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A £4m programme to help Humber businesses to grow is now fully committed and set to create 400 jobs in the area.

The Humber LEP’s Growing the Humber programme reopened last year using the Government’s Local Growth Fund. The programme has offered business investment grants of between £5,000 and £200,000 to 75 small and medium enterprises and continues the success of a £30m Regional Growth Fund programme.

Grant applications for projects such as buying equipment or refurbishing premises were assessed by an Investment Panel of private sector business leaders who between them have knowledge and skills of business management, finance, law and property.

Some of the businesses that have benefitted from the funding include:

Fast Form Systems Ltd

Grimsby based Fast-Form Systems Ltd manufactures and supplies award winning, patented formwork available for hire and sale to the construction sector worldwide. The business was awarded £151,505 funding to support an expansion involving the purchase of tools and specialist equipment that will allow the business to efficiently deliver a significant contract with Transport For London.

The project will create 12 jobs. Tony White, managing Director said

“Without this grant we may not have been able to take on the project. It is a huge help to have some grant funding when taking on a new project like this, the assistance in invaluable and enables us to grow the business and support our local community.”

Focus Packaging and Design Ltd

This Scunthorpe business began trading as a supplier of specialist packaging to the commercial and retail seed sectors and is now developing a range of environmentally friendly coir based products for the home gardening sector.

The business received a grant of £90,000 to support investment in a clean production facility with new production and blending line that would allow them to scale up production to meet demand. The project will create 14 new jobs

Director Neil Calvert believes the investment represents a significant step change for the business. He said

“The clean facility will allow us to develop a new area for our business while the expansion and improvements to the existing side of our business has also improved productivity and working conditions.”

Steelridge Ltd

Steelridge Ltd is a Hull based manufacturer and supplier of complex fabrications with supporting processes such as shot blasting, painting, stress relieving, assembly and hydraulic testing.

The business received a grant of £38,400 to invest in two new machines to streamline the manufacturing process, enable Steelridge Ltd to become more competitive and reduce lead times in build. The project will create five new jobs within a year of the investment and it is expected that a further 10 jobs will be created in future years. Christian Wilson, General Manager said

“We can now bring certain processes in house, offering a potential annual saving of £500,000 and enabling us to offer a one stop supply”

Martin Williams (Hull) Ltd

The East Riding based business is one of the UK’s foremost commercial vehicle bodybuilders and truck mounted crane supplier/installers. The business received £67,751 to reconfigure the premises and extend the workshop to create an additional 8,000 square feet of production space and develop a ‘one-stop manufacturing and repair hub.’

Director Nick Williams, said

“These alterations have allowed us to venture into new markets and look at new opportunities.

“We have seen a 35% increase in turnover, and look to be on course for a further 20% increase in turnover for this year.”

David Kilburn of MKM Building Supplies is Chair of the Investment Panel that awarded the funding and said:

“Growing the Humber has been very successful in helping businesses of all shapes and sizes to make key investments that enable them to grow and employ more people. The Humber has some excellent businesses and we are pleased that money from the Government’s Local Growth Fund has allowed us to support so many of them.

With the available funding fully allocated, Growing the Humber is now closed to new applications. The Humber LEP is hoping to secure further funding that will allow the programme to be reopened to more businesses next year and would be happy to hear from businesses that might be interested in future funding.

For more information about the Humber LEP’s funding programmes, businesses can contact the Humber LEP on 01482 485260 or email