Covid fund drives District jobs boost

Press Release

Published on 21 April 2022
Archived on 21 May 2022

Nearly 850 jobs have been created or safeguarded in Stratford District as part of a £1.2 million government funding scheme to help businesses with their post-Covid recovery plans.

Stratford-on-Avon District Council contacted the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub after receiving the major seven-figure sum from The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) scheme.

The Council collaborated with the CWLEP Growth Hub project lead Gary Thyeson and account manager Jim Clark to identify companies in a wide variety of sectors that wanted to accelerate their expansion plans.

The full £1.2 million was distributed to 39 businesses based across Stratford District, ranging from Studley to Alcester and Shipston-on-Stour to Southam.

The top three sectors that were assisted were manufacturing and engineering, hospitality, and design.

The funding has led to the creation of 135 jobs and 703 jobs being safeguarded, with each business receiving just over £31,000 on average.

The grants helped towards assisting a whole host of projects including buying cider-making equipment, expanding websites into French and German markets, marketing campaigns and buying sustainable and energy-efficient machinery.

Cllr Tony Jefferson, leader of Stratford-on-Avon District Council, said the strategic collaborative approach with the CWLEP Growth Hub to distributing the funding from The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) scheme had benefited businesses and the local economy.

He said: "The fact our hard-working staff had allocated 100 per cent of funding we received from various government schemes during the pandemic meant we qualified for The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG), which is a tremendous endorsement of everyone who went above and beyond to help businesses in our area.

"After receiving our £1.2 million, we wanted to contact businesses across the Stratford District to help them implement their post-Covid growth plans.

"We thought it was common sense to seek the expertise and knowledge of the Growth Hub to allocate the funding to reach all geographic areas within the district and help our local economy by safeguarding and creating jobs. There was no point in reinventing a wheel when a perfectly good one already existed.

"The coverage and impact we hoped for has certainly been achieved and this approach has resulted in making sure the best possible outcome could be achieved from the government funding."

Craig Humphrey, Managing Director of the CWLEP Growth Hub, said the delivery of The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) scheme was a real success story for Stratford District.

He said: "The strong partnerships between business organisations, local authorities, district and borough councils, and our universities is one of the strengths of Coventry and Warwickshire and during the pandemic, we had been working more closely with Stratford-on-Avon District Council.

"We approached micro, small and medium businesses that we had already dealt with or who were completely new to us that we felt could benefit from this funding to turn their post-Covid recovery plans into reality.

"We vetted each company for the commercial viability of their business plan, before visiting them and helping them with the application process.

"The result is a boost to the local economy since it has led to companies securing new contracts, employing more people or buying new machinery to reach their goals of pushing their businesses forward to a more certain future."

Any businesses wanting help, advice or support should contact the CWLEP Growth Hub on 0300 060 3747.

Contact details

Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire,
CV37 6HX
Tel: 01789 267575

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Last updated on 21/04/2022