A business fund launched by Havant MP Alan Mak in partnership with the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has resulted in almost half a million pounds worth of investment into the local economy. In total, the investment is forecast to secure 24 jobs at the three firms awarded funding.
Launched in December, nearly £120,000 has been spent of the £250,000 Havant Business Support Fund. More businesses are now being encouraged to apply for investment from Mr Mak's fund which has been backed by TV Dragon and entrepreneur Theo Paphitis.
The business personality relaunched the Fund for its second year during a visit to Langstone Hotel on Hayling Island to meet with local business owners.
He said: “I was delighted to re-launch Alan’s hugely successful Havant Business Support Fund for its second consecutive year. I know from personal experience on Dragons’ Den how valuable funding is when starting or growing a business. Alan and the Solent LEP are working together to provide vital investment into the local area and I encourage anyone interested to apply.”
The money spent from the Fund so far has been used to invest into capital equipment such as machinery, with funding resulting in an additional investment of over £360,000 into supported projects.
One of the businesses that has benefitted from the funding is New Lane based manufacturer Straightpoint. A world leading exporter of industrial weighing equipment, Straightpoint has used the money to expand its site and purchase machinery which allows it to manufacture its products from start to finish.
Growing at 20 per cent a year, the firm has taken on three new employees and an apprentice as a direct result of the investment.
David Ayling, Straightpoint CEO, said: “The money we received from the Havant Business Support Fund was absolutely vital in helping us grow locally and create jobs. The new machinery has much improved our workflow and ability to calibrate our products to a great accuracy. This is vital as our product is used with cranes and lives depend on its accuracy.”
Companies interested in the fund can find out more information by visiting https://solentlep.org.uk/business-support-and-funding/solent-lep-funds/
Havant MP Alan Mak said: “Backing our local economy and helping residents is my top priority as MP, and Straightpoint’s new jobs and growth shows why I wanted to start the Business Support Fund. With a small amount of investment into new machinery the business has created new jobs, taken on more work, and delivers more wealth into our local economy. Having run my own business I know that often the only thing holding back a good idea is the right investment, which is where my Fund can help. In the second year of the Fund, I want more residents to apply so we can turn great ideas into reality.”
Eligible businesses can apply to the Solent LEP for between £10,000 and £75,000 from the Havant Business Support Fund to contribute towards projects that will unlock additional investment, improve business productivity and support local jobs.
Anne-Marie Mountifield, the Chief Executive of the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The Solent LEP has invested significantly in the Havant economy through the Solent Growth Deal in recent years, with £4.5m funding unlocking the development at Dunsbury Park, and close to £700,000 invested in the Havant SME business base to create jobs in the area. This includes more than £100,000 invested through the Havant Business Support Fund to date and we are looking forward to building on that initial success by supporting more Havant based SMEs and entrepreneurs in the coming year.”