Businesses with ambitious development plans could benefit from a new round of funding which kick-starts projects and boosts growth.
The Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Enterprise Partnership has launched its seventh round of the Growing Place Fund, with Â£2.5 million now available to support infrastructure projects which will expand the local economy.
Projects could include development of commercial space, housing or connections that will lead to more investment, regeneration and job creation. Applications will be accepted until 24 April 2015.
Seventeen companies have successfully applied to previous rounds of the fund and included office developments, and advanced manufacturing facility and infrastructure provision for industrial development.
The fund supported the expansion of Dunston Business Village, close to Junction 13 on the M6. The award-winning business park is completely occupied with a long waiting list. It has attracted a broad range of companies from all over the UK â€“ relocating to Staffordshire and creating more jobs locally. In order to meet the high demand for office space, Dunston Business Village is adding over 50,000 sq ft of office space. The development will more than triple its size. Nine of these units have already been pre-let.
Managing director Adrian McLaughlin said: “I wanted to create an environment where businesses wanted to be and where people wanted to work. Most of our businesses employ between one and 60 people and the feedback I receive is how they all enjoy spending their working day here and that Staffordshire is a great location. Without the Growing Places Fund, we would not have been able to meet the high demand for our office space, within a reasonable time. It has enabled us to expand at a much quicker rate, which in turn has allowed our clients to expand and take on more employees. The fund has been a great success for our business and has certainly made a dramatic difference to our ability to meet demand.”
Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Enterprise Partnership chairman David Frost said: â€œThe Growing Places Fund is making a real difference to Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire â€“ it has enabled development which has brought in business and created jobs. We have seen seventeen projects get off the ground which is considerable in the short space of time since the fund was launched. Dunston Business Village is a prime example of how the fund can work. We know Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire are areas to do business and attract the very best and we can see it here at Dunston. It has attracted small businesses from across the UK which is a real achievement. We are pleased to see it expand and establish itself as a thriving economic hub. Supporting business success and job creation is what the LEP is all about.â€
People can find out more about the Growing Places Fund online or calling the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Business Helpline on 0300 111 8002.