£2million of funding to help Central Bedfordshire businesses

The scheme will help businesses grow
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Hundreds of Central Bedfordshire businesses are set to benefit from £2m worth of free, specialist advice on start-up and growth, innovation, developing trade and export, and decarbonisation.

Central Bedfordshire Council has secured funding from the the government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) and Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) to deliver business support across the area. Other UKSPF and REPF funding is being allocated by the council to support local community projects, invest in town centres, and develop skills.

Businesses throughout Central Bedfordshire are eligible to apply for the support.

Businesses can apply for supportBusinesses can apply for support
Businesses can apply for support

Part of the package will see businesses receive innovation and technological support to improve productivity, and help in adopting new or improved products or services, delivered by the University of Bedfordshire.

Independent, not-for-profit organisation, WENTA, is offering support to help those in the process of setting up a new business, and for start-up businesses including social enterprises. Delivery will help potential entrepreneurs to be business ready and understand what they need to know about self-employment.

Also on offer is help and guidance from Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce to get businesses export-ready and engaged in new markets. Export grants will support businesses to expand their overseas trading, boosting local employment and help businesses develop their export strategy.

Cllr Mary Walsh, Central Bedfordshire Council’s Executive Member for Planning and Development, said: “Businesses in Central Bedfordshire, including those in rural areas, have tremendous potential for growth. We’re in a key location nationally, and are already an attractive area for start-ups, growing businesses, and established industry. This new support, worth £2m will give a further boost to the local economy, attracting inward investment and creating jobs for local people.”

The council’s business website BeCentral, provides full information and updates about what the council is doing to support local businesses with UKSPF/REPF money. If you would like further information email: [email protected]

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. It is positioned as the UK replacement of the European Structural and Investment Programme (ESIF).

The Fund at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-shared-prosperity-fund-prospectus aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills.