New funding released for Hampshire businesses

A new fund has been launched with the aim of financially supporting businesses across Surrey and Hampshire has been unveiled.

The new £5.5m funding escalator has been launched by the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership and The FSE Group, and is aimed at companies within the Enterprise M3 area covered by parts of both countries.

Funding will be available to companies looking to access the finance they require to grow and create at least an additional 150 jobs in the region, and the news follows on from the LEP being awarded £118m of Local Growth Fund money from the government.

The LGF funds are expected to be matched by public and private sector money, and will be aimed at supporting projects in a number of fields including enterprise and innovation, training, infrastructure improvements and housing.

The funding escalator itself – managed by the FSE Group – is split into two segments. One £4m expansion loan scheme will make sums of between £50,000 and £200,000 available to established businesses, whilst the remaining £1.5m will provide between £50,000 and £125,000 as an equity investment to earlier stage companies.

Those looking to obtain equity investments must match the sum with an equal amount of private investment.

Both schemes will be funded by the Growing Enterprise Fund, which has been established by Enterprise M3 using money from the government’s Growing Places Fund.
Chairman for Enterprise M3 Geoff French said:

“Helping our companies improve their competitiveness is vital if this area is to stay ahead of our global competitors. In spite of the improvements in the economic situation, local businesses are telling us that they are still finding it difficult to secure the funding they require to grow and expand.

“We want to support these key businesses and have established the funding escalator to ensure that they have access to the right finance so they can fulfil their potential, create jobs and stimulate the local economy.”