New funding available for Bristol’s small to medium-sized firms to upscale and reach their potential

March 30, 2023

Ambitious small to medium-sized businesses in Bristol and across the West of England are being offered support to buy new products and equipment to increase production and help them grow.

The funding is from a new round of Business Growth and Adaptations Grants launched by West of England Combined Authority (WECA). 

Businesses can apply for grants of between £6,000 and £30,000 for projects to increase the production of physical products.

Acting WECA chief executive Richard Ennis said: “We know many businesses have viable plans to upscale, but they just don’t have the money to invest in the equipment they need.

“These grants are designed to help them overcome that barrier to growth. This is the third time we’ve offered these grants and they’ve had a big impact, increasing production and turnover.”

Among Bristol firms to benefit previously from the scheme is GingerBeard’s Preserves, which was launched from a one-bed basement flat in Montpellier 2014 to bring “awesome tasting preserves and sauces to the people of Bristol and beyond”. 

Sales & marketing director Claire Charras, who co-founded the business with Harry Calvert, said: “We were facing an increase in demand for our products and needed to upscale and streamline our production processes, without compromising the quality of our produce.

“The funding we were awarded enabled us to buy a new 100-litre boiling pan and semi-automatic filling machine. This wouldn’t have been achievable without the Business Growth and Adaptations Grant.”

It now produces around 60,000 units of traditional-style jams, chutneys, marmalades, craft preserves and sauces a year by hand in its unit in Kingswood, Bristol.

Applications are welcome from SMEs based in the Bristol City, South Gloucestershire and Bath & North East Somerset council areas. Applicants will need to provide at least 20% match funding.

The application window closes on 20 April.

For full details, including eligibility criteria, click here

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