The first 12 projects from the Growing the Humber fund are now contracted, drawing down £2.2m grant which contributes a total investment of more than £10m and creates 158 jobs in the region.
The £30m Growing theHumberfund was set up after a successful bid by the Humber LEP and the accountable body North East Lincolnshire Council to the Government’s £3.2bn Regional Growth Fund.
Dozens more projects will be going into contract over the next few months.
The jobs being created are in a variety of sectors including manufacturing, advanced manufacturing and industrial services with diverse job roles ranging from production engineers to welders and administration to despatch drivers.
One of the companies which has benefited from the grant is KwikTuf which manufactures toughened glass and is using their £300k Growing theHumberfunding as part of a £1.5m investment to buy and renovate a 23,000sqft building close to its existing factory, and to purchase state-of-the-art toughening plant.
The grant will help them grow beyond the current factory which in turn will create at least 11 jobs with the possibility of up to 15 jobs over the next three years.
Nigel Thomas, Managing Director of Kwiktuf said:
“The additional investment enables our business to start the project earlier than anticipated which has been vital in terms of retaining customers.
“Changes in legislation over the years have meant that the demand for safety glass is increasing year on year. By understanding these market trends and investing wisely in the right equipment we have reaped the benefits of this increasing demand. This principle is the basis for KwikTuf’s decision to invest further to position ourselves for future growth in turnover and staff.
“We’re delighted with the progress the company has made so far.”
Grimsbybased Red Herring Games, which develops Murder Mystery games ranging from dinner parties to large organised events, is using its £23K grant to buy and refurbish premises inGrimsby, bringing back into use a building which has been vacant for more than one year, creating two new jobs.
Jo Smedley, from Red Herring Games, said:
“We have experienced 60 per cent growth year on year and the new premises will allow additional storage for stock as well as accommodate two new members of the team that will look at selling wholesale and events-based sales.
“The kit defined as part of the project will also support the implementation of our growth strategy.”
The programme has had an excellent response, receiving in excess of 200 full applications, however there is still potential for companies to apply for a grant before the opportunity closes.
One such project that is linked to the £7m of the Growing the Humber fund allocated to renewables projects in Northern Lincolnshire is a £1.1m grant to assist Danish energy company DONG Energy to establish their £11.5m offshore engineering and operations and maintenance bases at thePortofGrimsbyand the Royal Dock, creating more than 100 jobs. The arrival of DONG Energy presents an excellent opportunity for local supply chain companies across theHumberto consider a RGF application themselves to help enable them to be able to work with the renewables sector in the future.
Business Minister Michael Fallon, who officially launched the programme earlier this year, said:
“It’s encouraging to see to see that a dozen Growing the Humber projects are already underway across a variety of sectors. Supported by the Regional Growth Fund, the programme offers small businesses in the Humber access to vital finance that will help them to expand their operations and create new local jobs.
“The Regional Growth Fund is part of the Government’s on-going commitment to encourage long-term employment, boost private sector growth and lead to a more balanced economy.”
As well as providing jobs and demonstrating a confidence to invest in the Humber, the benefits to the community from the Growing the Humber projects also include a number of buildings being purchased and renovated or being brought back into use, as well as those that benefit from being suppliers of the growing businesses.
Lord Haskins Chair of the Humber LEP said:
“It is pleasing to see the 12 Growing theHumberprojects underway, with dozens more in the pipeline, and we look forward to following the progress of these business growth projects.
“The progress of the scheme has been good because of the excellent partnership work in the region, not just with our accountable body partners North East Lincolnshire Council but all of the investment teams at our four local authorities, which has seen projects from across the region being successful in bidding.”
Cllr Chris Shaw, leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “The RGF Growing theHumberfunding is helping us to do exactly that by creating more jobs and attracting more investment.
“Twelve companies have tapped into a total of £2.2m so far and that will support them as they grow their business and create almost 160 jobs across a variety of sectors.
“We are delighted that companies from North East Lincolnshire have accessed the fund already which shows that we’re on track to build on this success and ultimately bring more investment and more skilled jobs to the borough.”