Businesses across the region have secured a £1million boost which is expected to create nearly 30 jobs after rising to the Marches Growth Hub’s £10m Growth Challenge, new figures show today.
The challenge – launched by the hub in July – calls on businesses across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin to claim their share of all the funding available to help them grow.
And new figures, for the six months from April to September, show the four largest funding programmes awarded a combined £972,000 across the region in a move anticipated to create 29 new jobs.
The release of the figures comes at the same time as the launch of a new website – https://growthchallenge.co.uk/ – designed to make accessing some of the financial support and help available as straightforward as possible.
Paul Hinkins, chair of the Marches Growth Hub, said: "It is fantastic to see so many companies rising to our £10m Growth Challenge and putting themselves in prime position to realise their growth ambitions.
"This support can generate a real wealth dividend across the Marches – but only if our businesses take it up. That is why we are urging all companies to have a look at what is on offer and see how they can benefit from it.
"Our specially-created website signposts any company towards the support and advice specifically available to them in just a few clicks of a mouse. All you have to do is answer a few simple questions and our experts will be able to let you know what funding and support you are eligible for."
The challenge brings together funding from the EU’s European Regional Development Fund and the Government-backed Midlands Engine Investment Fund and includes schemes such as the Business Growth Programme 2, Marches Building Investment Grant and the Business Energy Efficiency Programme.
Those three schemes – and the broadband grant programme – accounted for the £972,000 awarded in the six months to the end of September with a near-identical amount of private sector match funding also secured.
The figures also showed the Marches Growth Hub – which has physical bases in Hereford, Shrewsbury and Telford as well as an online virtual hub – helped 310 people to start a new business in the six-month period.
Across the three growth hubs, there was a total of 143 growth hub events attended by 3,924 attendees of which 2,748 were businesses. A total of 3,712 businesses interactions took place through attendance at growth hub events and face-to-face support.
Mr Hinkins added: "The Marches Growth Hub was ranked amongst the best in the country earlier this year by the Government and these figures show why. With the launch of the growth challenge and our new website, we are certain we can help our business community build even greater success in the future."