New business growth grants of between £15,000 and £100,000 are now available to Croydon firms with a good idea for creating new jobs.
In total almost £2.5million is available from the Coast to Capital partnership, a coalition of businesses and local authorities that works to boost economic growth across a region extending from the Sussex coast to Croydon.
Grants will cover up to 40% of capital investment costs as along as a project can be shown to be opening up fresh employment opportunities.
New firms, existing businesses, or social enterprises are all eligible as long as they employ fewer than 250 people and the money is needed for something over and above what they already do. Any proposal will be considered, but the partnership particularly welcomes projects based around advanced engineering, manufacturing, environmental technologies, creative or digital businesses, or healthcare, medical and life sciences.
Although Croydon is home to almost 50 large firms employing over 250 staff this still means that about 99% of local companies could benefit from the funds if they have a good enough idea.
“This is a really great piece of news and it will definitely boost the local economy because successful applicants will need to show how they will create at least one new job for each £10,000 of grant they receive. That means if all the funding is used the programme will provide work for at least 250 people and we’d like to maximise this potential for Croydon businesses. Because this is a capital grant, the money will have to be spent on buildings, plant, or equipment that will have a long lifespan and will provide the foundation for future business growth.
“We’ve seen a steady growth in new businesses setting up in Croydon, and since 2013 we’ve already gone from 13,000 registered firms to almost 15,000. This fund will undoubtedly continue that trend.”
Councillor Mark Watson, cabinet member for economy and jobs
Businesses must be based within the Coast to Capital region to be eligible for funding. They must also be able to show how they can contribute at least 60% of the project costs.
Forms and further guidance can be downloaded from http://bit.do/growthgrants.
Applications are open until 30 September 2016, but awards will be made before then so firms leaving it late to apply may miss out if the entire budget has been allocated before this date. All of the money needs to be fully invested before 31 March 2017.
Coast to Capital covers a natural and busy corridor stretching from Brighton up to Croydon and including the important central area known as the ‘Gatwick Diamond’.
Croydon Council has been a key member of the partnership since 2010, as, through the borough’s pivotal position, it provides the vital link that connects this economic corridor with London. Two floors of the iconic One Croydon building are home to the Sussex Innovation Centre and provide space for over 30 firms who are at the leading edge of the borough’s growth as a technology and business hub for the capital.