South-west funding

A £10m South West Loans Fund has been announced by the South West Regional Development Agency to support businesses in the region during the economic downturn.


A £10m South West Loans Fund has been announced by the South West Regional Development Agency (RDA) to support businesses in the region during the economic downturn.



The funding will target small companies that have a strong business plan, with half of the money to be set aside for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.



Stephen Peacock, the South West RDA’s executive director of enterprise and innovation, said: ‘This is good news for the region’s businesses. Viable and growing companies throughout the south west need help accessing finance. This fund will go some way towards alleviating these problems.’



The money has been provided by the South West RDA (£3.75m), the European Regional Development Fund (£3.75m) and the European Regional Development Fund’s Competitiveness and Employment Programme (£2.5m). The South West Investment Group (SWIG) will be overseeing fund allocations.



John Berry, executive director of SWIG, said: ‘I am really pleased that the European Regional Development Fund programmes and the RDA have agreed to provide these funds, particularly in this difficult financial environment. Everyone has really pulled the stops out to make this happen. The fund is targeted at those businesses that have the potential to make a real economic difference to the south west through their growth prospects – importantly, this is not a “bail-out” fund.’



Interested businesses should contact Business Link, which will take them through the first steps in the application process.