A sum of £1.5 million was originally awarded last November from the fourth round of the Government’s Regional Growth Fund. Several Worcestershire businesses have been successful in receiving help towards their building projects, however a substantial amount is still available. Mr Pawsey urged businesses to apply. He says: “We are very keen that Worcestershire businesses benefit from this programme, which has the potential to bring redundant or grossly underutilised buildings around the county back to life. The Fund will close next June, and I would therefore urge local businesses to apply for a grant sooner rather than later – at least by the end of this year.”
Simon Geraghty, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economy, Skills and Infrastructure at Worcestershire County Council said: “The grant fund is a great incentive for businesses who are looking at plans for growth within Worcestershire. There is ample opportunity to develop derelict buildings from across Worcestershire to help local businesses to stay within the county. The knock on effect of the grant is the creation of building jobs as developers work to restore these buildings, helping to sustain a growing local economy that will see some of the best businesses throughout the West Midlands in Worcestershire.”
To be eligible for a grant, buildings must either be unused or unusable in their current state for the required purpose. Eligibility is based on the building being used for business purposes once the works are completed. Job creation is also a key criteria and any application should ideally result in a minimum of two new or safeguarded jobs within two years of completion.
Grants are limited to a maximum of 30% of the total eligible costs of the project. The minimum grant is £3,000 and the maximum is £100,000. The grants are not available for conversion to or refurbishment of residential property, or buildings that will be used for agricultural or horticultural purposes.
Further information is available here. Interested parties are asked in the first instance to complete a Stage One Enquiry Form. Eligible companies will then be asked to submit a detailed application form. Applications are considered on a monthly basis.