Somerset firms encouraged to apply for inward investment grant funding

The Heart of the South West LEP is inviting Somerset firms to apply for the second round of funding from the ERDF Inward Investment Support Grant Scheme.

The HotSW LEP ERDF Inward Investment Support Grant Scheme is a £900,000 fund designed to boost economic recovery and create new jobs in Devon, Somerset, Plymouth and Torbay. The grants of between £25k-£150k, which require match funding, are for foreign-owned businesses based in the region who are looking to grow, and seeking investment in equipment, infrastructure or new technologies. The LEP will shortly be reopening the scheme for further funding applications.

Two companies based in the heart of the south west area have secured almost £190,000 between them from the inward investment fund, which was launched last autumn.

EFFECT Photonics, a global photonics technology company that developed as a spin-out from the prestigious Technical University of Eindhoven in the Netherlands, has been awarded the maximum amount of £150,000 from the fund, which it will use for further expansion to their production facilities, creating at least 70 new jobs.

The second grant award has gone to Vexcolt (UK) Ltd, a leading manufacturer of specialist products for the construction industry. They secured £37,000 to support their expansion plans, which will see them increasing capacity and reorganising the production facility to improve quality and delivery performance.

The SME, which is based in South Brent, will use the grant to automate manual fabrication processes, create new specialist products and create a number of new jobs.

Following its successful first round of applications, the HotSW LEP is reopening the fund for further applications. Businesses have until September 10 to apply.

Karl Tucker, chairman of HotSW LEP, said: “We are really pleased with the quality of the applications we’ve received from the first round of this grant scheme, which has been created to encourage our locally-based foreign-owned businesses to invest here, creating economic growth and new jobs.

“We’re looking forward to seeing what comes through in this second round of funding and I would urge businesses to get in touch with us to see if they are eligible.”

The grant scheme is open to all eligible ERDF sectors, including Aerospace & Advanced Engineering, Agri-tech/Food and Drink, Environmental Futures, and Marine Industries. The grant must support the purchase of new technology or other equipment which will support the business being more productive.

To find out more or apply for the fund, contact Carla Modley by emailing Carla.modley@heartofswlep.co.uk