Welcome to our grants and funding special edition
There has rarely been a better time to access grants, if you are a SME in Norfolk looking to grow your business. The first quarter of 2014 saw the launch of three new funding programmes in as many months. There is now a wide variety of schemes on offer, able to fund activities ranging from employment, to research & development, and from local district funds to national programmes.
Companies are already benefitting
Many companies in Norfolk have already taken advantage of the programmes such as Pasta Foods, which has received £500,000 from New Anglia Growing Business Fund, Lotus receiving £10.4m from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund and SearchFruits who received £1500 from Broadland District Council's start-up fund.
New offers are always appearing
It is worth keeping up-to-date with the latest developments such as the recently launched Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative, operating until March 2015 and with £2.5m of grants to support projects that increase agricultural productivity.
Sector specific challenges are issued nationally through the Technology Strategy Board and companies can receive funding for product development and innovation through their smart awards and connect services to take advantage of the knowledge base in the area.
The Government is developing national centres of excellence known as catapults to provide the platform for businesses to access cutting edge research and pilot projects and new ideas.
Supporting emerging technologies in Norfolk and the east of England
Programmes are also supporting emerging technologies, with £500,000 earmarked for electric charging infrastructure across Norfolk and Suffolk, and Evalu8 running the “plugged in places” scheme to fund domestic charging units across the East of England. A £3m contract from DECC has also been awarded to develop energy storage technology in Norfolk through the Everest consortium. There are more examples throughout this ezine.
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The way government and the public sector works with local business is adapting to market demands. To stay up to date with the latest developments, become a subscriber to Norfolk Business Matters.
Norfolk County Council's Economic Development and Strategy (EDS) team works to support sustainable spatial and economic and business growth in the county; attracting inward investment, speaking up for and investing in Norfolk’s infrastructure needs and concentrating on ways to improve the skills of Norfolk’s workforce and address youth unemployment.
Promoting funding sources is one of many activities we undertake to support local businesses. If you would like to find out more about the type of assistance that's available, please get in touch with Economic Development Manager David Dukes via David.Dukes@norfolk.gov.uk or 01603 223142.