What is it?The Regional Growth Fund was set up to help boost economic growth and to help create new and sustainable jobs throughout England. Over £800m has been awarded to Regional Growth Fund programmes to offer funding to small and medium sized businesses across the country. Regional Growth Fund programmes are schemes run by national or local organisations such as banks, universities and local enterprise partnerships, which run individual projects to support a range of businesses. Money provided via the Regional Growth Fund is usually in the form of a grant but some schemes also offer loans which can be just as valuable for businesses. Across the country, over 2,700 small and medium sized businesses have already received money from the Regional Growth Fund. These businesses are from a broad range of sectors, including engineering, manufacturing, new technology and creative industries. Grants start from £5,000, and there is still millions of pounds available. Funding deadlines vary, depending on the Regional Growth Fund programme, so the sooner businesses get in touch, the sooner they can benefit.
What businesses can apply?Regional Growth Fund support is available right now for small and medium sized businesses (as well as large businesses in some areas) which are looking to grow, as well as protect or create new and sustainable jobs. In most cases, businesses applying must be unable to find funding elsewhere and will usually need to be investing at least some of their own/private sector money into the project as well. In addition to these points, each Regional Growth Fund programme has specific criteria for applications, and certain outputs that need to be met. Businesses will need to check this when applying. Regional Growth Fund support is only available for existing businesses. If you are hoping to set up a new business you may be eligible for support from The Start Up Loans company, a government funded scheme to provide loans and mentors for entrepreneurs.
How to applyRegional Growth Fund money is awarded to businesses by local programmes across the country. Businesses can find out about their local programmes, and more about how to apply, by visiting the BIS website. The application process is easy and programme staff offer support from the initial expression of interest to the moment the business receives the money, and beyond. Image source
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