European Funding secures continued support and grants for growing businesses

07 Jan 2019

Business Featured

St Helens Chamber is delighted to announce that the Business Growth Programme and the Business Growth Grant are set to continue in 2019, thanks to funding from the European Regional Development Fund, providing a real boost for growing St Helens businesses.

From January 2019, even more businesses can join the many that have already benefited from this funding.

Both programmes have provided a huge boost to the local St Helens economy to date, supporting 152 businesses to grow, creating 158 jobs and awarding over £120,000 in grants.

What support is available?

The Business Growth Programme provides 12 hours of fully funded business consultancy in a range of business disciplines, including marketing, sales, IT, procurement & tender readiness, business planning & quality systems (e.g. ISO), productivity, health & safety, logistics, environmental performance, and financial & credit control processes.

It is an ideal way for businesses to utilise expert consultancy, without the expense. It’s perfect for standalone smaller projects, or as a first step for a larger project.

The Business Growth Grant provides grant funding covering up to 35% of the cost of using external specialist consultancy. We can consider any type of project, but typically we have supported with accreditations, marketing, websites, legal and IT projects. The minimum grant available is £1000, and the maximum is £3500.

Who is it available to?

To be eligible for the support, businesses must be small to medium enterprises, based in, or moving to St Helens. They must operate in a business to business environment, and be looking to grow and create employment.

The story so far

From sole traders to larger businesses with over 80 employees, the Business Growth Programme and the Business Growth Grant have been equally beneficial. Some firms have accessed the programmes individually, whilst many have benefited from both.

Conway Controls needed to obtain ISO 9001 2015 accreditation. They used the Business Growth Programme to scope out the project, before accessing the Business Growth Grant to fund further consultancy and the accreditation.

SSO Logistics also accessed both programmes, completing a marketing project through the Business Growth Programme, and then an accreditation project with funding from the Business Growth Grant.

Businesses investing in digital advancement has been a feature of both programmes. Foodpack have had a great new website, while Cadre Components and Hoyles Electronic Developments are redeveloping existing websites to feature online shops. Budget Cases invested in a state-of-the-art IT system to link its various departments.

A number of companies have been working towards and obtaining accreditations such as ISO 9001. Express IT, Automation Products, Gordon Kitto Welding, and Multimesh are all investing in growth.

Environmental projects have also been a prominent feature of 2018. Coral Products received support in setting up a factory
environmental committee, while Longworth Building and Starbank Panels both had energy audits. The outcome for Starbank Panels was outstanding, with a huge saving in energy expenditure.

Marketing support is always in demand, with businesses keen to attract more customers. Lots of work has been done on digital marketing, Google ratings and social media, as well as developing strategies, and branding.

TF Jones Property Services is a great example of what can be achieved. The company has seen impressive growth and has
increased its workforce by 13 since completing its marketing project.

Looking ahead

The funding and support are now in place so that more St Helens businesses can get the help they need not only to grow, but also make them more resilient in the face of the current economic uncertainty.

The Chamber’s Business Advisers can assist in establishing what the most effective support would be and will guide businesses through the process.

If your business fits the eligibility requirements and you would like to find out more, please contact us.

Business Growth Programme – contact Helen Morris on 01744 742042 or email
Business Growth Grant – contact John Woods on 01744 742058 or email

Both the Business Growth Programme and Business Growth Grant are funded by the European Regional Development Fund.