£1.5million business support to create more than 100 jobs

March 12, 2021

A grants programme supported by the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership has delivered more than £1.5million of funding to businesses across the region in the last year – and will lead to more than 100 new jobs being created.

New figures show the Marches Building Investment Grant (MBIG) and Small Equipment Grant (SEG) have supported more than 50 projects across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin over the past 12 months.

Programme manager Caroline Cattle said support was still available through the two schemes for another two years and urged companies to consider applying.

She said the SEG programme – which had been launched only last May to help companies invest in new machinery or equipment – had been approved for 40 separate projects across the Marches with a total value of £316,840.86.

“These projects aim to create 36.75 jobs and develop or offer 41 new products or services as a result of the investment.”

The MBIG programme – launched in January 2020 – has offered grants to 16 projects with a total value of £1,291,411.60. These projects aim to create 85.5 jobs and develop or offer 24 new products or services. 

Caroline added: “The total budget across the two schemes is £3.4million and we are delighted with the take up to date. But we would urge any companies who are investing in their premises or in new equipment to see how the programme can help them.”

Marches LEP chief executive Gill Hamer said the figures demonstrated the work the partnership and Marches Growth Hub were doing to ensure businesses had access to vital funding to help them recover and grow in the wake of the pandemic.

“These programmes are delivering essential financial help to companies across the Marches who are investing in their own futures and helping generate new jobs and wealth as a result,” she said.

MBIG offers grants of up to £150,000 to help meet the cost of building new premises or extending and reconfiguring existing ones.

It meets up to half the cost of successful applications, meaning that projects costing up to £300,000 could secure a grant of £150,000. The scheme covers B2B businesses and does not include retail, social welfare or agricultural companies.

Grants of between £1,000 and £10,000 – again to meet up to half the cost – are available through SEG, which is open to small and medium-sized companies across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin and primarily covers B2B companies.

Both schemes are part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and delivered by Herefordshire Council.

Companies which have benefitted in the last year include Golden Bear and Midland Alloy in Telford and Cleobury Mortimer-based Kudos Blends and the 3D Measurement Company in Bridgnorth.

Because of restrictions imposed by the ERDF, MBIG and SEG are not available to retail businesses, restaurants, drinking establishments and fast food takeaways, online retail or rental businesses, farms involved in primary production, or local social welfare facilities.

Details of the schemes are available through the Marches Growth Hub at www.marchesgrowthhub.co.uk.

The Marches Growth Hub Herefordshire can be contacted at business@herefordshire.gov.uk

The Marches Growth Hub Shropshire can be contacted at marchesgrowthhub@shropshire.gov.uk

The Marches Growth Hub Telford & Wrekin can be contacted at enterprisetelford@telford.gov.uk

Herefordshire Council is the accountable body for both programmes and the team can be contacted through seg@herefordshire.gov.uk and mbig@herefordshire.gov.uk  or on 01432 261511.

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The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership has now ceased trading and transferred all its functions to Shropshire Council working with Telford & Wrekin Council and Herefordshire Council, in line with the UK Government's plans for devolution.

The Marches LEP was established in 2011 and hands over an impressive legacy from its 13-year life. In that time the LEP invested over £196m in projects across the Marches, securing in excess of £100m of match funding and supported more than 66,000 business interactions.

The schemes supported have made tangible differences to local communities, increasing skills, creating jobs and improving the physical appearance of many towns.

We would like to thank all the LEP Board Members who have given their time freely over the life of the LEP, as well as all the staff who worked for the LEP over the years. We also want to thank our delivery partners, local education providers and local, regional and national stakeholders who helped us achieve so much.

The Marches Growth Hub will continue to support businesses and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford and Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Each of the three Local Authorities will also continue to provide direct business support locally. Details of this support will be available through the Marches Growth Hub website and from the Local Authorities directly. Website: www.marchesgrowthhub.co.uk | email: enquiries@marchesgrowthhub.co.uk.

The Marches Careers Hub will continue to be delivered and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford & Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Website: www.marchescareershub.co.uk | email: info@marchescareershub.co.uk

For any queries about Getting Building Fund (GBF), Local Growth Fund (LGF) and Marches Investment Fund (MIF) projects supported by the Marches LEP please contact: gary.spence@shropshire.gov.uk

For any finance queries please contact: michelle.hodgkiss@shropshire.gov.uk

The solvent liquidation of the Marches LEP is being managed by the Evelyn Partners Limited. For any matter related to this please contact: Camilla.Mulholland@evelyn.com

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