Up to £150k BIG PRODUCTIVITY grants available to boost Cornish firms´ productivity

From enabling a charitable enterprise to develop their offer to an engineering technology company looking to purchase new machinery, the BIG Productivity programme is helping boost the productivity, growth and sustainability of a wide range of businesses across Cornwall.

Delivered by Cornwall Development Company, BIG Productivity is a £3.1m fund that offers grants from £2,500 up to £150,000 to qualifying local small and medium-sized businesses. Funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Programme and running until 2022, BIG Productivity aims to help 175 local businesses become more productive and create 175 new jobs in the Cornish economy.

One of the local businesses to receive support from BIG Productivity is Via Ferrata, the trading subsidiary of BF Adventure. Via Ferrata Cornwall offers a truly unique experience for visitors to Cornwall which they were able to expand thanks to £36,358 grant from the BIG Productivity fund. Opened to the public for the first time in July, the new activity centre sees participants climbing, traversing cliff faces, crossing high-wire bridges, zip lining and taking on challenges.

Adrian Richards, Chief Executive of BF Adventure, said: “Via Ferrata Cornwall was a unique investment for BIG Productivity and the funding has allowed us to push ahead with the purpose-built course, supported the creation of two full-time roles for the team and help us to promote our offering through marketing channels”

“Via Ferrata Cornwall, and the funding we have received, will allow us to support the sustainability of our charity and the 4,000 young people who benefit from it each year. This funding has been a game changer for us, it has made a real difference and we are so grateful.”

RAM Gasket Solutions, is another business which has received grant funding from BIG Productivity. Based in Redruth, the engineering company makes gaskets and sealing products for a wide range of industries, including nuclear technology, food and beverage, farm machinery, and the aerospace and defence sectors. Thanks to £41,948 of grant support from the BIG Productivity fund, as well as its own funding, the company has purchased a computerised cutting and routing twin head table and adapted it for gasket cutting, ultimately enabling this well-established engineering company to increase its range, productivity and reduce lead times.

John Hicks, Managing Director of RAM Gasket Solutions, said: “The new table will give us additional capacity and increase productivity. We are now able to do 3D profiling as well, creating items such as foam inserts or shapes that can protect different products. Our new table is already producing, we definitely have the work for it and it will certainly help us to continue moving in the right direction.”

Anna Staevska, BIG Productivity’s programme manager, said: “It’s a privilege to be able to support the ambitions of business owners across Cornwall. The BIG Productivity Fund is a great catalyst to improve  productivity and ultimately help businesses grow. This is why, in addition to grants, we have also launched a new advisory service offering strategic, non-financial support to Cornish SMEs.”

The Advanced Advisory Service (AAS) is looking to engage with thirty eligible Cornish SMEs, with a turnover of more than £250,000, on projects that will be a catalyst for growth.

For more information on BIG productivity and AAS or to see if your business might be eligible visit www.businessinvestmentforgrowth.co.uk