Warwickshire County Council on behalf of the Local Enterprise Partnership has announced that it has approved an additional £200,000 of grant funding for small rural local enterprises.
The new round of awards were made available following the success of the Micro-Enterprise grants, a £500,000 funding stream made available by Defra through its Rural Development Programme for England.
Seven new enterprises have received funding between £6,000 and £25,000 to help them expand while two further companies, who have previously received grants, have been successful with other bids to enable them to continue to expand and create more jobs.
In all, it is forecast that the funding will help to create nearly 20 new jobs, and safeguard more. The grants are directed towards small enterprises, those with less than ten employees, primarily in the manufacturing, digital media and low carbon technology sectors which are priorities for the Coventry and Warwickshire economy.
Among the beneficiaries are organic food and drink specialists, web designers, a gin and whiskey distillery and an aviation engineering company.
The previous round of micro-enterprise grants created around 80 jobs in the county and played a vital role in expanding businesses in rural areas. This latest round of grants takes that figure near the 100 mark.
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, leader of Warwickshire County Council and CWLEP board director, said: “The new round of awards is an indication of how successful the Warwickshire Rural Growth Network has been. Economic growth across Warwickshire has improved greatly and if we can encourage small businesses through grants to expand then this will benefit the local community through new jobs and greater business productivity.”
Cllr Richard Chattaway, Chair of Communities Overview & Scrutiny at Warwickshire County Council, said: "Many of these small and rural businesses are still trading in difficult economic conditions so I am encouraged that this grant system is ensuring growth and benefitting the local community in all parts of the county."
Sean Farnell, a board member of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “It is great to hear the grants from the Warwickshire Rural Growth Network are making such a significant difference in our area. The diversity of the businesses who have benefited highlights the tremendous entrepreneurial spirit which exists in Coventry and Warwickshire and we hope more businesses will apply for grants when applications open for the next round of funding.”
The grants are part of the Warwickshire Rural Growth Network programme for businesses looking to start and grow. If you would like to find out more, call 01926 412709.