Manufacturers urged to tap into £4.5m growth fund

Manufacturers urged to tap into £4.5m growth fund

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The GROW:OffshoreWind service is giving Shropshire manufacturers the chance to tap into two fast-track funding calls worth a combined £4.5m to help them exploit opportunities in the UK’s offshore wind market.

With as much capacity already installed as the rest of the world combined, the UK is seen as a global leader and it is estimated that the domestic manufacturing opportunity could be worth up to £15bn.

Offshore WInd Pic (L2)The first fast-track funding call, which is supported by programme partner RenewableUK, is valued at up to £2.5m and has been directed to support SME companies with their capital investment plans.

Through partnership with the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) and Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, a second fast-track fund totalling £2m has also been made available to help SMEs and Large Enterprises accelerate their investment in innovation projects.

Both calls are seeking applications from Shropshire companies who can utilise this funding over the next six months. Applications will be assessed on their ability to create jobs and develop market presence in the offshore wind supply chain, with Expression of Interest applications to be submitted by 15th October 2014.

Successful applicants will be required to have substantively completed their projects by 30th April 2015.

“We are excited about the potential of both calls to help us connect with more Shropshire companies and fast track their investment plans,” commented Dominic Brown, Head of GROW:OffshoreWind.

“By streamlining the approvals process, the calls will enable firms to commence their investment plans by early November, ensuring they are in the best possible position to take advantage of the opportunities that are out there.

“Up to £500k of grant funding is available for successful applicants, which can be used to support a wide variety of project costs.”

The GROW:OffshoreWind programme is supported by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund and is delivered by industry experts from the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS), RenewableUK (RUK), Grant Thornton and the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.

The service has been designed to make sure English companies are in a position to take advantage, with almost 600 firms helped with successful projects, including the acquisition of state-of-the-art machinery, relocation to new premises and unlocking new technologies and products.

Full details on both calls and application forms can be found on the GROW:OffshoreWind website- www.growoffshorewind.com.