BUSINESSES in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly with growth ambitions are being urged to apply for funding from a £10 million business grant scheme to help them increase productivity and invest in research and innovation.   

As well as continuing to help businesses access support and training through the Shared Prosperity Fund (SPF), the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Hub is offering similar support to encourage businesses to apply for a share of a £10 million Good Growth funding pot, with grants available from £5,000 up to £200,000. 

The £10m business grant fund targets businesses that have the ambition and capacity to grow, combined with a commitment to deliver improvements in environmental sustainability and social responsibility.  The Growth Hub is initially launching grants focussed on increasing productivity and supporting Research, Development and Innovation (RD&I), with grants to help businesses move towards Net Zero launching later in the summer.   

The funding is available to all businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly with growth ambitions, with specific grants focussing on: 

  • Manufacturing companies looking to adopt industrial digital technology solutions
  • Businesses and organisations within the social economy including community businesses  
  • Businesses looking to grow their overseas trade
  • Businesses and organisations looking to deliver feasibility studies for larger projects
  • Businesses who need to carry out research or commercialise their ideas
  • Businesses looking to develop new products and services
  • Businesses wishing to develop digital and physical innovation infrastructure or access specialist resources

Businesses will need to provide a minimum of 50% match funding for their project.   

Louis Gardner, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for economy, said: "The Good Growth Fund is all about enabling businesses to strengthen our economic future through increasing trade and investment, and inspiring green and socially responsible enterprise which can contribute to our vision to be carbon neutral by 2030.

"These grants are available to all businesses and for those not experienced in putting together grant applications, businesses applying for funding will have access to a Growth Hub Grant Facilitator to help them navigate the process from application to claim."

Steve Sims, Lead Member for Economy, Tourism & Transport, Council of the Isles of Scilly said: "I encourage anyone who would like to grow their business to have a look at the Growth Hub website and get in touch with the team to discuss eligibility. Don’t be daunted by the wording, I know for a small business buzz words like “digital” and “feasibility studies” can make you think this is not for us.

"This is about growth and if you have any ideas to grow your business then this is for you, whether you’re delivering a huge ICT program or buying a new piece of equipment as a sole trader.

"So please ask, there is a lot of support available to those wishing to apply and this is an excellent opportunity to bring further investment to the local economy to achieve more productive and sustainable practices which benefit us all."

The Shared Prosperity Fund Growth Hub is incorporating the activity of its sister project, the Skills Hub, and will act as the gateway for businesses to access the £10m business grant funding available through the Good Growth programme, along with a variety of business support offers that are due to come online in the coming weeks.  

In the seven years since launch, the Growth Hub has helped over 4,000 businesses to access the right support, training and skills development and is well placed to fulfil the Good Growth Programme’s ambition for a comprehensive, easy to access and flexible business support offer aimed at local business.