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Multi-million pound funding boost for North Devon businesses

PUBLISHED: 12:00 16 April 2014 | UPDATED: 09:18 17 April 2014

Barnstaple High Street.

Barnstaple High Street.

Archant

Project to help businesses across the South West expand to be launched next year.

BUSINESSES in North Devon and Torridge have received a £5million boost with Government funding set to ‘address the gap’ in securing finance.

The money, received through the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) will fund the Unlocking Business Investment area across the South West.

The project, due to launch next year, is being driven by North Devon + and will fund capital projects including plant, machinery and new premises to help businesses grow.

Businesses with significant expansion plans can apply for grants of between £25,000 and £1million, which must be match funded against private and commercial sources.

Andy Lobato, North Devon+ chairman, said: “This is an exciting announcement for the area that will create sustainable employment and help to rebalance the economy.

“We are currently finalising the details of the Unlocking Business Investment programme, but we expect it to be very popular.

“We know that some businesses with good growth plans are finding it difficult to secure finance through traditional methods and this programme aims to help address that gap.”

North Devon and Torridge District Councils helped to develop the project, with both council leaders saying the funding is ‘great news’ for the area.

Councillor Brian Greenslade, leader of NDC, said: ““This is great news for our part of Devon and shows why North Devon Council is right to continue supporting North Devon+. Economic growth is one of the council’s key priorities and as such, we’re keen to see potential investment opportunities supported.”

Philip Collins, leader of TDC, added: “Torridge supports North Devon+ and the work they undertake towards improving our economy.

“They have been successful over the years in obtaining grants and managing grants for the area.

“I am delighted that they have again been successful in being able to get this grant - it will be another useful tool to support our economy, well done North Devon + staff.”

The project was also developed in partnership with Plymouth University and supported by the Heart of the West Local Enterprise Partnership.

Chris Garcia, chairman of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, added: “There is abundant potential, vision and ambition for business growth across the area – we’ve got a wealth of companies across a wide variety of sectors who want to expand given the right conditions.

“This new programme is set to directly help businesses to unlock that potential, helping them to expand and create sustainable and long-term jobs.”

The programme will not be launched until 2015, but interested parties are asked to register their interest in advance by emailing info@northdevonplus.co.uk.

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