Motorway at night

Growth Hub secures £818,000 in 100% grants

Growth Hub secured £818,000 in 100% grants for Cumbrian businesses

As part of the support for businesses affected by Covid, funding was made available from the European Regional Development Fund. In Cumbria this was managed by Cumbria Growth Hub.

The Growth Hub helped secure more than £818,000 in grants for nearly 300 business through these Small Business Recovery and Kickstart Tourism schemes.

Grants were between £1,000 to £5,000 with the majority capped at £3,000 limit so we could support more businesses, £5k were by exception. These 100% grants were to be used to help businesses trade and survive by funding one-to-one specialist advice and purchases of equipment to modify and deliver services in line with Covid restrictions.

Scott Wigglesworth of Blackfell Photography in Carlisle received the Small Business Recovery grant said: “I saw this grant as an opportunity to pivot my business through Covid and add services to my offering.” Scott secured funding with the Growth Hub’s help and was able to secure enough funding to buy equipment for video production and provide video work for commercial clients.

Steve Cottrell, owner of the Santon Bridge Inn in Holmrook, received the Kickstart Tourism grant. As a business in the hospitality, Steve was one of many badly affected by the pandemic. Steve said: “The grant worked really well and has enabled us to upgrade WIFI so that once guests return, they have full connectivity throughout the hotel.”

Rod Stewardson, owner of 32 Bar Hire in Workington, a mobile bar, also received funding through the Kickstart grant. He said: “It allowed our business to become self-contained. We bought a trailer that had all the necessary equipment rather than having to risk using others equipment. We had a full diary last year and we didn’t fulfil any dates so this grant has really helped us move forwards.”

Growth Hub advisers also helped businesses to apply to other grant schemes. Rod benefited from this too. He added: “It was great having the adviser to help us through the process.”

The project is receiving up to £2,326,133 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation.