A grant scheme that helps businesses across the West Midlands invest in innovative new products is expected to create and safeguard over 600 jobs â€“ significantly over its target of 350.
The Business Innovation Programme (BIP) is an Â£8.7m programme of business support, part-funded through the European Regional Development Fund.
Successfully managed by Birmingham City Council, it is aimed at existing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) involved in environmental and energy technologies, rail, IT and digital media, medical technologies, aerospace, building technologies and advanced materials manufacturing.
It offers 50 per cent match funded grants of between Â£10,000 and Â£30,000 to SMEs which employ up to 249 staff throughout the West Midlands region, which includes Warwickshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire and the West Midlands.
The programme target was to create and safeguard 350 jobs but the scheme is on target to create and safeguard over 600.Â
All the funding is now fully committed ahead of the June 2015 closing date, with over 250 applications received, and over Â£4.5m private sector funding invested into the region.Â Â£1m of this is additional private sector investment.
Councillor Tahir Ali, cabinet member for development, transport and the economy, said: â€œThis is great news for Birmingham and the wider region and we intend to apply for further funding for business innovation.
â€œThis is all about providing the tools for companies to help give themselves a significant competitive advantage and support their long-term future.
â€œGovernment â€“ local, national and European â€“ has a crucial role to play in creating the right environment for businesses in Birmingham and the West Midlands to flourish by helping them to invest and grow. Birminghamâ€™s success in securing this funding has proved absolutely vital in supporting business success.â€
Birmingham-based CMA Moldform is using its funding to invest in a unique piece of equipment â€“ the first of its type â€“ which will enable the firm to produce extremely accurate parts in a temperature-controlled clean room, as well as speeding up production to cope with market demands.
The firm was founded over 25 years ago and now manufactures high quality rapid prototypes, reverse engineering and low volume production runs for assemblies and components for clients worldwide. CMA has even produced mouldings for the film industry; manufacturing the clear space helmets worn in the 2012 blockbuster film, Prometheus.
Peter Turnock, managing director at CMA Moldform, said: â€œWeâ€™re thrilled to have been awarded this funding as it is a key component in the continued development and expansion of our unique operation.
â€œManufacturing is a key sector for this country as we come out of recession, and the greater West Midlands is at the very centre of this resurgence; weâ€™re riding a wave and Birmingham is a very exciting place to be right now.â€
Note to Editor:
The Business Innovation Programme is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013.Â The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs.Â For more information visit www.gov.uk/browse/business/funding-debt/european-regonal-development-funding