£1m NDA contribution to BEC

Businesses in West Cumbria are being invited to apply for grants from a brand new “Investing in Business” programme which could help create and safeguard more than 1,000 jobs and unlock £31m of private sector investment in the area.

Supported by a £1m contribution from the NDA’s socio economic programme, Britain’s Energy Coast, the West Cumbrian economic development organisation, was successful in securing £5.6m of Regional Growth Fund from Government to put the scheme together.

Grants are available to businesses of any size, including start-ups for investment in fixed assets such as land, buildings, plant and equipment as well as Research and Development. The programme is targeted at businesses involved in manufacturing, processing, engineering and fabrication activities with special emphasis on businesses in West Cumbria’s nuclear and renewable energy supply chain, and tourism attractions.

John Clarke, CEO of the NDA and BEC Board member said:

“This scheme will play an important role in both protecting and growing the West Cumbrian economy as it provides direct support to further develop local Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Link to that the ability the scheme has to attract significant private sector investment it becomes excellent example of how we, as a nuclear funding partnership, can work with BEC to maximise the impact of our socio economic contribution to the West Cumbrian economy and help meet the aspirations of the recently launched Economic Blueprint.”

Rt Hon Brian Wilson, Chair of Britain’s Energy Coast, added:

“I’m delighted that we have secured £5.6m from the Regional Growth Fund and that this now allows us to launch a sizeable investment programme to help create a more entrepreneurial West Cumbria. On top of our recent £5.3m investment in a number of capital schemes utilising funding from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Nuclear Management Partners, the momentum behind BEC’s work continues at a growing pace.”

Grants of £10,000 upwards will be available up for businesses currently operating in Allerdale and Copeland or to companies looking to move to the area. The programme will run for 15 months with the deadline for applications on September 30, 2013.