As part of the drive for economic recovery, the South West Regional Development Agency (RDA) has announced the launch of a new £10m South West Loans Fund which is now available to help growth-oriented business with viable business plans.
Of this £5m is available in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and £5m for the rest of the region.
Interested businesses should contact Business Link who will take them through the first steps in the application process.
Small businesses are at the heart of the economy and it is vital that they are supported during this critical time. The South West Loans Fund will play an important role in supporting some of these companies through the economic downturn. It offers smaller firms, who meet the eligibility criteria, the opportunity to obtain the capital they need to sustain and develop their business activities.
Stephen Peacock, the RDA‘s Executive Director of Enterprise and Innovation, said: “This is good news for the region’s businesses. Viable and growing companies throughout the South West need help accessing finance. This Fund will go some way towards alleviating these problems.”
South West Investment Group (Capital) Ltd has been awarded a grant of £10m for the fund and will be overseeing the programme. The money is provided by the South West RDA (£3.75m) and the European Regional Development Fund – through the ERDF Convergence Programme in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (£3.75m) and the ERDF Competitiveness and Employment Programme in the rest of the region (£2.5m). This is the first time that the new European Structural Funds have been used in this way in England.
John Berry, executive director of SWIG Capital, the organisation responsible for holding the funds, said: “I am really pleased that the European Regional Development Fund Programmes and the RDA have agreed to provide these funds, particularly in this difficult financial environment.
“Everyone has really pulled the stops out to make this happen. The fund is targeted at those businesses which have the potential to make a real economic difference to the South West through their growth prospects -importantly this is not a ‘bail out’ fund.”