A special programme to help small and medium sized businesses across the Marches to grow is on target to create more than 260 jobs, an independent report says.
The Marches Building Investment Grant (MBIG) scheme will have created 110 jobs by the time it closes at the end of the year – with that figure growing to 268 jobs by 2025 as companies which have benefitted continue to expand.
The figures are revealed in a report into the scheme, which is promoted by the Marches Growth Hub business support service, by independent consultants Amion which says MBIG will have added an extra £30million of value (GVA) to the Marches economy by 2025.
The report gives the scheme – which provides grants to help businesses refurbish, reconfigure and extend their premises and is supported by the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership – a big vote of confidence.
“The MBIG scheme has had positive impacts in terms of employment and GVA, with these impacts expected to be stronger over the next few years. The scheme was well managed and delivered with a strong team in place and beneficiary satisfaction levels were high,” the report says.
It said the scheme, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and delivered by Herefordshire Council, was on target to meet all its spending and performance targets, had allowed businesses to expand existing premises, enjoyed a straightforward application and decision-making process and offered successful support to the companies involved.
To date, 79 jobs had been directly created by the scheme generating an additional £4million of value to the economy across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.
That will rise to 110 direct jobs and £4.1million of GVA by the end of the year when the scheme formally closes. By 2025 the scheme will have helped create 268 jobs adding £30million to the economy.
The report says the scheme’s value for money will increase over the next six years as businesses continue to grow, expand and recruit new staff as a result of the investment in their futures MBIG has allowed them to make.
Programme manager Caroline Cattle said she was delighted that the report highlighted the positive impact MBIG had made across the Marches.
“This is a truly independent report and it shows that where we have been able to deliver grants they have proved to be good value for money, beneficial to the businesses involved and good news for the Marches economy. It is particularly pleasing that the report praises the scheme’s simplicity and successful delivery.”
Marches LEP director Gill Hamer welcomed the report’s findings.
“Not only does this report show that MBIG has been a big success in delivering real jobs and growth to the Marches economy, it shows that businesses have benefitted from first-class support and assistance from the team delivering it.”
The MBIG programme, which is open to B2B businesses, awarded grants of up to 45% of the total project costs to a maximum £100,000.