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More companies to benefit from Business Growth Grants scheme
25th February 2014

Businesses are set to benefit from grants of up to £100,000 thanks to additional funding secured for the area by the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the Greater Brighton City Region.

Small to medium sized businesses (SMEs) looking to expand can apply for a Business Growth Grant, worth from £5,000 to £100,000. To qualify, they must be creating jobs and have funding to pay for 75% or 80% of the expansion project. They also have to be based in West Sussex (including Horsham and Crawley), Brighton and Hove, Lewes, the Gatwick Diamond, Croydon or East Surrey (including Epsom and Ewell, Reigate and Banstead, Mole Valley and Tandridge).

The grants are designed to help businesses that have great growth plans but need some funding to help unlock their projects. Businesses will be offered free support to help with their application and applicants have access to a range of subsidised services to assist with their growth ambitions.

Three companies have already been awarded grants totalling £69,000, attracting a further £100,000 of private sector investment and generating almost 20 private sector jobs.

Applications are particularly welcomed from high-growth, high-innovation, and/ or low carbon and environmental technology SMEs wishing to expand and diversify. Businesses in other sectors and those projecting modest growth are also being encouraged to apply.

Applications have to show how the jobs created are new and do not merely displace those in similar businesses. Retail and hospitality businesses in particular will have to show a strong case for how their proposal is significantly different to anything else in the market.

Regional Growth Fund Programme Manager for the scheme, Hayley Shepherd, explains: "Eligible businesses will need to demonstrate how the grant will lead to new jobs and growth. It may be spent on a wide range of business activities including research and development, product/ service development, skills development, breaking into new markets, plant and equipment, business premises and other capital items."

An additional £930,000 has been earmarked for the Business Growth Grant scheme. The money was awarded to the Greater Brighton City Region as part of their successful £1.79 million Regional Growth Fund programme which includes a range of business support across the Coast to Capital area, linking businesses to expertise in Universities and specialist organisations experienced in helping to drive growth.

The Business Growth Grant scheme is supported by the Government's Regional Growth Fund.
Interested businesses are invited to complete the short expression of interest form, which can be downloaded from http://www.coast2capital.org.uk/regional-growth-fund, as the first step of the application process.

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“As our company has grown we have benefittted from the skilled local labour base, and have trained our workforce to maintain the high quality our clients expect.”

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