How do you give away £10 million?

Should be simple shouldn’t it? Buy a big table, stand on top of it in the middle of your high street and start waving around bundles of cash for people to grab. Job done.

People holding £10m sign at the launch of the growth challengeYour biggest problem wouldn’t be getting rid of the loot, but avoiding being crushed in the stampede.

But sometimes, in the world of business, things are not always this simple.

There is a £10million pot of funding available to businesses across the Marches to help them launch, get established and expand when the time comes.

The money – from the EU’s European Regional Development Fund and the Government-backed Midlands Engine Investment Fund – comes in a diverse range of programmes and projects.

So when the Marches Growth Hub – the one-stop shop for business advice and support across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin – asked us to help improve access to the funds, we knew exactly where to start.

By making it simple.

Bring all the programmes together under one simple challenge and then – metaphorically- get out our big table and start shouting.

Growth Challenge

That’s why we created the £10million Growth Challenge.

It does, to borrow a phrase, exactly what it says on the tin. If you want to grow or expand your business, creating jobs and wealth, this funding is here to help you succeed.

It’s launch – at a big funding summit in Shrewsbury – has now been covered by every major news organisation in the region, raising awareness that the cash is available and helping attract businesses to apply for a share.

You’ll hear a lot more about the challenge over the next 12 months or so as well. We want to make sure there is not a business in the region who is not aware of what’s on offer and ensure, as Marches Growth Hub chairman Paul Hinkins said at the launch, that not a penny goes unspent.

Working with our colleagues at the Marches Growth Hub, we’ve devised a strategic campaign which will look at all of the programmes involved, show business how to tap into the hub’s unrivalled expertise, share success stories along the way and challenge still more of our fabulous companies to rise to the challenge.

Because if creating more jobs, more wealth and a thriving regional economy isn’t a prize worth shouting about, we don’t know what is.

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