The second round of the £2million Worcestershire Growth Fund opens on 8 April 2016 to help local expanding businesses to create more jobs and boost productivity.
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.
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 and whilst funds last.
The new 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 Machined Component Systems.
Redditch-based Machined Component Systems is a centre of manufacturing excellence, supplying turned parts and precision engineered machined components to various industry sectors including Automotive, Petro-Chemical, Environmental, Transport Technologies, Marine, Health Care Technologies and White Goods to name a few.
Worcestershire Expansion Programme funding allowed Machined Component Systems to invest in new machinery, improve the skills of the staff and improve business efficiency. Machined Component Systems received a grant of £60,000 from Worcestershire Expansion Programme in addition to their own investment of over twice that amount, £130,000.
Machined Component Systems new machinery brings many environmental, economic and social benefits, with the investment in more efficient electric motors leading to the manufacture of more modern environmentally friendly automotive vehicles and employment of a further 4 members of staff.
Warren Gray, Managing Director of Machined Component Systems, said: “The grant enabled MCS to secure a seven year contract within the automotive supply chain which not only has resulted in the growth of the business as whole but also a growth in the jobs as stated and provided further job security for existing staff also. In addition the grant enabled us to keep working capital within the business which enabled us to continue to invest in our people and has resulted in MCS recruiting a further three apprentices onto the MCS Apprenticeship Program. In summary the help and support we have received has been business changing and invaluable.”
Gary Woodman, Executive Director of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, added: “Worcestershire Growth Fund will continue to have a positive impact for many expanding businesses in Worcestershire, boosting productivity and creating jobs within the County. Machined Component Systems is just one of many businesses that has expanded and modernised through a local funding scheme.
“We have seen some excellent applications in the first round, which are currently being assessed, and I am confident that the second round of Worcestershire Growth Fund will enable even more businesses to grow and improve productivity.”
Cllr Dr Ken Pollock, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Economy, Skills and Infrastructure, added: Cllr Dr Ken Pollock, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Economy, Skills and Infrastructure, added: “I would encourage any businesses interested in the Worcestershire Growth Fund to enquire as soon as possible. Success stories from the past year, including Machined Component Systems, demonstrate just how valuable the Worcestershire Growth Fund can be in providing access to considerable funding. The consequent business expansion and creation of jobs is a real boost to Worcestershire’s economy.”
For further information on the Worcestershire Growth Fund, including dates for future rounds and how local businesses can apply, please visit the Worcestershire.Business.Central. website at www.business-central.co.uk/worcestershiregrowthfund