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Firms bid for share of £2.5m funding programme


The money comes from the Grants4Growth programme being distributed through Local Enterprise Partnerships to businesses across the East of England.
Companies preparing to invest in new technology and improvements to their carbon footprint are also eligible to apply.
Grants4Growth Bedfordshire is being managed by the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership, with business broker James Stancombe co-ordinating the local programme at SEMLEP’s headquarters in Cranfield.
SEMLEP is planning to help at least 100 Bedfordshire businesses over the next two years via the Grants4Growth programme, creating at least 40 new jobs and safeguarding scores of others.
Mr Stancombe pictured said: “My job is to ensure that Bedfordshire businesses get as much of the £2.5million as possible. My colleagues in surrounding counties will be trying to do the same, which is why it is essential we really promote Grants4Growth and urge Bedfordshire companies to act quickly.”
Grants4Growth is a free grants programme for small and medium-sized businesses needing practical help and financial assistance to reduce costs and  increase competitiveness and resilience.
Firms have been quick to take advantage of the scheme. “I have been talking to one engineering business owner who makes prototypes and wants a grant to fund a 3D printer, which would improve his product quality and lead times, at a fraction of the cost,” said Mr Stancombe.
A firm in Luton has requested support and financial assistance to improve heat recovery in its production process. A sports club has enquired about installing a more environmentally friendly heating system.
SEMLEP board member Cheryl Smart, chief executive of Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce, said:  "This presents Bedfordshire businesses with an exciting opportunity for growth and development. This is a limited pot of funding so we would encourage companies in the county to act quickly and get in touch with SEMLEP to secure Grants4Growth funding for themselves."
Grants4 Growth includes both capital and revenue grants. Capital grants are available for business wanting to:
  • Invest in technology or processes that facilitate growth, improve resilience or create/safeguard jobs;
  • Put in place efficiency initiatives in the form of waste, water or energy efficiency, recovery or reduction;
  • Invest in technology and processes to reduce the environmental impact of operations.
Revenue grants are available to businesses seeking specialist consultancy advice, support and studies to promote, market or maintain low carbon and environmental goods and services.
Capital grants are available up to a maximum 28% of the eligible capital spend. Revenue grants are available up to a maximum of 30% of eligible revenue spend. 
Contact James Stancombe on 01234 436100, 07920 246813 or e-mail james@semlep.com

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