A £3.7 MILLION fund to help businesses in the Solent area has opened, giving small and medium enterprises (SME) access to money to help them create jobs and grow.
The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has launched its Solent Advanced Manufacturing SME Fund.
The funding pot, previously known as the Solent Futures Fund, was originally only open to businesses directly within the supply chain of Portsmouth Naval Base.
From today (Monday), it has been extended to any SMEs in the Solent maritime, defence, aerospace, advanced manufacturing and general services support for the defence and advanced manufacturing cluster supply chains.
The limit available for individual companies has also been raised from £300,000 to a maximum of £500,000.
Solent LEP senior account manager Steve Futter said: "The Solent has a strong specialism in defence industries and we need to ensure that for decades to come.
"This fund aims to safeguard and develop the industry, creating new jobs, safeguarding existing ones, exploiting innovative business models, improving competitiveness and increasing export business.
"We would urge any eligible SME to get in touch and take advantage of this opportunity."
Application documents are available at www.solentlep.org.uk