More than 1,000 new jobs will be created in the South West, thanks to an £8.7 million fund to support the region’s most ambitious businesses. Grants of up to £1 million are now available to high growth businesses across the region, from Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Dorset in the east, down to the tip of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly in the West.
Supported by the Regional Growth Fund, the South West Growth Fund was secured by Plymouth University’s GAIN team, SWMAS Ltd, South West Water Business Services and the Western Morning News. It will support transformational projects in businesses, primarily in manufacturing, marine and digital industries and is set to unlock £22 million in private investment.
Successful businesses will also receive free water and energy audits provided by South West Water Business Services as a continuation of their mission to help regional businesses be more efficient.
The South West Growth Fund is the latest round of RGF funding to have been secured for the South West by GAIN and regional partners. Together these funds now total more than £20million and are forecast to support the creation of nearly 2,500 new jobs.
Adrian Dawson, Head of GAIN, said:
“The South West Growth Fund will support ambitious businesses to achieve their growth plans, giving a boost to the whole region’s economy. The fund directly responds to the productivity challenge we are facing in the South West by enabling innovative ideas to come to fruition.
“With the previous RGF programme having to close early because it was over-subscribed, we are delighted to secure this latest round of government investment for the South West. Working with South West Water Business Services, SWMAS Ltd and the Western Morning News, we look forward to building on our track record of enabling businesses to expand, creating over 1,000 high quality new jobs for our region.”In the past three years, through its multiple business support programmes, SWMAS Ltd has provided in-depth support to almost 2,000 companies, launching over 250 new products and creating nearly 4,000 jobs in the South West.
Simon Howes, Managing Director of SWMAS Ltd, said:
“This scheme is unique, combining both funding for capital investment and expert support. Our team will help firms to specify, install and embed new equipment and to exploit new technology.
“We aim to provide the maximum possible benefit to manufacturers across the region, continuing our 13-year history of championing manufacturing in the South West. This scheme will deliver growth to our region and drive productivity improvements. Our Manufacturing Barometer, the largest online survey of England’s manufacturers, has repeatedly found that South West firms feel that they need to improve their productivity. Investment, as identified in the July budget, is a key first-step, and the South West Growth Fund will enable this.”
Monica Read, South West Water's Business Services and Sustainability Director, said:
"We're proud to be a major contributor to the regional economy and delighted to be part of a winning bid that will boost economic prospects, help more businesses to grow, and create or safeguard jobs for local people.”
Bill Martin, Editor of the Western Morning News said:
“The Western Morning News has always been proud to support business in the South West, so I am thrilled that we are able to be part of this ambitious plan to deliver growth through investment and create much needed jobs.”