The £20 million Derby Enterprise Growth Fund (DEGF) to support local business expansion and job creation has extended its remit to offer more opportunities for support.

DEGF is delivered by Derby City Council and is part of the Regional Growth Fund.  It was launched in December 2012 with the aim of creating 2,200 new jobs by 2020 and supporting the growth of a wide range of small, medium and large size businesses in Derby and the surrounding area.

The funding awards are a mix of loans and grants and are to be used for a variety of projects which include building, extending, updating or moving to new premises through to providing new equipment and machinery.

The first round of awards worth £1.3 million have been agreed in principle and will create around 50 jobs. These projects are currently going through final due diligence checks and further details will be announced imminently.

Meanwhile, the DEGF is also offering loans at commercial rates where more traditional bank finance is not available.

Leader of Derby City Council, Councillor Paul Bayliss, said:  “The Derby Enterprise Growth Fund is focused on plugging the gap between a business’ growth plans and the necessary finance required to achieve those goals.

“Although there are strict criteria for accessing this public money – we have developed the fund to be as flexible and accessible as possible to businesses – removing the barriers to growth that they may face through traditional banking channels.

“By offering commercial rate loans, the fund will be accessible to an even wider range of businesses who need additional funds to develop their day to day operations, expand the business and up-skill their work force .

“The Derby Enterprise Growth Fund focuses on stimulating innovation, expansion and investment in small and medium sized businesses and is a vital source of funding to ensure that  Derby remains a high tech city.

“The DEGF panel meets flexibly on a monthly basis and has already considered and determined 19 of applications to the fund so far.

“The first of these projects are now in the final stages of due diligence and we look forward to announcing the first recipients in the very near future.”

Cllr Bayliss concluded: “We want to hear from all businesses in or around Derby that have a project that will enable them to grow, however we have a limited time to spend this cash to support businesses so now is the time to grasp this opportunity .I’d urge businesses to visit our website to find out more and apply.”

Applications are welcomed by the council on a rolling basis until March 2015.Businesses can visit www.derby.gov.uk/degfwhere they can find out more, download the application form and guidance notes. They can also get help with any enquiries on 01332 641628 or email defg@derby.gov.uk

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