Business Crime Newsletter

20th August 2015

The latest Business Bulletin from the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner can be viewed here

... more »

Broadband Scheme

7th August 2015

Broadband Connection Voucher scheme
Your business could get up to £3k towards faster and better broadband, through the Broadband ... more »


Funding - Growing Priority Sectors £2m Fund

8th June 2015

Are you aware of businesses in the Black Country with investment plans to grow the business but can’t obtain 100% of the finance required, would investment lead to job creation? If so, two new grant funds are open which may support investment projects.
Growing Priority Sectors is a £2m fund to strengthen the capacity of Black Country businesses to take advantage of new market opportunities by providing grants to businesses with growth projects that cannot find adequate finance. In brief, the fund will operate as follows:-

  • Grants available will range from £50,000 to £1 million with grants ranging between 10% and 30% of total project value dependant on application and size of company.
  • Grants will be available for capital investment in plant, machinery and property only.
  • Projects must have completed all spend by 12/03/2016.
  • The fund is to support growth projects and as such will only consider the creation of new jobs
  • The proportion of the grant requested per new job created (it is unlikely that an application requesting over £10k per job created will be approved).
  • Not be able to proceed without RGF grant funding.
  • Not displace jobs from elsewhere in the UK.
  • It is ...


22nd January 2015

One of the main priorities of the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership (BCLEP) is to raise skills levels in the Black Country, with apprenticeships at the forefront of that agenda.

Collaborative working

The Black Country Skills Factory (a BCLEP project) is working in partnership with the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) to achieve the target of a 50% increase in the number of Black Country apprenticeships.

We are holding two breakfast meetings in February to help businesses take full advantage of apprenticeships and to gain impartial information and advice.

The event is FREE to attend and will run for approximately one hour on two dates as detailed below:

Tuesday 10 February 2015
7.45am for 8am start, The Village Hotel, Walsall

Thursday 12 February 2015
7.45am for 8am start, The Village Hotel, Dudley

Further details and a final agenda will be circulated soon. The event is open to employers from any sector of the Black Country. The session will be introduced by Stewart Towe, Chairman of the BCLEP, and will cover:
•    Presentations from SME employers, with best practice advice on how apprenticeships have impacted their company
•    The business benefits of apprenticeships

Engineering Skills Employer Ownership Fund

20th January 2015

Engineering Skills Employer Ownership Fund

The government has recently announced a new phase of funding to support training for engineering careers in smaller companies over a 3 year period. We encourage you to apply for this funding as it looks like a potentially good scheme for SMEs in the Black Country.

Purpose & Aims
• The funding is open to any small or medium sized company which directly employs people in engineering occupations. Its aim is to help companies grow and become more productive through investing in the skills of its current and future engineers.
• Government will contribute 50% of eligible costs to firms who have projects to provide extra training to employees. You will need to spend £20,000 over 3 years on eligible training of which you will get 50% support (£10,000 net cost to you).
• The training must lead to skills that are transferable and can be used in other companies and occupations which support career progression and conversion training.
• Training should target employees from skilled operators through to engineer associate professionals and those on pathways through to professional status.

• Organisations must be registered as a private company ...

Growing Priority Sectors Wave 5

25th July 2014

Do you or your clients need funding for growth? Does the proposed investment create sustainable new jobs?

The Black County LEP and partners are delighted to announce Wave 5 Growing Priority Sectors has now been launched; further detail can be found at Growing Priority Sectors.  

What it is - Regional Growth Fund is a UK fund which supports projects and programs that are using private sector investment to create economic growth and sustainable employment.

Objectives of the fund - Rapid creation of private sector jobs and rebalance the economy in areas currently dependent on the public sector, Projects must;

  • Create private sector jobs
  • Not be able to proceed without RGF grant funding
  • Not displace jobs from elsewhere in the UK- this is likely to happen if your competitors are based predominately in the UK
  • Grant request must not exceed 25% of total project costs
  • Grant funding of £50,000 to £1 million is available
  • Be State Aid compliant.

Timescales and application process - There is a two stage application process; firstly, companies must complete an expression of interest form, this will be assessed and if approved, applicants will be asked to complete a full application. ...

Funding Factsheet

21st February 2014

This funding factsheet has been developed by the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Access to Finance Group (Chaired by Paul Brown), in response to a number of requests from companies and intermediaries.
The document provides a two page overview of government-backed funding streams and includes a brief overview, contact details and links for further information for each of the funding streams currently available, or due to be launched soon.