The Heart of the South West LEP’s Devon and Somerset inward investment grant scheme has received an additional £450,000 funding boost to support business growth.

The funding comes from the European Regional Development Fund, part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020, and invites foreign-owned companies to invest in the area to boost the region’s economy and create high-value jobs in Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay.

The new funding boost brings the total amount of funding available to businesses in Devon, including Plymouth and Torbay, to £560,000.

The grant scheme offers 40% match funding up to £150,000, and is aimed at foreign-owned businesses, supporting inward investment and the development of new job opportunities in the region. The fund invites foreign-owned businesses already based in the area to apply for funds to support business growth projects. The fund is also open to foreign-owned companies looking to relocate to the Heart of the South West region.

Karl Tucker, Chair of the Heart of the South West LEP, said: “The Heart of the South West offers a fantastic environment for businesses to locate themselves and who are looking to expand and grow as well as have an amazing quality of life. The funds play a vital role in supporting foreign-owned businesses looking to expand in, or relocate to, the Heart of the South West, which in turn helps to generate more and higher-paid jobs in the area.”

The LEP has already approved a number of applications, which has seen one of the leading manufacturers of movement and expansion joints, Vexcolt, receive £37,000 to support an automation project which required a large investment in machinery. 

Susan Wolfe, Managing Director at Vexcolt, said: “Applying for the European Union Regional Development scheme grant was very straightforward and user friendly. The grant has dramatically improved our productivity and competitiveness, and is targeted to return an increase of 35% in our productive capacity and a minimum 10% labour productivity gain within 12 months of its completion. In addition, production equipment plans outside the remit of this project aim to increase productivity by a further 15% over the following two years, and we will need to recruit more highly-skilled operatives to support the increased sales. We are delighted to have benefited from this grant and recommend that other foreign-owned businesses find out more.”

Scymaris, which offer high quality and cost-effective ecotoxicology, environmental fate, and analytical chemistry services to the global agrochemical, pharmaceutical, industrial chemicals and biocides industries, received £150,000 to support their business expansion.

Chief Financial Officer at Scymaris, David Balch, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the grant by the team at the LEP so we can accelerate our expansion into this exciting growth area for our marketplace. The ability to provide this service to the global industrial chemical and pharmaceutical marketplaces will set Scymaris apart.”

Eligible businesses can find out more about the scheme and apply here: