language of a customer’s location. It also helped translate material safety data sheets and hazard labels into a range of languages to comply with global legislative requirements.
  • Telford meringue maker Flower & White received an £80,000 BGP2 grant to help purchase a new packaging machine, tempering machine and panning machinery, in a development which will help create eight new jobs.

BGP2 – which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by Birmingham City Council – builds on the successful delivery of the £33m Business Growth Programme which closed in December 2018. To qualify, a minimum of 80% of turnover must be generated by business-to-business activity.

To find out more about the £10m Growth Challenge and make contact with your local Marches Growth Hub visit https://growthchallenge.co.uk/ More information on the eligibility criteria for the BGP2 programme is available at https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/info/20199/business_growth_programme_2

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