Businesses in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire are being urged to come forward and stake their claim for a share of a Â£3 million pot of money â€“ before itâ€™s too late.
The LEPâ€™s Â£3m Regional Growth Fund has seen a surge of interest from firms across the county in recent months, with more than 200 enquiries from local employers.
There is still money available and companies are being reminded they only have until the end of the year to get their applications in.
A third of the funding pot has already been provisionally allocated to 10 firms, and administrators are processing bids for Â£1m of addition grants.
If these are approved, the Â£2m allocated would lever in up to Â£9m in additional funding through private sector investment, creating almost 145 new jobs and safeguarding a further 61.
Under the scheme, grants of between Â£10,000 and Â£499,999 can be used for premises expansion, purchasing plant, machinery and equipment to implement new innovative product lines or services, research into new products or processes, or advice and consultancy support.
Five companies from across the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire area have already received help from the fund and are using it to expand and create new jobs after submitting applications.
Among the successful applicants is Hygan Products Ltd, in Stoke-on-Trent. The world-renowned supplier of high-quality sponges and sponging products to the global ceramics industry is using the funding to develop new products and expand their premises to include a dedicated product research and development area, creating three new jobs.
Simon Cooper, CEO operations and strategic development, said: â€œWe are delighted to receive grant aid that will enable us to recruit more staff in Stoke-on-Trent and invest in our companyâ€™s future. My advice to all other businesses out there would be to make an application. The funding is real, itâ€™s out there to get your hands on and it can make a massive difference.â€
Other successful companies from the city include UK Control Panel Services Ltd, Lister Trade Frames Limited, Titanic Brewery and Fairey Industrial Ceramics Limited.
Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP chairman David Frost said: â€œIâ€™m really pleased to see the level of interest in the RGF is increasing and Iâ€™m confident that we will be able to use this money to boost our local economy and create many more jobs. Innovation is not in short in short supply in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire and Iâ€™m certain that there are many more firms out there who would benefit from enquiring about the fund and the support we can offer them.â€
Businesses wishing to access the fund should call Vanessa Darlington on 01782 233671 or e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications should be made before the end of the year.
PictureÂ courtesy of The Sentinel newspaper