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Ellen Forster

Member Article

Business grants from West Sussex County Council total nearly half a million pounds

Businesses across West Sussex have benefitted to the tune of nearly half a million pounds thanks to grants from West Sussex County Council.

Twenty three organisations have received grants totalling £478,198 from the County Council’s ‘Be the Business’ grant fund.

‘Be the Business’ is now in its second year and as a direct result of the funding at least 88 new jobs have been created in West Sussex, and 170 existing jobs have been safeguarded.

Six new apprenticeship positions have been set up allowing young people to earn whilst they learn.

Grants have been given to a wide range of businesses including a vineyard, a care home and a village shop.

The aim is to help new start-ups and support existing businesses to grow whilst boosting the local economy and creating or safeguarding jobs.

One recipient of last year’s funding was Monteum Limited, a fishing business based in Shoreham, which received £25k.

The company catches fish and shellfish off the West Sussex coast and sells their catch, both wholesale and to the public, through their retail business “La Poissonnerie”.

Jim Partridge from Monteum said: “The constituent parts of the pots are being made at our Shoreham Harbour base. Thanks to ‘Be the Business’ we’ve been able to buy the equipment we need, and we’ve already taken on a new member of staff to help with their manufacture. The grant has also secured two other existing positions, and we hope to take on another member of staff in the near future.

“However, construction of the pots is labour intensive and we’re planning to work with HM Prison Lewes to offer offenders paid employment, and the chance to develop new skills as part of their rehabilitation. The project will provide around 35 jobs at the prison, and prisoners will learn to work with their hands. This will hopefully increase their employability when they are released and potentially reduce re-offending, which is a really positive thing for the local community.”

The Foundation received a ‘Be the Business’ grant of £11,000 to set up a website and prepare marketing materials to encourage people to join one of their courses. It also allowed them to source the specialist consulting services they needed in employment skills and human resources.

Brendan Williams from the Building Heroes Foundation said: “Once we had these areas up and running we were able to negotiate a lease on the former Court Meadow School in Cuckfield.

“We took the sad and unloved buildings and breathed new life into them, for example we transformed the empty swimming pool into a fully-functioning plastering workshop.

“We moved in during July 2014 and hope to see our first trainee in early 2015. There is still plenty to do, but without ‘Be the Business’ who knows where we might still be.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ellen Forster .

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