Black Country firms enjoy the Midas Touch

A NEW funding initiative has benefitted almost 100 SMEs across the Black Country.

The businesses have all been recipients of the Black Country Gold scheme, backed by the European Regional Development Fund.
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The Gold initiative is backed by Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall councils, together with the University of Wolverhampton.

In total, it has provided support to 86 Black Country businesses, including 37 in Wolverhampton, by giving them the opportunity to apply for match-funded grants of up to £16,000 to support expansion projects.

Wolverhampton City Council said the scheme had had a significant impact on the Black Country economy by enabling businesses to increase their output, develop new products and diversify into new markets in the UK and overseas.

Cllr John Reynolds, the city council’s cabinet member for City Economy, said: “The Black Country Gold scheme has enabled many businesses across the Black Country to carry out expansion projects which had been put on the back burner because of lack of funding or other factors.

“The scheme has been a really good example of the Black Country local authorities and the University of Wolverhampton working together to support enterprise and create new employment opportunities.”

Bob Hughes, of Bilston-based C.L.M. Construction Supplies, added: “We applied to the Gold scheme to support us with our moving and refurbishment costs, as well as new equipment to enable the smooth transition from the smaller premises that we rented into our own larger premises.”

Other businesses which have benefited from the scheme include Wolverhampton-based Stones Throw Media, Sandwell-based Paint 360, which re-engineer paints to be environmentally friendly, and Walsall-based MOTAD, a leading supplier of components for motorcycles.

Tammy Inglis, managing director of Halesowen-based Somers Forge, added: “Applying for a grant from the Gold scheme was a straightforward and quick process.

“The projects have already made a tangible difference which would have taken longer to achieve without the support from Gold.”

For more information on the firms can visit the Growth Hub