We know that access to finance is an issue for our businesses, and that it can be a barrier to growth.

Iain 1The sheer number of  funding, grant and loan schemes on offer can also be confusing, and as a result, there is now a central point of access to information on the vast opportunities on offer.

The Marches Growth Hub, at www.marchesgrowthhub.co.uk, includes a searchable database of funding and finance schemes.

Companies can also contact the hub helpline on 0345 6000 727 to find out what schemes they are eligible for, including local, regional and national funding programmes.

The LEP has launched its Marches Investment Fund applications which will allow, through loan funding, key projects that can have a positive impact on economic development to be brought forward more quickly than they otherwise might be.

Guidance on the fund can be downloaded here.

The Chancellor also announced the creation of a £250m Midlands Engine Investment Fund in his March 2016 Budget, aimed at boosting the region’s economy MEIF map and supporting the growth ambitions of its 460,000 smaller businesses.Britishbusiness bank

The fund, a joint agreement between the British Business Bank and eleven Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in the East & South East and West Midlands, is expected to bring together legacy funding from existing programmes, new funding from the British Business Bank and new European funding.

Expected to launch in Summer 2017, you can find out more about this here.

Further information on access to finance is available from http://www.marchesgrowthhub.co.uk/finance-and-funding or by calling 0345 6000 727.

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