Press release

Business Secretary launches new Anglia £3 million growing business fund

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

A new £3 million fund to help grow small firms in Norfolk and Suffolk has been officially launched by Business Secretary Vince Cable today.

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The New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership ‘Growing Business Fund’ is supported by the government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) and is specifically aimed at helping firms that want to grow but have been held back by a lack of finance.

The fund will provide grants of up to 20%, between £25,000 and £100,000, to business that have a shortfall in their investment plan and are able to create at least one job for every £10,000 provided by the fund.

The Business Secretary launched the fund at Redpack in Norwich, a company which hopes to benefit from the new fund and expand its existing operations in the city.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

A lack of finance is one of the biggest barriers facing firms that want to grow. The government is already taking big steps to help companies bridge that gap and now, thanks to this new fund, businesses across East Anglia will get that helping hand they need.

Through programmes like the New Anglia ‘Growing Business Fund’, the government’s Regional Growth Fund has supported around 1,200 small and medium sized companies across the country, helping them create jobs, increase skills and grow their business.

Andy Wood, Chairman of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership said:

The Growing Business Fund will provide a real boost for businesses in Norfolk and Suffolk. Many companies are struggling to secure the investment they need to grow. The Growing Business Fund will make a significant difference in helping to unlock finance for companies with ambitions to create jobs.

I’m delighted that the Secretary of State has had the opportunity to visit Norfolk and see at first hand some exciting, innovative companies and we hope Redpack will secure the funds they need, through the Growing Business Fund.

Vince Cable has been leading development of the government’s industrial strategy which looks to the future and presents a long-term, whole of government approach to supporting British business, giving them the confidence they need to invest, hire staff and grow. During his tour of Norfolk he visited local companies with links to two key industrial strategy sectors: agricultural-technology and aerospace.

The day began with a fact-finding visit to British Sugar in King’s Lynn ahead of the launch of the agricultural-technology strategy later this year. During the visit the Business Secretary saw the company’s revolutionary combined heat and power plant and met apprentices working in the Bio-ethanol workshop. The government believes that agri-tech is a sector that presents significant opportunities for it to work in a long-term partnership with industry to support emerging technologies, develop the skills businesses need and improve business confidence for investment and growth.

The Secretary of State also visited KLM engineering at Norwich Airport. There he spoke about the importance of developing engineering skills and the increasing demand for those skills. In March the government launched the aerospace industrial strategy in partnership with the sector, which had a large focus on skills. The strategy also announced the creation of a £2 billion Aerospace Technology Institute. The institute will allow industry and academic researchers to develop technology for the next generation of quieter, more energy efficient aircraft.

Notes for editors

1.The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’ (PDF 1.7MB), published at Budget 2011:

  • to create the most competitive tax system in the G20
  • to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
  • to encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
  • to create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.

Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.

Published 4 April 2013