£3.9M growth fund issues call

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A £3.9 million fund to help small and medium sized businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly grow and create jobs is now inviting expressions of interest.

Grants of between £25k and £150k will be available to eligible businesses on a competitive basis, with the first awards expected in April.

The fund has been launched after a successful £3.9 million bid to the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) from Plymouth University and is expected to benefit around 75 businesses across Cornwall, Devon and Somerset, creating almost 500 jobs including 323 directly, and a further 166 in the supply chain.

It follows the success of the university’s first growth fund, which was awarded £1 million of RGF funding in August 2011.

Applicants are expected to demonstrate how investment will lead to rapid job creation through the delivery of a specific project within a 12-month period. Almost all industry sectors can apply and funding can pay for a range of things including capital equipment, software, improving business premises and recruiting skilled staff.

Professor Julian Beer, pro vice-chancellor for regional enterprise at Plymouth University, said: “We know from experience that there is strong demand for funding from growth-minded local businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and we look forward to making our first awards and helping to drive economic growth in the region.”

For more information about the fund, click here.