Gateway for Growth funding helps lift four ambitious firms to the next level

March 18, 2014

Four Wiltshire businesses have become the first to receive grants to support further growth, thanks to funding secured by the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). 

The funding, worth a total of £127,191, has gone to Calne-based 1st Choice Stairlifts, Devizes-based Country Candle Company, interior design company Procol, based in Melksham, and Power Logistics, which supplies power and electrical services to major outside events from its head office near Chippenham.

The four firms were among a number of small and medium-sized businesses which applied for Gateway for Growth grants, which are designed to help firms with growth projects reach their commercial potential.

1st Choice Stairlifts employs 12 staff and specialises in supplying, installing and maintaining stair lifts and bath lifts. It will use its £12,000 grant to bring in a new computer system – a project with an overall value of £38,000.

 Procol, which employs 23 people, received £50,000 to develop a £370,000 serviced office scheme in Melksham to support small local businesses.

The Country Candle Company, which makes and distributes candles and home fragrance products is investing its £17,000 grant in new innovative technology and developing an international sales plan. It has also gained access to a leading expert in the sector to mentor the senior management team. The total cost of these initiatives is in the region of £53,000.

 Power Logistics Services provides temporary power and electrical services to the event and entertainment industry, was finding a lack of available generators restricting its business growth. A business plan developed with its local advisor will secure additional generators and employ more staff to grow the business. The LEP funding will contribute £50,000 to an anticipated project cost of £207,000.

The grants have been funded by the Regional Growth Fund with support from Lancaster University.

Small and medium-sized Swindon and Wiltshire businesses can still apply for grants as part of the further funding rounds. Grants from £5,000 to £50,000 are available for businesses with at least 10 employees and turnover of at least £500,000.

Funding applications must be able to demonstrate the opportunity and desire to grow, increase jobs and productivity. The next panel to award grants takes place on April 11.

Panel member and SWLEP board member James Phipps, who is also chief executive of Swindon IT firm Excalibur, said: “We are delighted by the number of responses we have received from local businesses and the quality of applications has been incredibly high.

“We were particularly impressed with the applications and proposals put forward by the successful businesses because of their commitment to innovation, accessing new markets, creating new jobs and increasing turnover.”


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