South West Growth Fund delivers £2.3 million business boost 23
23 businesses from Cornwall to Gloucestershire are now benefitting from grants totalling £2.3million from the South West Growth Fund. These first grants from the fund, which was launched last year by Plymouth University’s GAIN team, SWMAS Ltd, Source for Business and the Western Morning News, will deliver 300 new jobs for the region.
Supported by the Regional Growth Fund, the £8.7million South West Growth Fund supports transformational projects in businesses, primarily in manufacturing, marine and digital industries and is set to create a total of 1,000 new jobs.
The successful firms, ranging from food and drink manufacturers to aerospace companies, are the first to benefit from the new fund. The grants will support major expansions and allow a number of manufacturing and engineering firms to invest in the latest equipment to fast-track their growth and help them to compete nationally and internationally.
Businesses are now being encouraged to give their expressions of interest by 11th July and submit full applications by 12th August to have a chance of securing a slice of the remaining fund.
Eligible manufacturing businesses can access expert advice from SWMAS Ltd, whose manufacturing specialists are on hand to provide independent technical knowledge and practical training for staff, helping firms make informed investment decisions and then supporting the deployment of new technologies into their production processes. Each successful business will also receive free water and energy audits provided by Source for Business as a continuation of their mission to help regional businesses be more efficient.
Adrian Dawson, Head of GAIN at Plymouth University said: “The South West Growth Fund is the latest round of RGF funding to have been secured for the South West by GAIN and regional partners. Together these funds now total more than £20million and are forecast to support the creation of nearly 2,500 new jobs.
“As a University, we are particularly pleased that these grants will create a number of high level jobs, helping more of our graduates to stay in the South West as well as boosting innovation across the region.”
Simon Howes, Managing Director of SWMAS Ltd, said: “This scheme is unique, combining both funding for capital investment and expert on site support. It is delivering growth to our region and driv
ing productivity improvements for our ambitious clients continuing our 13-year history of championing manufacturing in the South West.”
Monica Read, Source for Business’ Director, said: “Source for Business is delighted to have played a key role in helping to secure funding for these grants, which are already providing a big boost to developing businesses and creating jobs in the South West. Our business customers are our priority and we are pleased to offer free water and energy audits to successful companies, helping them to be resource efficient.”
Bill Martin, Editor of the Western Morning News said: “The Western Morning News has been proud to support Westcountry business throughout its history and is delighted to be associated with the type of job creation being stimulated by the South West Growth Fund.”
High growth businesses across the region, from Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Dorset to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly can still apply for grants of up to £1million by visiting:
Case study: Fresh opportunities as Gloucester food business secures Tesco contract
A Gloucestershire natural food business has secured a contract with Tesco and is creating 22 new jobs. Pulsin’, which produces natural protein bars, protein powders and healthy treats, is expanding thanks to an £183,000 grant from the South West Growth Fund.
The funding will allow Pulsin’ to invest in the next phase of its £750,000 kitchen expansion, at its premises at Waterwells Business Park in Gloucester. The main benefit of the new machinery will be that it will allow the firm to produce multipacks, which is a requirement for some supermarkets.
Producing multipacks by hand is so time-consuming that it is not viable. By automating its packaging, Pulsin’ aims to quadruple its production to 120,000 bars a day by the end of the year.
As well as supplying to 600 Tesco stores, Pulsin’ aims to grow its market in mainstream shops, without straying from its policy of manufacturing everything in-house in-line with its ethical and sustainable business values.
The firm, which has recently created a new line in reduced sugar, natural and allergen-free children’s snack bars, is also growing its export market and currently exports to over 30 different countries.
Simon Ashburner, who founded Pulsin’ in 2007 with his friends Nick Bildner and Ben Lewis, said: “Consumer demand for healthier snacking products has significantly increased since we started Pulsin’. Products that you would typically only see in specialist health food shops are now appearing in supermarkets and other general convenience outlets. This trend provides us with the opportunity to open up new distribution channels for our products and reach broader customer groups.
“This investment will accelerate the next phase of our growth, which will see our workforce increase from 40 to 62 while delivering a four-fold increase in our production. We’ve always been passionate about manufacturing everything in-house and this investment will enable us to continue to do that.”
Photo caption (L-R): Ben Lewis and Simon Ashburner, founders of Pulsin’ with their new machinery, funded by the South West Growth Fund. Photo by Simon Pizzey.