Tendring growth fund could leverage £1.75m investment

The engineering and low carbon sectors qualify for the growth fund. Picture: The Gunfleet Sands Wind

The engineering and low carbon sectors qualify for the growth fund. Picture: The Gunfleet Sands Wind Farm off Clacton. - Credit: Archant

Businesses in Tendring can tap into a new £500,000 growth fund – which could open up £1.75million of private investment.

Tendring District Council (TDC) has set aside the cash to help small and medium-sized firms within certain sectors develop.

Senior councillors approved the funding pot at the first meeting of the authority’s newly formed cabinet.

Businesses can apply for between £3,000 and £150,000.

However they must also invest their own funds of 75% if an existing business and 50% if a start-up firm.

Councillors envisage the scheme will support investment in between 15 and 25 businesses, create or protect at least 70 full-time equivalent jobs and lever £1.75million of private sector investment into the area from successful applicants by way of match-funding.

Both new and existing businesses within the Tendring Assisted Area can apply for help from the scheme.

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They must be in the following sectors:

• Manufacturing

• Engineering

• Energy/Low Carbon

• Maritime

• Research and development or supply for these sectors.

The grant can be used for either for revenue costs such as staff salaries or capital costs including plant, machinery or other equipment or for buying and refurbishing premises.

Neil Stock, council leader, said: “Securing Assisted Area Status for parts of the district was a significant achievement and this scheme takes advantage of that designation and enables the council to support new and existing businesses.”

Giles Watling, portfolio holder for regeneration and inward investment, added: “We all appreciate how hard it is to start up and continue a business and the council wants to provide help where it can.

“These grants are intended to help with the costs of starting up or growing a business, thereby creating new permanent part time or full time jobs or safeguarding existing jobs.

“This a great example of creative regeneration and we look forward to receiving applications.”

The scheme will be managed and administered by the council’s regeneration, inward investment and growth team and is expected to go live next month.

It is centred around the Assisted Area Status granted by government to parts of Tendring, particularly around Harwich, Manningtree and Brightlingsea last year.

An interactive map showing those parts of the district included in the area can be viewed at www.ukassistedareasmap.com/ieindex.html.