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Businesses received support to access grants totalling £4m thanks to the New Anglia Growth Hub in 2021.
The free and impartial service – part of the business growth programme delivered in Norfolk and Suffolk by New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership – helped businesses access 273 grants valued at £3,977,789 through the Growing Business Fund, Small Grant Scheme, and other schemes.
More than 3,000 phone calls and 2,650 emails were received by the Growth Hub during the year, underlining the significant role played by its busy team in helping mitigate the impact of the virus on businesses in the region.
Meanwhile, 210 businesses have been through the Growth Hub’s Peer Networks programme since it was launched, while 319 business have had support from Scale Up New Anglia.
Sam Vinyard-Jones, Manager of New Anglia Growth Hub, said: “It’s been another incredibly busy year during which our team has been an invaluable support service for companies trying to survive and grow in extremely challenging conditions.
“So often small business owners don’t know who to turn to – whether they are looking to expand or simply survive – and our experienced team of advisers can help them access grants, start-up advice and other specialist support, all through a single point of contact.”
Norfolk firm Mirus Aircraft Seating received a grant of £250,000 from the Growing Business Fund to build the largest commercially available aircraft seating test facility in the UK, complete with the latest technology. Construction began in September on the 407m² facility at Hingham and the official opening is expected to take place in July 2022.
Ben McGuire, CEO of Mirus, said: “The addition of our very own in-house testing facility is a momentous milestone for Mirus and a significant investment in the local economy. This will improve our capabilities right across the business, by reducing programme lead times, increasing our technical knowledge, and strengthening our overall competence.”
Recruitment firm People With Energy upgraded its IT systems with funding from the Small Grant Scheme, which offers grants from £1,000 to £25,000 to help businesses grow. The company, which has offices in Beccles and Lowestoft, received a grant of £7,488 which represented 20% of the cost.
Managing Director Stuart Smith said: “This is no small cost, so we were delighted to be awarded a grant. On behalf of everyone at People With Energy who will be using faster computers, and receiving full training on improved software, we’d like the thank everyone involved in approving the application.”