Enterprise agency Nwes secures £3m of Regional Growth Fund cash to boost job creation

Kevin Horne, chief executive of Nwes.

Kevin Horne, chief executive of Nwes. - Credit: Archant

Entrepreneurs in Suffolk and Norfolk looking to grow their businesses are set to receive a funding boost following a Government announcement that it is to award £8.6million to support the creation of jobs in the region.

Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has named four projects which will provisionally receive a slice of Regional Growth Fund (RGF) cash, which will attract an additional £400m of private sector investment.

Among the successful bidders is East Anglia-based enterprise agency Nwes which has been allocated up to £3m to provide grants to local businesses in order to create 400 new jobs in Suffolk and Norfolk over the next two years.

The conditional allocation of cash is the latest wave of funding which has seen £100m of funds invested in 16 projects in the region since the introduction of the RGF in 2010.

Final details are still to be agreed, but the aim is for projects to get underway in the summer. The NWES scheme will be focused within the Future50 project, run jointly by the East Anglian Daily Times and its sister title the Eastern Daily Press.

Kevin Horne, chief executive of Nwes, said: “This is great news for local entrepreneurs in Norfolk and Suffolk and will enable NWES to continue to support their growth aspirations within an intensive programme of assistance, including discretionary grants.

“It is an exciting time to be thinking of starting or growing a company and this funding opportunity will ensure Norfolk and Suffolk businesses have access to the very best support available.”

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Making the announcement, Mr Clegg said: “After decades of regional economies being neglected I set about investing directly in local businesses via the Regional Growth Fund. This investment has allowed regional businesses to be more ambitious than ever before and gone a long way in creating a stronger economy.

“A stronger economy means providing equal opportunity for everyone across the UK, rather than solely relying on the city of London to bolster UK business.

“The success of the RGF is proof that putting money in the hands of local businesses helps them flourish, and creates opportunities for more people to work locally.”

Ed Davey, energy and climate change secretary, who will be in Norwich visiting Nwes today, added: “Our regional growth fund is the catalyst for growth and job creation up and down the country.

“This £8.6m new investment for the East of England is a real boost for the region and I wish the local organisations every success with their projects.”

Other bidders in the eastern region to receive conditional offers in what is the sixth round of RGF funding include lawnmower and gardening equipment manufacturer Bosch Lawn and Garden from Stowmarket, offshore support vessel maker CTruk Boats from Brightlingsea and Hybrid Air Vehicles from Shortstown in Bedfordshire.

A spokeswomen for the Deputy Prime Minister said that details of the projects, and the sums of money awarded to each, were not being disclosed at this stage for reasons of commercial confidentiality.

Business Secretary Vince Cable, who will today visit another successful bidder, Coventry-based automotive specialist Brose, said: “We have invested more than £1.1billion in British manufacturing businesses outside London to grow and create jobs in sectors spanning aerospace, automotive, low-carbon and chemicals.”