Kirklees Council launches grant scheme to support innovation in small businesses
Small businesses, including social enterprises, in need of a cash injection to drive innovation and growth could be eligible for between £1,500 and £5,000 through the new Kirklees Innovation Voucher Scheme.
The vouchers will help local businesses embarking on their first collaborative innovation project to develop a new product or enhance their business processes by accessing specialist external knowledge, technology or facilities. Eligible businesses will also have access to wider regional innovation support programmes such as Connecting Innovation.
The scheme is now open to eligible businesses – start-ups which are at least a year old, sole traders, and micro and small businesses with up to 50 employees.
For every £1 invested by the business, the voucher scheme contributes £1 up to a maximum £5,000. The minimum business contribution is £1,500.
Successful applicants will receive assistance from the Kirklees Business Economy & Growth service’s expert advisors to help them to take their first steps to build their ambition.
The Kirklees Innovation Voucher Scheme is funded by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) working in partnership with the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership and the government’s Additional Restrictions Grant.
Businesses can find out more about the Vouchers, the application process and eligibility criteria – and register their interest – at www.kirklees.gov.uk/business-innovation
Councillor Peter McBride, Cabinet Member for Business, says:
“Over the last few years we’ve seen local industries challenged like never before, but we’ve also seen the most incredible resilience and innovation.
“We’ve seen small businesses flourish because of their commitment to new ideas. We’ve seen start-ups grow exponentially by capitalising on a gap in the market. And we’ve seen huge changes to our economic landscape which both necessitate and reward innovation.
“Kirklees Council will continue to support local enterprise at all levels, but we are especially focused on helping small businesses grow. We hope that the Kirklees Innovation Voucher scheme will empower more small businesses to develop big ideas for the future.”