£4million cash boost for East Sussex economy

CabRupertSimmons (Small)BUSINESSES wanting to grow or relocate to East Sussex are being invited to apply for a share of £4million.

The money was awarded to East Sussex County Council following a successful bid to the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF round 4) – support designed to create jobs and boost the local economy.

Working in partnership with Locate East Sussex, the county council is encouraging local businesses to apply for an East Sussex Invest 3 grant or loan.

“A thriving economy and a buoyant job market are of paramount importance, but many businesses struggle to expand in the current climate,” said Cllr Rupert Simmons, the county council’s Lead Member for the Economy.

“We are delighted to have been awarded this money which will make it possible for small businesses to grow and create new, local jobs. We are committed to working with Locate East Sussex to ensure these funds make a real difference in East Sussex.”

Grants of up to £5k are available for small and start-up companies that have 50 per cent match funding.

Financial support for companies employing fewer than 250 people comes in the form of a three to five year loan with an interest rate of up to five per cent or a mix of grant and loan dependant on the number of jobs being created.

Philip Johnson, Director of Locate East Sussex, said: “As the county council’s key partner, we are committed to attracting more inward investment to East Sussex from companies planning to expand their current base or relocate.

“We are keen to stress that our Regional Growth Fund grants and loans are available to companies based in East Sussex and those outside the county seeking to relocate to the area and look forward to receiving applications.”

Companies wanting more information on the East Sussex Invest 3 loan or grant or wanting to apply should email geoffrey.mann@locateeastsussex.org.uk or call 0844 4159255, or visit www.locateeastsussex.org.uk

East Sussex Invest 3 is just one of three pots of funding currently available to businesses in East Sussex – the other two being Escalate and SUCCESS.

Escalate is a new fund being managed by Kent County Council. It offers 0 per cent loans to high growth businesses in the Rother district and Hastings area that are looking to invest in new products, processes or markets that will lead to increased sustainable employment.

The South-East Urban Coast Creative Enterprise Support Scheme (SUCCESS) also provides grants for new or expanding creative businesses that are creating jobs in the Hastings. Both schemes have benefited from Regional Growth Fund money.

Notes to editors:
The Government’s Regional Growth Fund is a £3.2 billion fund designed to help companies in England to grow. So far £2.6 billion of funding has been allocated to support projects and programmes committed to deliver sustainable jobs and economic growth. Round 5 selected bidders will be announced in the spring 2014. A sixth round is due to launch in the summer. For more information, please go to www.bis.gov.uk/rgf

The scheme has already funded projects under East Sussex Invest and the Rural Growth and Employment Fund (RuGEF), for schemes which boost the economy in rural areas of the county.
The East Sussex Invest 3 Fund will not support retrospective costs and applicants must be able to demonstrate the difference the funding will make and that they are unable to secure a market loan.