Graham Vincent

Member Article

New steel fund will help create jobs in West Cumbria

People wanting to start a new business in West Cumbria are to receive help from a special Regeneration Fund just announced by UK Steel Enterprise, the business support subsidiary of Tata Steel.

The Fund is designed to provide the relatively small amounts of funding, up to £3,500, that start-up businesses and those less than 18 months old can find difficult to access. It has been set up as UK Steel Enterprise responds to the loss of steel jobs in West Cumbria.

UK Steel Enterprise area manager Peter Taylor said: “A similar Fund on Teesside has helped create hundreds of small businesses and new jobs in the area.

“We have no doubt that there are just as many talented people in West Cumbria who have sound business ideas and the determination to be successful.”

The Regeneration Fund is aimed at people of all ages who may want to use their redundancy package to set up a business, have always dreamed of being self-employed or want to turn their hobby into a business.

It will provide unsecured loans of up to £3,500 at a low fixed interest rate and re-payable over three years. Businesses involved in manufacturing and most service sectors are eligible to apply with the exception of retail businesses or professional services such as accountants.

In Tees Valley, businesses ranging from a mobile tyre-fitting franchise, fudge manufacturer and motorcycle training centre to IT consultancies, photography, garden maintenance and a mobile bar service have successfully grown and created new jobs.

Peter Taylor explained: “The money can be used to help pay for premises, buy vital equipment, provide a vehicle or anything else that is needed to get the business going.

“One of our aims is to process applications as quickly as possible as we know that delays and excess paperwork can be very frustrating. With successful projects often approved within a week, these new small businesses can get up and running with the minimum of delay.

“We are starting the Fund with £50,000 and hope that anyone who would like to know more will email north@uksteelenterprise.co.uk or give us a call on 01642 777 777 to arrange an informal chat.

“The amounts we are talking about may sound small in comparison to the financial packages of up to £750,000 that we offer businesses with major expansion projects but they are important. It is often a very small amount of finance that is needed to get a new business off the ground but that can prove really difficult to source in the early days of a new venture.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Graham Vincent .

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