With a selection of new grants available for Worcestershire businesses and surrounding regions, it was great to have the team from Worcestershire Business Central (WBC) and Worcestershire County Council (WCC) with us at this month’s NWBL to explain the different grants.

We’ll outline some of the grants briefly here, but if you need further information then your first port of call should be WBC. Phoebe Dawson and the team can point you in right direction and help you access all the information you need – visit www.business-central.co.uk or get in touch at info@business-central.co.uk or on 01905 677888.

WBC is there to support Worcestershire businesses and help them achieve success and growth by providing support, advice and guidance, including providing information on grants.

Proof of Concept Grants

Billed as a “less sexy version of Dragons’ Den”, The Proof of Concept grant is available for businesses that want to investigate, advance and protect early stage innovative business ideas.

Hollie Kirk, the programme manager from WCC, explained the details of the grant and the support that’s available:

  • •       £30,000 grants
  • •       50% of projects costs
  • •       Defrayed Expenditure
  • •       External Costs
  • •       Application writing support

Other grants include:

Resource Efficiency: There are grants available for providing resource efficiency advice to SMEs, enabling businesses to improve profitability, energy efficiency, waste reduction and resilience to climate change, whilst reducing carbon emissions. These grants are from £2,000 to £20,000.

Low Carbon: These are grants available to SMEs – targeting manufacturing, agritech, construction, waste management, food production and distribution – to support them in taking new green tech products to market, diversifying into the sector and/or gaining access to new supply chains. These grants are up to £70,000.

Enterprising Worcestershire – Start Up & Growth: Aimed at business start ups, high growth start ups and business growth – providing workshops, events and 1-2-1 advice in conjunction with University of Worcester and The Prince’s Trust. Grants are from £1,000 to £20,000.

Investing in Growth: This is a large capital grant programme focussed on key target sectors and providing support for companies based in and relocating to Worcestershire. These grants are from £20k to £100k

Growing Cyber: Support, training, advice and revenue and capital grants for cyber and non-cyber companies. Grants up to £20k.

The Business Growth Programme

Georgina Harris from North Worcestershire edR explained the £33 million Business Growth Programme, which has been running since 1 June 2016 and will continue until 31 December 2018. The programme is business to business only and is in place to strengthen supply chain companies, stimulate innovation and grow existing SMEs. This programme covers the Greater Birmingham & Solihull, Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire, and The Marches LEP area.

For more information about this programme – which includes the HS2 Supply Chain Programme, the Green Bridge Supply Chain Programme, the Business Innovation Programme and the Business Development Programme, visit www.nwedr.org.uk or get in touch with the team via info@nwedr.org.uk or 0845 601 5953.

If you would like to join NWBL our annual membership is £99, which comes with a range of benefits. The monthly events will remain FREE of charge for members, and we’ll continue to ask for a voluntary contribution of £5 for our chosen charity. Click here to find out more, including details of our upcoming Workshops. Non-Members will be charged £10 per meeting plus a voluntary contribution to our resident charities.

Membership will also include access to the BizSmart SmartRoom, a valuable resource giving you access to downloadable resources to help you grow your business, along with regular specialist webinars and blogs.

As we enter the second year of WBL, we’ll continue to collaborate with organisations across Worcestershire, continue to raise money for local causes, and continue to grow our membership. We do hope you’ll join us at the next meeting on 21st June 2016, from 10am to 12pm at Hogarths Stone Manor.

Blog post written by Andrew Pain, New Starts