Suffolk: New Anglia LEP grants fund set to drive job creation

New Anglia LEP is launching its Growing Business Fund in Suffolk today

New Anglia LEP is launching its Growing Business Fund in Suffolk today - Credit: Archant

A £3MILLION fund offering businesses grants to support growth and job creation is to be officially launched in Suffolk today.

New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnershp (LEP) will unveil details of its Growing Business Fund, under which businesses are eligible for grants of between £25,000 and £100,000.

The scheme, funding for which has been secured by New Anglia from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund, will fund up 20% of the total cost of expansion projects, with a requirement for one new job to be created for every £10,000 of grant money awarded.

It is targeted at the Greater Ipswich and Greater Norwich areas which, in Suffolk, includes the Ipswich, Suffolk Coastal, Mid Suffolk, Babergh and Waveney local authority areas.

Today’s Suffolk launch event is due to take place at the Salthouse Harbour Hotel in Ipswich.

Deborah Cadman, chief executive of Suffolk County Council said: “Suffolk is already a great place to set up and do businesses. Many of these companies want to expand and create greater wealth and jobs in the county, but need a helping hand.

“That’s why it’s so fantastic that New Anglia has secured funding so that it can provide grants to growing businesses. I would any urge business leaders in the county who are interested in expanding their companies to find out more about the fund. The opportunities are there for people to capitalise on.”

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David Ellesmere, leader of Ipswich Borough Council anda New Anglia board member, said: “We know that banks are still reluctant to lend to small and medium enterprises.

“The £3m Growing Business Fund is an opportunity for businesses in the Greater Ipswich area who want to grow but are being held back by lack of finance. I would urge businesses in this position to get in touch with New Anglia LEP and see what help is on offer.”

Chris Soule, Suffolk chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “The FSB in East Anglia supports the Growing Business fund in its aim to enable small firms to access finance, expand, and take on new staff.”

He added: “The scheme has the potential to increase investors’ confidence in small firms, and we hope that a range of SMEs will benefit.”

Neil Miles, managing director of Ipswich-based firm Smart421, said: “I think the Growing Business Fund is well timed and extremely well positioned. Financially supporting small to medium businesses with local job creation is exactly what the ICT sector needs. As chair of the IP Network Board, I am well aware of numerous technology firms that would benefit from this fund.”

Ian Buxton, chairman of Innovation Martlesham, added: “The Growing Business Fund offers a great opportunity for smaller companies to expand their business in these times when capital to move forward innovative ideas is in such short supply.

“I would certainly urge companies to take advantage of the grants available to help expand their businesses.”