Small and medium sized businesses are being told that they should take advantage of a new £7.25m fun titled the Escalator Fund that is being designed to help aid in their growth. The Escalator Fund was set up by the Thomas Valley Berkshire LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) in order to help boost growth locally in Reading.
The Fund is accessible by all new SMEs and can also be used to help established businesses get the funding they need in order to accelerate growth prospects. Chairman of TVB LEP, Steve Lamb, announced that the Escalator Fund is their response to the feedback they have heard from many Thames Valley Berkshire businesses during the last year of consultations that they have been running with SMEs.
He added that the purpose of the fund is to help many different types of businesses find the funs they need to in order to move forward with their business. He added that due to the current economic climate many new businesses and budding SMEs simply are not able to obtain funding from traditional sources or they are finding it difficult to secure funding.
Therefore, the TVB LEP hopes that businesses that have the potential for significant growth will apply for some of the funding so that they can help build employment opportunities in the area and help boost the economy of the region overall.
The fund will go live as of February 1st and will be managed by the FSE Group community interest company.
Thomas Valley LEP is choosing to use its £15m Growing Places Fund that it received from the Government in order to fund the new initiative and has committed about £10m to schemes already such as a Bracknell two centre regeneration project and a Western Rail Access expansion to Heathrow.