£3.9M growth fund approved

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A pioneering fund to help south west businesses grow will receive a fresh cash injection of £3.9 million, it was announced today.

Ministers have confirmed that a bid to the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) from Plymouth University and regional newspaper the Western Morning News to deliver grant funding to small and medium sized businesses has been successful.

The new fund is expected to create almost 500 jobs in Cornwall, Devon and Somerset, including 323 directly, and a further 166 in the supply chain. It is anticipated that around 75 local businesses will be supported with grants of between £25k and £125k.

The bid follows the success of the previous Plymouth University and Western Morning News Growth Fund (PWGF), which was awarded £1 million of RGF funding in August last year.

Professor Wendy Purcell, vice-chancellor and chief executive of Plymouth University, said: “We are absolutely delighted to help drive economic growth in the far south west following the success of our first Regional Growth Fund programme.

“It clearly marks out our distinctive position within higher education nationally in being a catalyst for economic development, and connecting our world class research strengths with the regional economy.”

Expressions of interest in the PWGF are expected to be invited before Christmas, with the fund opening for business in the New Year.