Fund brings £1m of investment to Portsmouth area

The Southsea Coffee Company tea room in Osborne Road, Southsea have secured Bridging the Gap funding L-R Perri Gregg, Jordan Clarke, Tara Knight husband Martyn Knight, Jessamy Roulston, Algela Chick, Elizabeth Cahill and Ada Soil.''''Picture: Paul Jacobs (132052-2)
The Southsea Coffee Company tea room in Osborne Road, Southsea have secured Bridging the Gap funding L-R Perri Gregg, Jordan Clarke, Tara Knight husband Martyn Knight, Jessamy Roulston, Algela Chick, Elizabeth Cahill and Ada Soil.''''Picture: Paul Jacobs (132052-2)

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MORE than £1,000,000 has been attracted to the region in investment thanks to a new fund launched by the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership.

Today The News can exclusively reveal 10 more companies which will be getting money from the Bridging the Gap fund, administered by the Solent LEP.

Together they have been awarded £338,000 by Bridging the Gap, but have also topped their funds up with private investment to make a total of £709,491 to stabilise businesses and create jobs.

These 10 are in addition to the first six projects awarded money by the fund, which were also announced in The News.

Altogether it means 82 jobs have been created in the region and a total of £1,398,835 has been drawn into the Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant areas.

Steve Futter, senior account manager for Solent LEP said: ‘We are delighted to have been able to confirm funding awards for a further 10 projects today and I am looking forward to seeing the businesses we have supported start their work to create over 50 new jobs in the Solent.

‘However, there is still some funding available for allocation, so any entrepreneurs looking to start up a business or SMEs looking to create or protect jobs should apply before September 6 to avoid disappointment.

‘Anyone interested should visit the Solent LEP website for further details.’

The Bridging the Gap Fund allocates money given to the LEP by the government’s Regional Growth Fund.

Developing the fund was the idea of Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage, who was looking for a way to help businesses trying to establish in areas with high reliance on dwindling numbers of public sector jobs.

It received the support of the Federation of Small Businesses, as well as Portsmouth City Council. It has been so successful that it is being rolled out in Southampton.

And the fund is not empty. The LEP’s investment panel has earmarked a further £416,835 to support 15 more businesses. These applicants are now working up their full proposals.

This means that there is still £836,415 available to allocate for those applying by September 6.