Launch of new £5 million investment fund for the Heart of the South West

5th March, 2015
The Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander joined Nick Harvey at the Barnstaple Work Hub on Monday to launch a new £5 million investment fund for the Heart of the South West area.

Businesses across Devon, Plymouth, Torbay and Somerset can apply for grants of between £25,000 and £499,000 as part of the Unlocking Business Investment programme which aims to help businesses in the Heart of the South West area grow and create employment by unlocking investment opportunities and developing new markets.

Funded through the Government’s Regional Growth Fund, the £5 million programme will be delivered as a partnership between North Devon+ and Plymouth University and is supported by the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership.

Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said “This government designed the Regional Growth Fund to support businesses across the country, so it’s great that North Devon+ has introduced a £5 million scheme specifically to benefit some of the South West’s smallest businesses.”

“This is just one element of the government’s £23bn infrastructure support for the region – from roads to rail to business support, we’re investing in the South West like never before.”

Local MP Nick Harvey commented: “It was brilliant that Danny had the opportunity to meet some of North Devon’s innovative small businesses at Barnstaple’s Work Hub. The new £5 million Business Investment Fund is brilliant news for firms who want to submit smaller bids than the £1 million bid for the Regional Growth Funding. The new fund, which North Devon+ and the Heart of the South West LEP have worked hard to secure, bridges this gap and gives our small businesses fantastic opportunity for growth.”

“As well as improved infrastructure, businesses need improved access to the investment that they need to grow. I congratulate all concerned with the locally-led, innovative scheme run by North Devon+ in which they are coming together to bid for money from the Regional Growth Fund. This innovative and inspirational approach is typical of the people and businesses of this great region and I wish them every success.”

Heart of the South West LEP Chairman Steve Hindley said: “I am delighted to see the launch of the £5m Business Investment Fund for the Heart of the South West. Small businesses make up much of our employment sector in this area, and they have much potential for growth. We are in an era of creating the right conditions to enable our local businesses to thrive, and this is the latest injection of investment is welcome news that will help us on our journey towards economic prosperity.”

Chair of North Devon+ Andy Lobato said: “The Unlocking Business Investment fund provides an excellent vehicle to support both growth and employment throughout the HoTSW LEP area; it will build on the earlier work of Plymouth University, through the GAIN Growth Fund+. Businesses across Devon and Somerset have the opportunity to reach their full potential, where financial barriers have previously prevented this. With the combined experience and expertise of Plymouth University and North Devon+ Unlocking Business Investment will make a significant positive impact to businesses and the wider economy.”  

Businesses can register at and at