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Businesses benefit from UBI grants for growth

Companies across Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay have been growing thanks to the £5million Regional Growth Fund (RGF) Unlocking Business Investment grant scheme.

The Unlocking Business Investment (UBI) scheme is open to businesses across Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay providing grants between £25,000 and £499,000. Grants can be used to fund capital projects such as extending premises or purchasing new equipment. 

A number of of South West business have already benefited, including North Devon based company, Product Assessment & Reliability Centre Ltd (PARC)

PARC is a nationally acclaimed testing facility, accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), and provides a wide range of testing services in order to assess product reliability in the environment in which it is intended to operate.

PARC successfully applied for funding in a previous RGF scheme using the finance to drive business expansion through relocation to new premises whilst upgrading machinery and creating full time employment for specialist staff at levels above the regional average, both in skill and salary.

The new premises in Bideford, North Devon, were subject to extensive refurbishment which transformed the building shell into bespoke areas for the business including an acoustically contained area to locate PARC’s vibration equipment in addition to space for its 20+ climatic chambers and dedicated space for dust and water ingress testing. In addition to this a suite of modern office accommodation has been created including open plan offices, meeting rooms and dedicated areas for visiting customers.

Andy Lobato Technical Director of PARC says:

"This new facility has totally transformed the business enabling us to attract substantial incremental business from major tier one companies. This transformational change will enable PARC to move forward with a vision to double the company size over the next three years."
Andy continues:
"Future proofing was a key consideration throughout the project and we’ve planned the equipment to avoid simply spreading out to fill the available space. In each area of the building, provision has been made for siting further equipment and additional staff. Furthermore, land gained as part of the building purchase has the potential for an additional building of around 575m²."
"The impact of this project will be to sustain 13 existing jobs and to create nine new full time employment positions at PARC over the next 3 years. Over the next 10 years, the new facility should deliver on average 2.5 new positions per year."

For businesses looking to expand, the £5 million Unlocking Business Investment scheme is open to businesses across Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay providing grants between £25,000 and £499,000. Grants must be match funded from private or commercial sources with the key output of creating new jobs. 

UBI is administered by North Devon+ in conjunction with GAIN/Plymouth University. For more information please contact or visit

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