£1.9 million has been awarded to 17 businesses from Cornwall to Gloucestershire, through the South West Growth Fund. The successful firms, ranging from food and drink manufacturers to aerospace companies, are the first to benefit from the new fund, which was launched last year by Plymouth University’s GAIN team, SWMAS Ltd, South West Water Business Services and the Western Morning News.
Supported by the Regional Growth Fund, the £8.7 million South West Growth Fund supports transformational projects in businesses, primarily in manufacturing, marine and digital industries and is set to create 1,000 new jobs.
The first grants will deliver 250 new jobs for the region and have secured a future in the South West for Dartmouth Foods – a major employer that was planning to relocate to the South East but will instead double its workforce in Devon. Cornwall will benefit from 19 high level research and development jobs at Allen & Heath, creator of audio mixing systems, as well as the expansion of fast-growth ISO Spaces into a new factory.
Eligible manufacturing businesses can access expert advice from SWMAS Ltd, whose manufacturing specialists are on hand to provide independent technical knowledge and practical training for staff, helping firms make informed investment decisions and then supporting the deployment of new technologies into their production processes. Each successful business 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.
Adrian Dawson, Head of GAIN at Plymouth University said:
“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 £20 million and are forecast to support the creation of nearly 2,500 new jobs. As a University, we are particularly pleased that these grants will create a number of high level jobs, helping more of our graduates to stay in the South West as well as boosting innovation across the region.”
Simon Howes, Managing Director of SWMAS Ltd, said:
“This scheme is unique, combining both funding for capital investment and expert on site support. It is delivering growth to our region and driving productivity improvements for our ambitious clients continuing our 13-year history of championing manufacturing in the South West.”
Monica Read, South West Water's Business Services and Sustainability Director, said:
“South West Water Business Services is delighted to have played a key role in helping to secure funding for these grants, which are already providing a big boost to developing businesses and creating jobs in the South West. Our business customers are our priority and we are pleased to offer free water and energy audits to successful companies, helping them to be resource efficient.”
Bill Martin, Editor of the Western Morning News, said:
“The Western Morning News has been proud to support Westcountry business throughout its history and is delighted to be associated with the type of job creation being stimulated by the South West Growth Fund.”
High growth businesses across the region, from Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Dorset to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly can still apply for grants of up to £1 million by visiting www.gaininbusiness.com/swgf or www.swmas.co.uk/business-support/south-west-growth-fund-0