Feature Finance News — 11 January 2018

Businesses are being urged to apply for a slice of £400k in grant funding before the deadline in December 2018.

The money comes from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire Growth Hub is helping companies to apply for capital grants of £1,500 to £10,000.

To be eligible for a grant, a firm must have been trading for a minimum of 12 months, must be a small to medium-sized business based in Staffordshire and must fall under certain sectors (key exclusions include retail, Business to Consumer and land-based businesses).

Nicola Kent, who runs the Growth Hub on behalf of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Nicola Kent, who runs the Growth Hub on behalf of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “We particularly want to hear from those in the manufacturing and engineering industry, but most Business to Business organisations can apply.

“We successfully applied for £800k from the ERDF for a three-year period. We have £400k left to distribute to Staffordshire businesses before the deadline and I would urge companies to apply, as any money that is not used will go back to the EU.

“It’s a simple five-page application, which just asks you questions about your business and what the money will be spent on.”

The grants are for capital projects, and will purchase business equipment and machinery, as well as construction and fittings associated with expanding premises. Up to 53 per cent of the total project cost can be claimed up to £10k.

LEP Chairman David Frost CBE

LEP Chairman David Frost CBE said: “Small businesses are the backbone of the economy and we want to help them grow. This grant can help provide businesses with vital equipment such as servers and computers for new staff, or manufacturing machinery such as saws or robotic plasma cutting plates.”

If your business is ready to take the next step, call the Growth Hub’s Business Helpline on 0300 111 8002 to speak to an advisor or visit www.stokestaffsgrowthhub.co.uk to use the free live chat service.

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