Derby City Council has marked the second anniversary of the highly successful Derby Enterprise Growth Fund by pledging its continued support for local businesses to grow and create new jobs.
The majority of the £20 million cash injection allocated to the city from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund has now been invested by the city council through grants and loans to businesses in Derby and the surrounding area.
However, 55% of the fund has been allocated as commercial loans which are now being paid back to the council and will be re-allocated to further businesses who apply.
Since December 2012, DEGF has pledged funding to nearly 100 businesses. This has helped support investment and expansion projects across a wide range of sectors and will lead to the creation of 1350 sustainable new jobs.
Council leaders marked the second anniversary of the launch of DEGF as part of the Small Business Saturday celebrations on Saturday December 6.
An exhibition showcasing the wide range of support available in the city for entrepreneurial businesses was held at the council house. Some of the recipients of DEGF funding were available to talk to businesses about their own positive experiences with the Fund.
These included Dean Jackson, owner and founder of Derby-based Huub whose wetsuits are worn by top athletes and celebrities including the triathlon medal-winning Brownlee brothers.
The company’s growth has been supported by DEGF with a £100,000 loan and £70,000 grant.
This is enabling the company to expand into more international markets, invest in research and development into a new range of premium wetsuits and employ seven more people with plans for further growth.
Mr Jackson said: “DEGF has turbo charged my business and accelerated our business plan.”
Ali Wright, managing director of Two Twenty also attended the DEGF anniversary celebrations.
The company received a £180,000 grant towards its new £1.75 million factory in Foston – manufacturing bespoke timber staircases. Increased production has led to five of the 20 new jobs planned already being filled.
Mr Wright said: “DEGF has transformed my business and paved the way for future expansion.”
They were joined by Alma Madden from Minerva Scientific in Spondon which is one of the world’s leading scientific test laboratories for honey and pharmaceuticals.
The company secured a £200,000 grant and loan package from DEGF to double the size of its laboratory and storage facilities. The privately-owned company has so far taken on two new staff with plans for another four next year and a further six the following year.
DEGF focuses on stimulating innovation, expansion and investment in Derby businesses with each individual project judged on its own merits.
Grants and loans have been used to develop or improve products and related services.
The Fund has also promoted business expansion – providing support with costs of relocation from abroad, investment in both development to enable additional overseas trade and capital equipment, site and building infrastructure as well as help to become investment-ready.
Derby City Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Planning, Environment and Regeneration Cllr Martin Rawson chairs the DEGF panel of industrial and financial experts who consider business applications.
He said: “Derby Enterprise Growth Fund has been an astounding success and has won national recognition for the proactive support that it is providing for SMEs in the city and surrounding area.
“We have been greatly impressed by the calibre of the applications which have ranged from companies relocating to the city to the expansion of production facilities of home-grown businesses.
“The panel has also been heartened with the entrepreneurial spirit that is alive and well in the city with applications showcasing the vision and innovation that is at the heart of our credentials as the UK’s number one high tech city.
“The common denominator is always that the support provided through DEGF has led to the creation of much needed local jobs for local people. These have ranged from manufacturing and engineering skills to high tech IT, sales and managerial posts.
“DEGF is therefore proving to be a lifeline for ambitious and innovative businesses. It continues to be an important catalyst for growth amongst the business community here and the positive effects of this support will be felt for many years to come.”
Applications for the Derby Enterprise Growth Fund continue to be accepted by Derby City Council. To find out more visit: www.derby.gov.uk/degf . Alternatively call 01332 641628 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .