A new set of grants, awarded thanks to the Oxfordshire Business Investment Fund – via the government’s Getting Building Fund – will further boost the county’s business community to move into an effective renewal phase following the pandemic.
OxLEP have announced that a total of £220,000-worth of grants have been awarded to multiple organisations from across the county, all set to deliver key impacts aligned to Oxfordshire’s economic recovery from Covid-19.
The second round of Oxfordshire Business Investment Fund allocations follows just over £2 million-worth of grants being awarded to 38 businesses at the beginning of 2022, playing a critical role in supporting companies representing a variety of sectors emerge from the effects of the pandemic.
OxLEP Business – who oversaw the latest allocation of funding, supported by an independent business-led panel – received a total of 47 expressions of interest for grants (which would value just under £825,000), eventually leading to 13 Oxfordshire-based companies receiving Business Investment Fund-backing.
Fund recipients are due to benefit from grants ranging between £5,000 and £24,700, with each project set to deliver tangible outcomes for their individual organisations and – more widely – aligned to driving economic recovery, growth and job creation in Oxfordshire.
Through the fund, businesses will be able to accelerate investment into their respective operations, as well as strengthening business performance, driving technology and innovation adoption, helping to increase a company’s sales and boosting market share.
Successful recipients of the £220,000-worth of funding span a broad range of industries, including professional services, science-related fields, manufacturing and agriculture.
Both stages of the Oxfordshire Business Investment Fund scheme have been funded by the Government’s Getting Building Fund, set up with aim to help kick-start the UK economy following Covid-19, with investment being targeted in areas facing the biggest economic challenges as a result of the pandemic.
Nigel Tipple – Chief Executive of OxLEP – said: “We are delighted with the collective impact our two editions of the Oxfordshire Business Investment Fund have had – and will continue to have – on our county’s economy, providing further resilience to businesses and supporting an acceleration in our economic recovery out the pandemic too.
“As the local enterprise partnership for Oxfordshire, it’s important that we lead from the front in supporting our business community to be the best they can be and, in particular, support them at times when it’s most needed. Our Business Investment Fund has achieved this, and more.
“This is just one intervention delivered by OxLEP Business, with other business support initiatives in place to provide organisations with more in-depth support. Between April 2021 and March last year, we provided over 6,000 hours of help to companies – valued at over £3.5 million – with just under 1,300 businesses also triaged during this period of time. We are determined to continue to provide this concerted support moving forward.”
Moving into the summer, OxLEP Business are set to introduce several new and refreshed support programmes, created through strong dialogue with the county’s business community.
Upcoming activity to be delivered by OxLEP Business includes; a start-up club, a ‘foundations to growth’ group, sessions around supporting leadership for small business owners, plus helping companies to get started on net-zero activity.
Working alongside private and public sector partners from across the county, OxLEP secured a total of £8.4million-worth of investment for Oxfordshire through the Getting Building Fund in August 2020, giving businesses and communities an all-important boost following the Covid-19 outbreak.
Away from the Business Investment Fund, other programmes funded by the Getting Building Fund have supported a number of emerging clean energy projects in the county. Getting Building Fund projects also recognise the ‘changing face’ of work patterns in Oxfordshire, supporting businesses to be more agile in-light of the pandemic.
Collectively, Oxfordshire-focused schemes – supported by OxLEP’s Getting Building Fund allocation – will by 2025 support the creation of 640 new jobs, safeguard 290 jobs and back around 500 new learner opportunities.
For further information on the Business Investment Fund, Getting Building Fund projects and the support offered by OxLEP Business go to the OxLEP Business website.