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Two Wiltshire manufacturers get share of £506m funding pot


Two Wiltshire businesses are to receive support from the fourth round of the Government’s Regional Growth Fund, which aims to support the creation of economic growth and sustainable employment.

Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells of Swindon and Cooper Tires of Melksham have successfully bid for a share of the £506 million pot of funding. 

More than 300 companies companies across the country applied for funding but only 102 were successful in their bids.

The Regional Growth Fund is a flexible and competitive £3.2 billion fund operating across England from 2012 to 2017. It supports projects that are using private sector investment to create economic growth and sustainable employment.

Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells will invest the funding in the development of world class manufacturing capabilities at their Swindon facility. This will boost both the local economy and the growth of high technology business in the Swindon area.

Cooper Tires meanwhile will use the funding to build a combined heat and power plant and install solar panels at their site in Melksham. It will also safeguard the future of the business in Wiltshire, securing almost 1,000 jobs in the process.

Welcoming the news, Paul Johnson, chairman of Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: 

“This is great news for Swindon and Wiltshire. The successful bids of Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells and Cooper Tires not only prove how strong our local businesses are, but also their potential for growth which the government clearly also believes in.”

Chippenham MP Duncan Hames, who spoke in Parliament to support Cooper Tyres’ bid, said: “Helping energy intensive industries like this generate clean renewable energy is good for the environment and good for local employment.

“I believe the investment the company is making should put its Melksham operation on a firmer footing for the future.”