East Anglia: NWES secures £4m cash pot to support innovative businesses

Kevin Horne, chief executive of NWES

Kevin Horne, chief executive of NWES - Credit: Archant

EAST ANGLIAN-based business advice organisation NWES is on course to help more than 400 firms with cash grants after securing a £4million slice of European funding.

The cash pot will be used to provide support to innovative companies across Suffolk, Essex, Norfolk, and Cambridgeshire, boosting the number of firms that NWES can help from 600 a year to 800 a year.

NWES, which sponsors the EADT Future50 listing of up-and-coming businesses with high growth potential,, secured the £4m after pitching for the cash from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Kevin Horne, chief executive of NWES, said the grant fund would be used to target innovative new companies looking to establish new products or break into new sectors.

He said: “It is great news because we have secured a new contract with a total value of more than £4m to help start ups and growing businesses in relation to innovation.

“There will be grants that are available for 20% of a company’s expenditure for businesses across Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire. But there is no allocation; it is simply first come, first served.

“We will provide grants where the demand is, but potentially 400 companies could benefit from the scheme.

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“Meanwhile, we are also looking to take on five new business advisors to add to our teams across the region.

“But the grants will tie into what we are already doing. We can already provide support to generic start ups, but this will give innovative companies a more bespoke support.”

He added: “We are seeing a lot of innovation coming from the east coast offshore industry in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.

“Coming from the growth we have seen, a lot of it seems to concentrated in the brave new world of the energy sector where a lot of work is being done from tidal power to wind power. But these grants are open to everybody.”