27th November 2014, 4:37pm
Multi-million pound funding pot to support UK businesses
Vince Cable visits Lincoln's School of Engineering The University of Lincoln has secured funding to deliver a multi-million pound project that will benefit emerging businesses across the UK.

Business Secretary Vince Cable visited Lincoln to announce the allocation of £2 million to the University’s Grow on Growth Fund, which will provide financial grants to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to enhance their ‘grow-on’ from business incubation environments.

Created with funding from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund, the Grow on Growth Fund aims to raise £3.2 million in private investment and create or safeguard 400 skilled, sustainable jobs, supporting businesses exiting incubation centres in seven distinct areas of the UK.

Business Secretary Vince Cable, who toured the University’s School of Engineering on his visit, said: “The £2million from the Regional Growth Fund will enable the University of Lincoln to support emerging businesses across the UK. The Grow on Growth Fund will directly create hundreds of new jobs and safeguard existing ones. This is an important example of the contribution universities can make to economic growth.”

The University of Lincoln’s pioneering approach to industry engagement has been widely celebrated. The institution has won the Lord Stafford Award for Open Collaboration in 2011, the 2012 Times Higher Education (THE) Award for Outstanding Employer Engagement Initiative, and was shortlisted for the title Entrepreneurial University of the Year in the 2013 THE Awards.  Its award-winning business incubator, Sparkhouse, has supported hundreds of start-up business over the past decade.

The launch of the Grow on Growth Fund follows the University’s successful delivery of the Lincoln Growth Fund – a £1million funding pot, also allocated through the Regional Growth Fund, to support local businesses in and around Lincoln.

Commenting on the latest funding award, Professor Mary Stuart, Vice Chancellor at the University of Lincoln, said:  “We are delighted to have secured an additional £2m from the Regional Growth Fund, having successfully delivered a £1m programme to Lincolnshire businesses under the previous round.  The Grow on Growth Fund now gives us a great opportunity to take this successful delivery model and apply it to seven targeted locations across the UK.  This demonstrates the role the University of Lincoln is playing as part of its commitment to supporting businesses and working in partnership with industry locally, regionally and nationally.”

The fund will be open to businesses located and operating from business incubation environments, from almost all industry sectors, within seven distinct areas of England – Lincolnshire, The Black Country, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, Sheffield City, Tees Valley, Tyne and Wear, and Stoke and Staffordshire.

Individual grant investment delivered through the Grow on Growth Fund will range from a minimum of £20,000 to a maximum of £100,000, where funds awarded can be used flexibly for capital investment in land; buildings and refurbishment; plant, machinery and equipment; IT & new technology; staff recruitment and training; and research and development.

The fund will open for applications in 2015 and will run until March 2017, or until all grant is fully allocated, whichever comes first. For more information contact growongrowth@lincoln.ac.uk.
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