£2m funding boost for Mansfield and Ashfield business

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BUSINESSES in Ashfield and Mansfield are set to benefit from £2m-worth of support following a successful bid for European funding.

Mansfield District Council successfully applied for a grant of up to £1.2m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for a three-year project called Ambition for Ashfield and Mansfield. This funding will add significant value to the cost of the staff time expected to be spent on running the project.

The decision was taken at at meeting of Mansfield District Council to accept the grant, subject to the contract being signed by the Council and the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The Ambition for Ashfield and Mansfield project aims to encourage investment in the two Districts, leading to the creation of high-quality jobs for local residents.

The money will be used by the Mansfield and Ashfield Regeneration Shared Service, based at Mansfield Civic Centre, to help around 170 businesses to improve their performance, stimulate over half a million pounds of business investment and help 45 people to start a business, in line with the two District Councils’ priorities for the regeneration of the area.

It plans to achieve this by promoting the area as an excellent location for business and offering assistance to businesses thinking of investing in Mansfield and Ashfield.

Grants of up to £5,000 will be offered to local businesses towards new equipment, machinery, or security measures such as CCTV cameras or fencing to reduce the risk of business crime.

The project will also provide subsidised six-month graduate or eight-week undergraduate work placements, which will enable businesses to carry out larger projects they wouldn’t otherwise be able to do, such as creating their own e-commerce website or developing a new marketing strategy.

A series of networking events focusing on using social media, problem-solving, how to increase business, will be arranged for people who are thinking of starting a business or have just started in business.

The project will also encourage and support local women to start their own business by offering business skills advice and small grants.

Coun Kate Allsop, Portfolio Holder for Economic Regeneration at Mansfield District Council, said: “This injection of European funding will provide a much needed boost for local businesses and the local economy as a whole. For the funding to be of benefit however, it has to be spent, so I would urge all local businesses to explore what is going to be on offer.”

Coun Steve Carroll, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Culture and Housing at Ashfield District Council, said: “We are delighted to have received this funding and look forward to working in partnership with Mansfield District Council. This money will make a real difference to the local businesses and in turn the community as a whole.”

If you are interested in finding out more about any of the activities above, please contact Sarah Patrick on 01623 463 165 or via email at spatrick@mansfield.gov.uk