The Bridging the Gap Fund is a Grant Funding Programme for SMEs and new Start Ups in the Solent area which operated from 15th June 2012 - 22nd October 2015.
The Fund has been operated with funds secured by the Solent LEP through the Government's Regional Growth Fund and, more recently, Local Growth Fund.
Phase 1 of the programme was piloted in the Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant in partnership with The News, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth City Council and supported by Caroline Dinenage MP. Phase 2 of the programme covered the areas of Southampton, the Isle of Wight and New Forest Waterside in partnership with Southampton City Council and The Daily Echo. The programme has since been rolled out on a Solent wide basis and has supported SMEs and New Start Ups with the aim of creating and safeguarding jobs and leveraging additional private sector investment into the area.
The wider package of business support has also included a number of targeted funding opportunities, including; support for businesses based on the Solent Enterprise Zone, support for Advanced Manufacturing Companies, support for rural businesses on the Isle of Wight, support for Young Entrepreneurs to start up their first business and a Solent Futures Training Fund to support Company employees working in the defence sector.
Delivery is on going on a number of projects, however, the package of grant funding support has the potential to result in more than:
Details of beneficiaries from the package of business support schemes provided by the Solent LEP through the now closed Regional Growth Fund are available here.
Details of beneficiaries from the package of business support schemes provided by the Solent LEP through the ongoing Solent Growth Deal are available here.