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03.01.03
Good news for Cornwall!

£1 million of Objective One funding has been ploughed into Cornish Businesses by South West Investment Group

A Cornish development agency has invested £1 million of an Objective One Fund into local businesses to help them start up or expand their operations. The million pound mark, representing the amount drawn down so far by successful applicants to the Truro- based South West Investment Group, has been reached in just 19 months.

Since the interest- free funds were launched in May 2001, the South West Investment Group has helped businesses as diverse as a bath manufacturer, a renewable energy scheme, several multi-media projects, an interior accessories designer and many others. 120 businesses have benefited to date, with another 30 or so approved for finance. It is forecast that the assistance will help to create over 300 local jobs and maintain many more.

“We have been inundated with enquiries and applications since day one,” said Funds Manager, Peter Casey. “There is such a lot of energy and talent amongst Cornish businesses. We often find that a business has great potential but still finds it hard to raise money from conventional sources, perhaps because they are a new venture or because they do not have sufficient collateral. That is where we can come in.”

In order to qualify, applicants must show that the assistance will lead to increased profits and job creation and that there will be a benefit to the Cornish economy. The finance is available as repayable, interest-free loans to businesses of different sizes.

There are two schemes available. The Cornwall Business Enterprise Fund can help start-ups and businesses with less than 5 employees. It will provide a proportion of project costs up to £25,000, for an eligible project in the form of cash that is repayable – but without interest – over a period of one to five years. The Cornwall Business Growth Fund assists established companies employing between 5 and 250 people. Amounts ranging from £3,000 to £50,000 are available to be repaid – again without interest – over terms from one to five years.

The South West Investment Group has been delivering financial help to South West businesses for a number of years – long before Cornwall achieved Objective One status – and has a proven track record. All in all, it has helped over 350 businesses over 6 years and has allocated over £3.5 million with a further £6 million attracted from other sources.

The Objective One Business Task Force (BTF) have welcomed the news that Peter Casey’s team at South West Investment Group have succesfully invested £1m in Cornish businesses through their Objective One funded scheme, commenting that the fact that 120 businesses have directly benefited from SWIG’s funds and another 30 are under review demonstrates that businesses are benefiting from Objective One funding. The Business Task Force has promoted umbrella schemes such as those offered by SWIG as being one of the most effective ways businesses can engage with the programme.

Richard Newman, chairman of the Business Task Force commented. “In 1998 businesses identified that access to finance was a barrier to growth. Now through Objective One funding we have operational schemes that offer businesses in Cornwall the competitive edge and we are encouraging them to make the most of these opportunities and grow their businesses.”

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Editor's notes:

For more information, contact the South West Investment Group, Trevint House, Strangways Villas, Truro, TR1 2PA, tel 01872 223883, fax 01872 242470.

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Jason Clark
Communications Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Tel:01872 241379
Fax:01872 241388

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