The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) yesterday (19 April) hosted the Marine & Maritime Funding Session with British Marine at the Royal Southampton Yacht Club, where details of the Solent Marine and Maritime SME Growth Fund were revealed.
The event launched both the fund and the partnership between the Solent LEP and British Marine, the membership organisation for the leisure, superyacht and small commercial marine industry.
The fund is a competitive £250,000 fund ring-fenced for marine and maritime businesses in the Solent and New Forest District Council areas. The fund is managed by the Solent LEP and promoted in partnership with British Marine. It seeks to support the Solent economy and marine sector by providing grants to both established small and medium sized businesses, and start-ups within the marine sector with potential for economic growth, leveraging in private sector investment, and creating or safeguarding jobs.
Those at the event heard from Anne-Marie Mountifield, chief executive at the Solent LEP, Howard Pridding, chief executive of British Marine, Stuart Baker, head of local growth at Solent LEP, John Poyner, managing director of Marine Data Systems Ltd and Paul Duckworth, tax partner at Smith & Williamson LLP.
Anne-Marie said: "The event was a great success with fantastic opportunities for networking between local marine and maritime businesses and British Marine. It was an important event for the marine industry in the region, seeing the launch of the Solent Marine and Maritime SME Growth Fund, which will provide capital investment for SMEs or individuals to grow or start up their businesses and protect marine jobs in our area. Similar rounds of our business support grant programmes have been very popular."
Howard Pridding said: "This fund will be of great benefit to the marine and maritime industry in the Solent, securing jobs and empowering businesses into growth. British marine welcomes the Growth Fund support that is being focussed on the marine industry in the region and is pleased to be partnering with the Solent LEP to promote the scheme and provide advice to members applying for the grant."
The new partnership and fund builds on the strength of the LEP's former Bridging the Gap programme, which has committed over £4.9 million in support to businesses and supported at least 45 brand new start-up SMEs, and British Marine's expertise in delivering a broad range of marine business support services.
For more information on the fund please click here.