Business Gateway Local Growth Accelerator Programme and Rural Resettlement Fund launched at Argyll Enterprise Week

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Published Date: 

31 Oct 2016 - 16:14

Over £500,000 of funding – which will benefit Argyll and Bute’s small and medium-sized businesses – is now available.

During Argyll Enterprise Week - being held all this week in Oban – Argyll and Bute Council announced its Business Gateway Local Growth Accelerator Programme (BG LGAP) gives local businesses the chance to access specialist advice and support needed to grow and expand.

The programme – totalling almost £550,000 – is funded by the council and the European Regional Development Fund.

Councillor Aileen Morton, Argyll and Bute Council’s Policy Lead for Sustainable Economic Growth, said:

“The area is open for business and we want to encourage enterprises to grow and expand even further. Business Gateway in Argyll and Bute has helped hundreds of local enterprises in the last year and this additional funding provides extra support to those with growth potential.

“The Local Growth Accelerator Programme is an additional service and complementary to the support already offered by Business Gateway. It will allow early stage support for more than 200 businesses and provide advice, growth and employer or graduate placement grants.

“This is a real opportunity for small and medium-sized enterprises, which make up the vast majority of Argyll and Bute’s business base. Their growth will in turn help to strengthen the local economy.”

To access BG LGAP support, businesses must register. The programme is open to businesses aiming to increase their turnover by £50,000 or more within the next three years; which are also based in Argyll and Bute; micro, small or medium sized (fewer than 250 employees and less than €50m turnover or balance sheet total of less than €43m); not Account Managed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise or Scottish Enterprise and not operating solely as retailers.

A Business Gateway adviser will work with businesses registered for the programme to develop a growth plan and access relevant support. The specialist advice on offer from subject experts includes up to two days of free advice on human resources, eCommerce, marketing, growth strategy, funding and tendering.

In addition, businesses in the area’s key growth sectors – tourism, food and drink, forestry, the creative industries, energy, life sciences, business services or defence – can also access grants of up to £1,500 to support training, accreditation and attendance at trade fairs.

The BGLAP is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund under the 2014-2020 Structural Funds Programmes.

During the week, the council also announced that its innovative £500,000 Rural Resettlement Fund – aimed at attracting families, individuals and businesses looking for new opportunities and a different way of life is now open for applications is now open for applications.