Grants totalling £2.8 million from the GAIN Growth Fund have been made to 26 growing South West businesses – with the awards expected to create 479 new jobs and unlock a further £13.5 million in private investment.
The Growth Fund, overseen by University of Plymouth, and a key part of the Plymouth and South West Peninsula City Deal, selected the 26 companies to win grants after receiving record levels of interest from businesses keen to secure funding to help them expand and create new jobs.
Grants ranging from £30,000 to £250,000 are being made to businesses from Plymouth, Devon, Torbay, Somerset and Cornwall which demonstrated impressive growth plans and put forward a strong case for support to help them deliver a specific project which will create new jobs.
These grants will be supplemented by private investment totalling £13.5 million from the individual businesses to achieve their growth plans, and the projects are forecast to create 479 jobs over the next two years.
Some of the South West businesses winning grants include:
- Plymouth-based Tufcoat, which manufactures shrink wrapping materials for the marine and industrial market, given £53,000 towards a £133,000 project to update its IT services, adapt its premises and increase its workforce, creating ten new jobs
- Taunton firm Integrated Data Needs supplying electrical equipment for the IT industry given £120,000 towards a £305,000 project to reshore its production from China, creating at least 11 new jobs
- Family-run North Cornwall chocolate manufacturer Kernow Chocolate given a £40,000 grant towards a £80,000 expansion to increase production and open an on-site shop and café, creating six new jobs
- Paignton company Casting Support Systems manufacturing tools and plastic moulded products given a £250,000 grant towards a £1.3 million expansion to increase production which will create 28 new jobs
- Leading Falmouth fashion brand and stores Seasalt, which was given a £150,000 grant towards an £880,000 project to introduce a new software management system which will lead to new outlets and create 40 new jobs.
John Hutchings, Grant Manager for the GAIN Growth Fund, said:
“We are delighted to announce the successful recipients of the GAIN Growth Fund, and to be enabling expansion projects to go ahead which will unlock private investment and create hundreds of high value new jobs in the South West. The range of awards showcases the enormous difference that a grant from the Growth Fund can make, whether it is for £30,000 or £250,000, and the impact these grants will have on businesses in the region which are eager to grow.”
The growth fund is supported by GAIN, the Growth, Acceleration and Investment Network, as part of its focus on accelerating job creation and boosting economic growth in high quality businesses in the South West. Funding was agreed through the Regional Growth Fund as part of the City Deal.
The GAIN Growth Fund follows the previous, highly successful University of Plymouth and Western Morning News Growth Fund (PWGF) which made more than 60 grants totalling £4.7 million to South West companies in 2012/2013, supporting the creation of more than 500 new jobs and unlocking investment of over £9 million.
Professor Julian Beer, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Regional Enterprise at University of Plymouth, said:
“It is tremendous to see the GAIN Growth Fund awarding grants which will enable South West businesses that are eager to expand and grow to go ahead with their growth plans far more quickly than they would be able to without outside support. Through its work with the GAIN Growth Fund and with previous growth funds, University of Plymouth and its partners continues to support businesses to grow and develop, and to create new jobs and increase prosperity for the South West.”
The GAIN Growth Fund is managed by a team from University of Plymouth on behalf of Plymouth City Council, which led the successful bid for the City Deal agreed in January 2014.
Tudor Evans, leader of Plymouth City Council, said:
“This announcement is a perfect example of why the City Deal is such a big deal for Plymouth and the South West. It is about real jobs, real opportunities and real support for businesses in the region, who need a bit of back-up either financially or through guidance and advice to take their ambitions to the next level. I’m clearly delighted to see Plymouth companies here – this is just the start of the benefits that the City Deal will bring.”
The Plymouth and South West Peninsula City Deal is focused on increasing productivity and growth in the South West Peninsula and could see almost £300 million of investment into the region’s marine and advanced manufacturing sectors, creating over 9,000 jobs. The City Deal includes a substantial business support package with some £24 million of private and public sector money to help existing businesses flourish here as well as attract new investors.