Since 2012 the LEP has supported over 100 Black Country firms to access £37m in grants to create jobs and growth.
The LEP Board recognise applying for funding is a challenge for small businesses so we have tried to simplify this process.
The Access to Finance section of the LEP website has a step by step process with step one a factsheet overview of the 11 current programmes open to Black Country businesses.
Step two is to contact the LEP’s specialist team to discuss eligibility, Step three is the completion of a short online expression of interest form. Stage four is feedback on the submission and if the project is eligible, guidance from the LEP Access to Finance team to prepare a detailed application.
Growing Priority Sectors funding has supported 51 Black Country companies, two recent case studies include:
1. IPU Group, manufacturers of engine control systems in Oldbury, needed to move fast to secure new premises to expand production capacity and communicate with prestige clients around the globe. Having identified a site, IPU applied to Growing Priority Sectors (Regional Growth Fund) in March 2014 and were successful. The LEP project team worked with IPU’s staff to fast track the contracting process and by mid-May IPU Group were able to announce the move to a new global headquarters in West Bromwich.
IPU’s Managing Director, Robert Beebee said "Our business expansion plan sees IPU Group growing to a turnover of £30m by 2018. This will be supported by an expansion of domestic sales and the development of overseas markets in Asia, the Middle East and South America. We anticipate employing at least another 45 staff in the next five years to facilitate this growth.”
2. Quality Metal Products Limited in Lye, were awarded £562,500 to support the acquisition of premises and purchase of machinery, and in doing so secure the future of the business. Mike Wright said "Crucially the acquisition will give us the capacity we need to grow and remain competitive, without the support of the LEP we would not have been able to buy the building and machinery, and now having done so we will be able to continue our investment plans with confidence.”