Chance for West Sussex firms to bid for share of £2.4m grants

Bolney Wine Estate received a grant from the Business Growth Fund last year (photo submitted). SUS-160818-151357001
Bolney Wine Estate received a grant from the Business Growth Fund last year (photo submitted). SUS-160818-151357001
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West Sussex firms still have time to apply for a share of £2.4m to help them grow and create new jobs.

Managed by West Sussex County Council, the Business Growth Grants fund was launched by Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership to provide businesses seeking to expand with capital grants of between £15,000 and £100,000.

The programme is exclusively open to SMEs start-ups, existing businesses, and social enterprises within the Coast to Capital region, which covers West Sussex, Brighton and Hove, Lewes, Croydon, Epsom and Ewell, Reigate and Banstead, Mole Valley, and Tandridge.

Louise Goldsmith, leader of WSCC, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to help local businesses hit the ground running and give others the investment they need to expand ahead of schedule.

“Sought after capital funding schemes like this don’t come around very often - we encourage all qualifying businesses to take advantage and register their interest as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

“Don’t delay, apply for Business Growth Grants today and fund your future.”

Jonathan Sharrock, Coast to Capital LEP’s chief executive, added: “This is a great opportunity for small and medium businesses in the region looking to grow their business and create jobs, but who are not finding it easy to source the finance required, to get an extra cash boost.”

Last year, the maiden £1 million fund was shared between 28 successful applicants and created 57 initial jobs – a figure set to rise to 148.

So far this year’s scheme has attracted strong interest from a diverse range of sectors from food and drink producers to businesses within the creative industries.

Family-run Bolney Wine Estate, near Haywards Heath, received a maximum £100,000 grant last October in order to create ten new jobs and safeguard a further 11.

The long established vineyard has also moved to develop a new mezzanine floor overlooking the vineyard with the hope of driving visitor levels.

Sam Linter, managing director and head winemaker at the estate, said: “By expanding our tourist shop and café facilities we can maximise on growing interest, which will in turn bring additional income into our business.”

On top of expanding its premises and securing the future of its staff, the producer is also exploring the possibility of hiring an apprentice – giving valuable opportunities to graduates from Brinsbury and Plumpton colleges.

For more information on the eligibility criteria and to access the expression of interest form, visit the website at www.businesswestsussex.co.uk/businessgrowthgrants or email businessgrants@westsussex.gov.uk

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