December 10 2013 Latest news:
By Joseph Watts
Friday, January 18, 2013
BUSINESS leaders in Suffolk and Norfolk are hoping to extend a scheme which offers small and medium-sized firms grants of up to £100,000, with the scheme having attracted huge interest ahead of its launch.
The New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership won £3million from round three of the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) last year to set up the grant scheme.
It is not due to be launched officially until March this year, offering investment grants of between £25,000 and £100,000 to small and medium sized businesses.
However, New Anglia reports that interest in the scheme already suggests the initial £3m will be handed out quickly.
As a result, the LEP is planning to apply for further money from round four of the RGF to boost the number of grants they can give to firms in the region.
New Anglia programme director Chris Starkie said: “We have made excellent progress with government in getting formal approval for our Growing Business Fund which is being set up with £3m from the Regional Growth Fund.
“This fund will offer grants for businesses looking to expand in Norwich, Ipswich, Great Yarmouth and Waveney.
“The project is about to go through formal due diligence with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and we are on track to have the scheme up and running by mid-March.”
The Government announced earlier this week that it would provide an extra £350m for round four of the RGF, raising he total amount to be paid out through the initiative to £2.6billion.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the RGF was already proving “a shrewd investment” in terms of jobs and growth.