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Beds businesses: £2.5m boost

Businesses in Bedfordshire can now apply for a share of the new £2.5 million Grants4Growth programme – which is being distributed via Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to companies based in the East of England.

Businesses seeking to create jobs by investing in new equipment and facilities are being urged to apply, along with companies investing in technology and processes to improve their carbon footprint.

Grants4Growth Bedfordshire is being managed by the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP), with Business Broker James Stancombe co-ordinating the local programme.

James, who is based at SEMLEP’s Cranfield offices in Bedfordshire, aims to help at least 100 local businesses over the next 24 months, which in turn will help to generate at least 40new jobs and safeguard many others.

“My job is to ensure that Bedfordshire businesses get as much of the £2.5million as possible,” said James. “My colleagues in surrounding counties will be trying to do the same, which is why it’s essential we really promote Grants4Growth and urge Bedfordshire companies to act quickly.”

Grants4Growth is a free grants programme for small and medium sized businesses which need practical help and financial assistance to help reduce costs, as well as increase competitiveness and resilience.

James added: “All kinds of companies can apply. This month I have been talking to one engineering business owner who makes prototypes and wants a grant to fund a 3D printer, which would improve his product quality and lead times, at a fraction of the cost. A firm in Luton has requested support and financial assistance to improve heat recovery in their production process and a sports club has approached me about installing a more environmentally friendly heating system.

“If you want to improve efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and help your business invest to grow then look no further.”

Cheryl Smart, SEMLEP board member and Chief Executive of the Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce, said:  “This presents Bedfordshire businesses with an exciting opportunity for growth and development. This is a limited pot of funding so we would encourage companies in the county to act quickly and get in touch with SEMLEP today – to secure Grants4Growth funding for themselves.”

Grants4 Growth includes both capital and revenue grants. Capital grants are available for business wanting to:

Invest in technology or processes that facilitate growth, improve resilience or create/safeguard jobs
Put in place efficiency initiatives in the form of waste, water or energy efficiency, recovery or reduction
Invest in technology and processes to reduce the environmental impact of operations

Revenue grants are available to businesses seeking specialist consultancy advice, support and studies to promote, market or maintain low carbon and environmental goods and services.

Capital grants are available up to a maximum of 28% of the eligible capital spend, and revenue grants are available up to a maximum of 30% of eligible revenue spend.

James will support all businesses with the application process and decisions will be made by an independent Grants4Growth panel.

Find out more by talking to Business Broker James Stancombe on 01234 436100, 07920 246813 or via email james@semlep.com

For more details about SEMLEP visit www.semlep.com