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Investment cash has helped bring jobs to the town
MORE than £1m has been invested across nine businesses in the past three months, as part of a drive to grow the local economy and create more jobs.
The projects have been fuelled by the Government backed St Helens Jobs and Growth Fund.
In the first threequarters of this year, grants of more than £250,000 have been secured by the firms through St Helens Chamber, which is managing the fund.
With the days of the economic juggernauts such as Pilkington offering vast employment in the town fading, building the private sector is regarded as vital for St Helens’ prospects.
The campaign has a particular focus on increasing manufacturing, but a broad range of businesses have so far been successful.
Lea Green’s Ena Shaw, town centre IT company Neticonic and Haydock-based Safeshred are among those to have benefited.
The chamber says this has sparked projects worth more than £1.3m of investment, which it believes will create and protect jobs.
Geoff Bates, regional growth fund programme manager at St Helens Chamber, said: “The funding has helped to create 56 new jobs, which will be phased in over the next 12 to 18 months, and to safeguard a further 15.
“Applications for funding are steady and a further 29 businesses in St Helens are already on the first step of the process, with new inquiries coming in all the time.”
The growth fund aims to unlock investment by making available grants of up to £70,000.
Bids for funding are assessed competitively by an investment panel, comprising representatives from St Helens Chamber, St Helens Council and local businesses and covering a broad range of expertise in finance and business.
Advice and support is available from the chamber to help businesses that are interested in submitting a bid.
- Funding is available for firms employing fewer than 250 people and planning capital expenditure that will lead to the creation or safeguarding of jobs.
Eligible projects should have a minimum total value of £20,000.
Visit sthelenschamber.com/rgf, or call Geoff Bates on 01744 742087.