East Anglia: New Anglia LEP welcomes visit by Business Secretary Vince Cable

Andy Wood, chairman, New Anglia LEP

Andy Wood, chairman, New Anglia LEP - Credit: Archant

Business Secretary Vince Cable is visiting East Anglia today to get an update on the progress of schemes aimed at helping the region’s businesses.

Vince Cable will get a grilling today

Vince Cable will get a grilling today - Credit: Eastern Daily Press � 2013

New Anglia New Anglia (LEP) chairman Andy Wood will be escorting Dr Cable on a visit which will showcase the region’s energy and advanced engineering strengths.

The LEP will also be bringing Dr Cable up to date with the success of its Growing Business Fund, which he officially launched on a visit to the region in April.

Since then the fund, which provides finance to help businesses expand and create new jobs, has received enquiries from 230 businesses across Suffolk and Norfolk.

Companies that will benefit from the Growing Business Fund include Alpine Fabrication Services working within the fabrication industry, and Pipeshield International, a service company for oil and gas and renewable projects.

So far 15 grants have been awarded to businesses worth £1.3million, creating 278 new jobs and levering in £8.3m in private sector funding, says the LEP.

Finance from the Growing Business Fund comes from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund, and the success of New Anglia’s fund has seen the amount of money available increased from £3m to £12m.

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The Growing Business Fund offers investment grants of between £25,000 and £500,000 to small and medium sized enterprises. Grants are offered to a maximum 20% of the value of the project, meaning the fund will lever in at least £60m of private funding and create around 600 jobs.

Dr Wood said: “When Dr Cable visited last year he was very interested to learn about the importance of our region as an energy producer for the UK and this is a chance for him to see the production facilities onshore and offshore for himself.

“It is also a great opportunity to update him on the progress of our Growing Business Fund, which is helping businesses in our area expand and create new jobs.”