£190k to local businesses as second round of grant scheme announced

Torbay Weekly

A Brixham firm is among two companies to have secured almost £190k between them from an inward investment fund.

The HotSW LEP ERDF Inward Investment Support Grant Scheme is a £900k fund designed to boost economic recovery and create new jobs in Torbay, Devon, Somerset and Plymouth.

The grants of between £25k and £150k, which require match funding, are for foreign-owned businesses based in the region who are looking to grow, and seeking investment in equipment, infrastructure or new technologies.

The LEP will shortly be reopening the scheme for further funding applications.

The first two companies to successfully secure grants from the fund are EFFECT Photonics and Vexcolt.

EFFECT Photonics, a global photonics technology company that developed as a spin-out from the prestigious Technical University of Eindhoven in the Netherlands, has been awarded the maximum £150k from the fund, which it will use for further expansion to their production facilities, creating at least 70 new jobs.

Since 2015, EFFECT Photonics has had a base at the University of Plymouth’s Brixham Laboratory.

Brixham is conveniently situated to provide access to the resources used by the well-established hi-tech cluster of companies and expertise locally based there.

Paul Rosser, EFFECT Photonics COO, said: “This investment comes at a crucial time, enabling us to grow the team in Devon, build capacity to service increasing demand and continue to innovate.

"We are entering an exciting period, bringing a genuinely value-adding product to a sector that is seeing huge growth as the rollout of 5G accelerates.”

The second grant award has gone to Vexcolt (UK) Ltd, a leading manufacturer of specialist products for the construction industry.

They have secured £37k to support their expansion plans, which will see them increasing capacity and reorganising the production facility to improve quality and delivery performance.

The SME, which is based in South Brent, will use the grant to automate manual fabrication processes, create new specialist products and create a number of new jobs.

Susan Wolfe, managing director, Vexcolt, said: “We welcome the HotSW LEP funding for Vexcolt, which has seen a sales growth of 23 per cent in the past year. This growth has stretched our productive capacity and we are now manufacturing more complex products.

"This additional funding will really help the company not only expand but to compete in both UK and International markets.

“We have recently created three new jobs and we hope to create another three new skilled jobs over the next two years as part of this expansion.”

Following its successful first round of applications, the HotSW LEP is reopening the fund for further applications on June 1. Businesses will have until September 10 to apply.

The grant scheme is open to all eligible ERDF sectors, including aerospace and advanced engineering, agri-tech/food and drink, environmental futures, and marine Industries.

The grant must support the purchase of new technology or other equipment which will support the business being more productive.

To find out more or apply for the fund, email Carla.modley@heartofswlep.co.uk