The County Durham Growth Fund has awarded £1.98m in grants to 17 companies from across the county this year, which will create 278 new jobs.
2021 has proved a successful year in terms of demand for the £8.9m capital grant scheme, which provides financial support to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in County Durham to help accelerate their growth.
The fund is managed by Business Durham, the business support service of Durham County Council in partnership with UMi.
As well as the £1.98m grants awarded to SMEs and businesses, the County Durham Growth Fund leveraged a further £3.1m in private sector investment in 2021.
Each of the 17 companies supported secured a sizeable investment grant to help them buy new machinery and equipment, increase capacity, develop new products or move into larger premises.
When complete the projects will create 278 new jobs between them. This brings the total new jobs to be created by the County Durham Growth Fund to over 700.
Cllr James Rowlandson, cabinet member for Resources, Investments and Assets at Durham County Council, said: “As the year ends, it’s an important time to look back and reflect on what’s been achieved and 2021 has been a fantastic year for the County Durham Growth Fund, despite the difficult business conditions created by the pandemic.
“This year we have helped 17 local businesses with their growth plans, which are expected to create 278 new jobs for the county.
“These companies are great examples of the innovative and ambitious small and medium-sized businesses located across our area and we at Durham County Council are very proud to have been able to support them, as they expand and flourish.
“It is by investing in ambitious firms like these that we will be able to ensure healthy economic growth and plenty of job creation for County Durham now and in the future.”
The capital grant funding supports both established and new businesses who are looking to either expand or set up new operations in County Durham.
Peterlee-based EB Granite received a grant to invest in new machinery to improve efficiency and increase capacity.
Co-founder Mark Ellis said: “The business has grown every year since it was set up and the demand for our services was continuing to increase.
“We knew there was scope to bring in a lot more work but the machinery we had was outdated, around a decade old, and just wasn’t working as quickly and efficiently as we needed it to.
“We know we have an excellent reputation within the industry and people travel from all over the region for our products and services.
“The demand is there and with the investment we’ve made in the new machinery, with the funding we received from the Durham County Council programme, we know we’re now ideally placed to bring in bigger contracts that often require a faster turnaround.”
The 17 companies securing a grant in 2021 are:
• Bowburn based maintenance, groundskeeping, cleaning and distribution company, AAA UK.
• Engineering company Ashgarth Engineering in Consett.
• Fabrication firm ATT Fabrications Limited, in Spennymoor.
• Consett based horse-riding equipment and clothing specialist, Aztec Diamond Limited.
• Conduit Construction Network Limited, which manufactures high quality door-sets, screens and ironmongery which is moving to Belmont.
• Innovative modular housebuilder, CoreHaus Ltd which moved to Murton.
• Peterlee based manufacturer of kitchen surfaces, hearths and vanity tops, EB Granite.
• Chester-le-Street company EV Smart, which designs and installs electric vehicle charging points for commercial customers.
• Finnish sauna specialists, Finnmark Saunas in Spennymoor.
• Workwear, PPE and safety products company Industrial Workwear based in Consett.
• Seaham based Bi-fold door manufacturer, North East Bi-Folds Limited.
• innovative and disruptive solar energy generation technology company, Power Roll Limited, which moved to Murton.
• Pragmatic Printing Limited which manufacturers innovative integrated circuits at its facility in Sedgefield.
• Seaham based supplier of commercial catering equipment, RG Distributors T/A ECatering.
• Close proximity radiographer pioneer, SafeRad in Brancepeth.
• Willington based O. Mounter & Sons, which manufacture wooden sleepers, logs and pallets.
• Engineering firm Teescraft Engineering Ltd, which produces precision components for power related applications at its Bishop Auckland facility.
The fund is delivered by Business Durham in partnership with UMi, which has a dedicated team of advisors ready to help with initial eligibility checks and finding applications. All successful grant applications are appraised by UNW LLP, an independent firm of chartered accountants and business advisers. The funding has been secured from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.
To check eligibility and get help with the application process contact UMi on either 0191 7161006 or 07443 231757, or visit www.countydurhamgrowthfund.co.uk.