£800k fund available for Warwickshire businesses

Warwickshire micro, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) having difficulty accessing loans to fund their growth, are being given the chance to get loans from a new package of funding worth £800,000 from Warwickshire County Council and Coventry and Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust (CWRT).

The small business loans programme is designed to help businesses access investment that will help them diversify or modernise their operations, leading to economic growth and job creation.

One firm reaping the benefits from a previous round of small business loans funding is Urban Civil Engineering Ltd (UCE) based in Offchurch, near Leamington Spa. Set up by Adrian Duncan and Jason Green just two years ago in 2014, UCE now has a 40-strong team, and turnover is on track to achieve over £3m this year. The remarkable success of this business is set to continue with a roster of customers including well known construction firms such as A C Lloyd and Persimmon Homes.

The funding - vital to the firm’s success - has been made available over the last two years, most recently a £25,500 loan for the purchase of equipment from the County Council’s Growth Fund which was part of a wider £70,000 funding package provided by CWRT.

UCE Operations Director Adrian Duncan explains:

“Growing a business like Urban Civil Engineering is exciting but challenging. The financial support from the County Council and CWRT has been vital and only possible because CWRT has invested time and effort in understanding what we are trying to achieve. Their local knowledge and the fact that they are all about helping businesses in the area to grow has been key to this.”

Now, more SMEs across Warwickshire will be able to apply for loans worth £1,000 to £75,000. The loans form part of a £2 million package of support approved by Warwickshire County Council. Successful applicants will need to demonstrate how the cash would directly create new jobs in the county or protect existing employment.

The cash can be used by businesses looking to expand their operations, increase their working capital, obtain new premises, purchase new machinery or equipment, or for recruitment and marketing.

Leader of Warwickshire County Council and ward member for Stour and the Vale, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, said:

“This is another fantastic opportunity for local firms and I encourage as many local SMEs as possible to take advantage and make an application. We are doing all we can to supply finance to our SMEs who have growth ambitions, but who are having difficulty accessing loans to fund that growth. The County Council will also launch a new round of grants through our small business grants programme later in the year. Despite the obvious uncertainty following Brexit, the council is sustaining, and where possible, increasing its commitment to supporting local companies.”

Andrew Scarborough, Loans Manager at the Coventry and Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust, said:

“We are delighted that local businesses will continue to be able to access much needed funding through our joint work with Warwickshire County Council. The small business loans programme is an imaginative yet straight-forward loans initiative that targets those organisations looking for financial help to implement capital investment projects. Loans up to £75,000 are available. To find out how we can help please visit our website at www.cwrt.uk.com or call us on 024 7655 1777”