Awards recognise Euro-funding successes

TWO Suffolk businesses were among the winners yesterday at the second annual East of England Celebrate Awards. The awards, organised by the East of England Development Agency and the Government Office for the East of England, are designed to celebrate projects around the region which have benefited from European Structural Funds.

TWO Suffolk businesses were among the winners yesterday at the second annual East of England Celebrate Awards.

The awards, organised by the East of England Development Agency and the Government Office for the East of England, are designed to celebrate projects around the region which have benefited from European Structural Funds.

Waveney Mow and Grow, a low-cost gardening service for the elderly and other vulnerable people, shared the Enterprise Award with book publisher William Clowes, based at Ellough, near Beccles.

The volunteer-based Waveney Mow and Grow project was launched in June this year following a successful pilot in the Carlton Colville area of Waveney - the most deprived ward in Suffolk - while William Clowes has used investment from the Regional Venture Support Fund to safeguard more than 150 jobs.


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David Marlow, chairman of the Celebrate Awards judging panel and chief executive of EEDA, said: “Both companies have used European Funds successfully to develop their businesses. It shows how European funds can be applied to very diverse projects.”

David Morrall, director for Europe at the GO East, added: “These are two very different businesses using the funding to great effect to benefit their local community as well as the bottom line.”

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Another Suffolk finalist, The Cut, a centre for arts in the community in Halesworth, was Highly Commended in the Local Transformation Award for its work converting an old and disused maltings building into an arts centre.

In north Essex, Vinny Claydon from Braintree was highly commended in the Turn Around Award, for people whose lives have been transformed as a result of participating in EU-funded projects.

More than £140million of European Funding has already been allocated to projects across the region. This includes Objective 2 funding, designed to address economic regeneration needs in specific parts of the region, and Objective 3 funding, which helps to tackle skills development across the whole region.

Yesterday's presentation ceremony, which involved a total of 10 awards, was held at The Maltings in Ely and was hosted by BBC Look East presenter Susie Fowler-Watt

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