£4m boost for business across 1066 Country

BUSINESSES across 1066 Country are being given a shot in the arm with a chance to share in a £4 million growth fund.

The money was awarded to East Sussex County Council following a successful bid to the Government’s Regional Growth Fund.

The fund is aimed at creating jobs and boosting the local economy.

Working in partnership with Locate East Sussex, the county council is encouraging local businesses to apply for a grant or loan.

Locate East Sussex is the inward investment service for the County funded by a partnership of the ESCC and all the districts and boroughs.

Councillor Rupert Simmons, the county council’s lead member for the economy, said: “A thriving economy and a buoyant job market are of paramount importance, but many businesses struggle to expand in the current climate.

“This money which will make it possible for small businesses to grow and create new, local jobs.

“We are committed to working with Locate East Sussex to ensure these funds make a real difference in East Sussex.”

Grants of up to £5,000 are available for small and start-up companies that have 50 per cent match funding.

Financial support for companies employing fewer than 250 people comes in the form of a three- to five-year loan.

There will be an interest rate of up to five per cent or a mix of grant and loan dependant on the number of jobs being created.

Philip Johnson, director of Locate East Sussex, said: “As the county council’s key partner, we are committed to attracting more inward investment to East Sussex from companies planning to expand their current base or relocate.

“We are keen to stress that our Regional Growth Fund grants and loans are available to companies based in East Sussex and those outside the county seeking to relocate to the area and look forward to receiving applications.”

The fund is one of three currently available to businesses in East Sussex the other two being Escalate and SUCCESS. Escalate is a new fund being managed by Kent County Council. It offers 0 per cent loans to high growth businesses in the Rother district and Hastings area. The South-East Urban Coast Creative Enterprise Support Scheme also provides grants for new or expanding creative businesses that are creating jobs in the Hastings area.

Companies wanting more information can email geoffrey.mann@locateeastsussex.org.uk or call 0844 4159255, or visit www.locateeastsussex.org.uk.