Since its launch in 2010, the RGF has invested £2.6 billion to help local businesses grow. RGF money is available through a number of national and local organisations who have been allocated funds. Chamber member Start Point Finance have accessed RGF grants for a number of clients, including 2 SW manufacturers who have invested in machinery to grow their businesses.
The fund is available to businesses who are investing in equipment from £50,000 – £1 million. The main aim is to boost employment, so the purchase must either create a job or help safeguard one. If successful, the applicant is given £10,000 per job up to a maximum of 20% of the asset cost.
The grant is given in the form of a deposit which may need to be topped up by the applicant (typically a further 5%). The balance of the cost is then financed over 2-5 years and even with the interest added on, successful applicants still pay less than buying outright.
The large deposit means that the funder has a secure position and allows them to lend where an application would otherwise be borderline or too weak for their credit criteria.
Following the 2015 spending review, no future rounds of RGF are proposed so the fund is expected to be used up early in 2017. So if you are planning a large asset purchase which will either create or safeguard a job in the South West there is little time to waste.
Start Point Finance are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.