Businesses in Worcestershire are reminded that they have until 13 May to access the second round of the £2million Worcestershire Growth Fund.
The fund, which was announced at the #WLEP15 Annual Conference in November 2015, is a capital grant scheme financed by the Worcestershire Growth Deal to support the growth of Worcestershire businesses, create more jobs and boost productivity.
Grants of up to £100,000 are available although higher levels of support may be considered in exceptional circumstances and successful applications must:
- Result in increased business productivity
- Generate new, sustainable jobs based in Worcestershire
- Provide match funding of at least 50%
- Comply with State Aid regulations.
This is a two-stage process with Expressions of Interest for the second round open until 13 May 2016 and successful applicants will be invited to submit a full business case. The fund will run until March 2018, subject to availability.
The newly announced Worcestershire Growth Fund follows the success of previous programmes such as the Worcestershire Expansion Programme which supported 22 businesses with grant funding of £2,269,693 levering £13,747,345 from the private sector and creating 225 jobs whilst safeguarding a further 99 positions. One of the businesses who were able to gain funding from that programme includes Birmingham Prototypes Ltd.
Redditch-based Birmingham Prototypes Ltd offer a one-stop-shop service taking parts from CAD through to inspected product that is fit for function. This includes CAD Design, CAM Machining, Press Work amongst other additional operations. Worcestershire Expansion Programme funding allowed Birmingham Prototypes Ltd to invest in new machinery, maintaining their competitive advantage on other businesses and allowing for an increase in business capacity. Birmingham Prototypes Ltd received a grant of £78,000 in addition to their own investment of £437,000.
New machinery has enabled Birmingham Prototypes to remain competitive within its industry, expand by increasing production capacity and the funding has also led to the creation of six new full-time positions.
Michael Adams, Managing Director of Birmingham Prototypes Ltd, said: “Funding from the Worcestershire Expansion Programme enabled us to modernise and invest in machinery, allowing us to boost productivity and maintain our competitive advantage in the market.
“The grant enabled us to create more jobs and continue our expansion and I would encourage interested businesses to consider the opportunity of local funding.”
Gary Woodman, Executive Director of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, added: “Worcestershire Growth Fund will enable the County’s expanding businesses to continue to grow by creating jobs and boosting innovation.
“Redditch-based Birmingham Prototypes is just one example of a business that has been able to benefit from a similar funding scheme. I would urge any expanding businesses to apply for the Worcestershire Growth Fund before the 13 May 2016 deadline.”
Cllr Dr Ken Pollock, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Economy, Skills and Infrastructure, added: “Forerunners of the Worcestershire Growth Fund, including the Worcestershire Expansion Programme, have been highly successful in enabling the expansion of a range of businesses across the county. The Fund is excellent news for Worcestershire, and I would urge any interested businesses to submit their applications before the 13 May deadline.”
For further information on the Worcestershire Growth Fund, including how local businesses can apply and dates for the final proposed round which is subject to availability, please visit the Worcestershire.Business.Central. website at www.business-central.co.uk/worcestershiregrowthfund