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Devon and Somerset firms urged to unlock grant funding

Ambitious businesses from across Devon and Somerset are being urged to apply for grants of up to £499,000 available through the North Devon+ Unlocking Business Investment (UBI) fund before it’s too late.


Aiming to create more than 350 jobs by March 2019, North Devon+ has already awarded £2.25m to 29 businesses, with £2m left for other growth plans.


The scheme provides grants of between £25,000 and £499,000 to SMEs across the Heart of the South West and larger organisations in the designated Assisted Areas of Devon, Plymouth and Torbay.


Tim Jones, Chairman of the Devon and Cornwall Business Council, said: 

“This funding was secured against fierce competition and is a unique opportunity for a wide range of local businesses to invest in new markets and boost their productivity."

North Devon+ and its delivery partners are ideally positioned to identify growth sectors and to ensure that even the smallest and most remote businesses can benefit.


Projects and expenditure must be completed by March 2017 and jobs created by March 2019.


Businesses have used matched funds to purchase new machinery and specialist equipment for new product development, relocating premised to allow business expansion, extending existing premises to improve production efficiency, training and event requirements, improving and upgrading production lines and in the creation of jobs.


Two great examples of businesses that have benefited from UBI funding are SWM & Waste Recycling Ltd, South Molton, and Aldermans, Plymouth.


With the help of UBI funding SWM & Waste Recycling Ltd. seized the opportunity, to invest £1m into their recycling process. Buying a state-of-the-art Materials Recycling Facility has not only created six new jobs, with another six planned, it has up-skilled the workforce and through new technology, become an innovative recycling facility, benefiting Devon as a whole.

 

Aldermans, a leading metal work manufacturer specialising in sheet metal and fabricated tool products, has invested in a new press brake and lathe, providing exceptional accuracy and efficiency.

“We’re very pleased to continue our programme of ongoing machinery investment,” commented with the help of UBI funding Managing Director Karen Friendship.  
“Ensuring we keep the latest technology on the shopfloor means our customers can benefit from swifter and more accurate production.  Our staff can also benefit from being trained on the new machine, which enhances their skills.”

The grants are being managed by Plymouth University, bringing a strong track record of delivering Regional Growth Fund (RGF) grants and connecting with businesses through GAIN (The Growth Acceleration and Investment Network).


Plymouth University Grant Manager John Hutchings, said: 

“These grants will support ambitious businesses to expand, creating new jobs and boosting the economy of Devon and Somerset. Whether they want to invest in new equipment, move premises or improve their systems, this fund is a great opportunity for firms to bring their innovative ideas to fruition.”

If you are a business looking to grow further and need capital investment towards the cost of new equipment or other associated project costs then please contact ubi@northdevonplus.co.uk - for more information.

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