Enterprising firms set to receive £6m

Tattooist Helene Mott of Dinnington pictured with Keith Williams of UK Steel Enterprise.
Tattooist Helene Mott of Dinnington pictured with Keith Williams of UK Steel Enterprise.
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A total of £6m will be spent creating 250 jobs and safeguarding 50 more in former steel areas after a Sheffield organisation successfully bid for Government funds.

UK Steel Enterprise is set to receive £3m under the Regional Growth Fund - and match it with its own cash - to invest in early stage businesses and expanding companies in eight areas of England.

It is the only RGF grant into Sheffield City Region in round five of the scheme announced yesterday. It will involve £301m going to 50 projects nationally.

UKSE chief executive Keith Williams said they planned to invest in up to 50 companies and a “substantial” number would be in South Yorkshire.

He added: “We are delighted. It’s a great endorsement of our work. It’s the full amount we asked for and it will provide funds to business not available elsewhere.”

Since it was established in 1975, UKSE has invested £70m in 6,000 companies, he added.

The £6m fund is set to be launched in the autumn and run for two-and-a-half years. Companies will bid for between £25,000 and £1.5m.

The RGF grant is approved in principle and will be released following further discussions and due diligence, Mr Williams added.

“Most of the companies will have some other form of commercial finance. This fund will help them raise more money, without further security, and do things they wouldn’t have been able to do.”

UKSE, a Tata Steel subsidiary, separately invests in start-ups and social enterprises.

The Government predicts RGF grants will secure six times that amount in private sector investment and create or safeguard thousands of jobs across England.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “We’re seeing very encouraging signs that the British economy is on the road to recovery.

“Home-grown and British-based businesses are leading that charge and the Regional Growth Fund gives them a helping hand.”