Pioneering Swindon firms secure LEP growth funding to put town on map for innovation

August 29, 2014

Some of the Swindon area’s most innovative small firms are sharing hundreds of thousands of pounds of funding to create new jobs and help them reach their business potential.

The money comes from the third tranche of the £750,000 Gateway for Growth programme, which has been co-ordinated by the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The funding is expected to create up to 63 sustainable jobs and support economy-boosting projects worth £1.2m across Swindon and Wiltshire.

Among those receiving cash boosts are OATS, the Swindon-based firm that supplies data to the global oil industry, Royal Wootton Bassett-based IT services company Intuitive Systems & Networks  (ISN), Cricklade-based Loadpoint, which supplies machinery to the semiconductor industry, and Swindon-based international security services firm Torchlight Solutions.

OATS, which recently celebrated 30 years in business and has blue-chip clients such as Shell, Exxon Mobil and BP Castrol, has been awarded a £31,000 grant to help it develop a new front-end tool that boosts clients’ product placement, analysis and marketing objectives. The new project will create seven jobs.

ISN, which was formed in 2008 to meet a growing demand from businesses for a new kind of IT service company, is using its £29,000 to support its ambitious plans to create a leading 24-hour Network Operations Centre for clients.

Loadpoint has received £50,000 to increase its sub-contract cutting capacity. The firm creates world-leading technologies in sectors such as electronics & ICT, aerospace, medical, defence, space exploration, automotive, sensing and control.

Torchlight Solutions, based at Windmill Hill, has secured £45,000 to improve its service offering. The firm works with major organisations across the world in the areas of criminal justice, defence and intelligence, helping them address and prepare for criminal, terrorist and security threats.

The funds were allocated by an expert panel from applications by small and medium-sized enterprises in Swindon and Wiltshire.

Swindon and Wiltshire LEP director Isobel Brown said: “We’re delighted to see that funding secured by the LEP is continuing to support the growth plans of local businesses. The grants will help these successful businesses to reach their full potential, creating new jobs in our LEP area and benefiting the local economy.

The scheme is supported by a wide range of organisations including Wessex Chambers of Commerce, Business West, UKTI, Wiltshire Council, Swindon Council, Swindon Chamber of Commerce and Lancaster University.

The funding was secured from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund through Lancaster University, which is leading on the creation of 15 new growth hubs across the UK, including Swindon and Wiltshire.

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