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James Phipps of SWLEP

First Growth Fund grants awarded to Wiltshire businesses

Four Wiltshire businesses have become the first beneficiaries of a £1m pot of cash to support business growth.

Back in December, Business Biscuit reported how Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership had successfully secured £1m from the government’s Regional Growth Fund programme.

And this week, SWLEP announced that four companies had been awarded a total of £127,191.

Specialising in the supply, installation and maintenance of stair lifts and bath lifts, one of the successful businesses will use its grant to implement a new computer system. Based in Calne with 12 employees and a turnover of £1.3m last year, a grant of £12k has been awarded towards a project with an overall value of £38k.

An interior design and fit out company with 23 employees and a current turnover of £5.1m per annum was awarded a grant to develop a serviced office solution in Melksham. A grant of £50k was awarded to support the development that will offer support to small local businesses. The overall project cost is around £370k.

Based in Devizes, a local manufacturer and distributor of candles and home fragrance products is investing their grant in new innovative technology and developing a supporting international sales plan. Through the Gateway for Growth, the business has also gained access to a leading expert in the sector to mentor the senior management team. The project is anticipated to cost in the region of £53k and a grant of £17k has been awarded.

Providing temporary power and electrical services to the event and entertainment industry, one local business was finding that recent sales growth and lack of available generators was restricting their business growth. A business plan developed with their local advisor will secure additional generators and employ additional staff to grow the business. With an anticipated project cost of £207k a grant award of £50k has been made.

Panel member and SWLEP board member James Phipps said: “We are delighted by the number of responses we have received from local businesses and the quality of applications has been incredibly high. We were particularly impressed with the applications and proposals put forward by the successful businesses because of their commitment to innovation, accessing new markets, creating new jobs and increasing turnover.”

Small and medium sized businesses can still apply for grants as part of the further funding rounds – the next Grant Panel taking place on Friday, April 11.

Grants from £5k to £50k are available for businesses with at least 10 employees and turnover of at least £500k.

Funding applications must be able to demonstrate the opportunity and desire to grow, increase jobs and productivity.

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