A new £3.1 million grant fund has been launched to help small and medium sized businesses in Cornwall to boost their productivity and grow.

BIG (Business Investment for Growth) Productivity offers grants from £2.5k up to £150k to qualifying businesses and can meet up to 45% of project costs for small businesses, and up to 35% for medium-sized businesses.

The fund aims to support 175 local businesses and create 175 jobs over the next two and a half years. It is part of a wider drive to highlight productivity as a key issue in Cornwall and promote the opportunities for local businesses looking to invest in improving their efficiency.

BIG Productivity’s programme manager, Anna Staevska, said: “Higher productivity means a business produces more output for each worker it employs, and that can lead to higher profits, better wages and more economic prosperity overall.

“We want businesses to look closely at what they do and how, with support, they can be more efficient. We are making the application process as simple as possible so if you’ve got an idea to boost the productivity of your business then come and talk to us about how the BIG Productivity fund might help.”

BIG Productivity is the third round of BIG funding in Cornwall. It is supported by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Programme and is delivered by Cornwall Development Company.

The grant funding can be used towards nearly all types of expenditure (except business as usual activities or salaries), providing it supports the company’s growth and improves productivity. An applicant must be able to cash flow the project before the grant can be paid.

Applications for funding will be invited via a website that will go live in the coming weeks. In the meantime businesses can ask for more information and register their interest now by e-mail to BIGTeam@cornwalldevelopmentcompany.co.uk or follow the fund on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for latest updates.

BIG Productivity will also be offering 30 non-financial advisory support opportunities to businesses where advice on how to access new markets, identify new product developments and improve their processes will achieve a step change in their productivity and growth. This part of the project is expected to be launched in Spring 2020.

According to the Office of National Statistics, Cornwall’s productivity is the lowest in the UK, at 32% below the UK average. The BIG Productivity fund is part of a suite of EU-funded projects in Cornwall aimed at addressing this productivity gap.

For more information about BIG Productivity please email BIGTeam@cornwalldevelopmentcompany.co.uk and a member of the team will be in touch.