Scale Up 4 Growth launches in Gloucestershire with £1m grants available
By Sarah Wood
Scale Up 4 Growth (S4G), a funding and support programme that brings together experts from Gloucestershire College, UWE Bristol and NatWest, will deliver grant funding and support to businesses in Gloucestershire.
The programme, funded through the European Regional Development Fund, is open to businesses in any sector with ambitious growth plans. Applicants must be small or medium sized enterprises (SMEs) based in the Gloucestershire LEP Region: Tewkesbury, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Forest of Dean, Stroud and Cotswolds.
Grants of £10,000 to £40,000 are available to help address the challenges that Gloucestershire businesses face when growing and scaling up their operations. The grants will cover 35 per cent of businesses' costs.
Punchline-gloucester.com editor Mark Owen caught up with Andy Bates, vice principal and chief financial officer at Gloucestershire College, this morning (1st March) to discuss the new scheme.
He said: "We're partnering with UWE on this project, which they've already run in Bristol and has been massively successful there. Now they're bringing it to Gloucestershire, with the support of GFirst LEP. They've chosen to partner with us because of our relationship with businesses.
"The grants are there to address the challenges that Gloucestershire businesses face at the moment. For businesses in the county, I would encourage anyone to apply and work with project managers on whether you are eligible or not."
Dedicated support from a team of experts at UWE Bristol will be given to help businesses develop project ideas and submit grant applications.
Andy Bates continued: "Our job at Gloucestershire College is to help local businesses to grow. For years, Gloucestershire College has been enabling this growth as the go-to training provider for employers in the county to develop their staff, hire new talent and strengthen their organisation with quality training.
"We are thrilled to be partnering with UWE Bristol and NatWest to now bring £1m worth of capital into Gloucestershire, acting as a catalyst for growth, innovation and progression.
"There is no doubt that the last year has been challenging for businesses, but we are committed to helping Gloucestershire come back stronger. This is the time to innovate and I urge employers to use the S4G scheme to level up for their future."
Professor Martin Boddy, pro vice-chancellor for research and enterprise at UWE Bristol, said: "UWE Bristol is proud to be supporting SMES in Gloucestershire. This programme aims to stimulate the regional economy at such an important time, by helping companies to realise their potential. The S4G programme in the west of England has supported over 80 companies, giving out £850,000 of grant and created 150 jobs. Gloucestershire is full of innovation and we are thrilled to be able to bring this scheme to the region."
Mike West, NatWest director of commercial banking, Gloucestershire, said: "Building on the success of S4G programme in the west of England, we are delighted to be working in partnership with UWE Bristol and Gloucestershire College to support ambitious businesses across our Gloucestershire region to access this growth funding and leading business support."
Andy Bates continued: "Early indications are that it will be oversubscribed. I would suggest that people get their bids in early."
S4G launches today (1st March). Applications for funding will close on 5th May.
For more information and to register your interest please visit www.scaleup4growth.co.uk.
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