Three Hampshire-based companies have beaten off stiff competition to net £20.6 million of new investment that is set to create 731 new jobs.
Hedge End’s SPI Lasers UK Ltd, and Hamble’s GE Aviation Systems and Fianium Limited have all had their applications for government funding accepted, as part of the Regional Growth Fund, and fought off strong competition from around the South East to obtain the funding.
This will see 731 new jobs, with government funding matched by private sector investment to see over £20 million of new investment in the region.
This follows last year's successful Regional Growth Fund bid from Solent LEP, in partnership with the Daily Echo and Southampton City Council. The bid provided £2 million in funding for the second phase of the successful Bridging the Gap funding programme, helping SMEs and startup businesses and creating or safeguarding up to 200 jobs over the next three years. This included much needed support for individuals and supply chain SMEs affected by the closure of the Ford Plant in Southampton, with a dedicated £500,000 Ford Impact Fund.
Commenting, local MP Mike Thornton said:
"This jobs boost is brilliant news for our area, and is further demonstration of the positive ‘go-getting’ attitude of local companies, making things happen and creating jobs. I’ve seen first-hand the extraordinary ground-breaking work being done by companies like SPI Lasers, and I’m sure this investment will help the local economy grow.
"The Regional Growth Fund is an important part of the Liberal Democrat efforts in the Coalition Government to build a stronger economy in a fairer society.
"Already the Regional Growth Fund has made a real difference in our area. The funding for the Bridging the Gap programme, including the £500,000 Ford Impact Fund, is already helping local SMEs and startup businesses, creating or safeguarding up to 200 jobs over the next three years.
"While Labour went on a prawn cocktail offensive in the City of London, they forgot to invest in the rest of Britain. By investing in jobs and growth in Hampshire, Liberal Democrats are rebalancing the economy to end our over-reliance on financial speculators in London and give areas like ours a fair share of investment.
"Today’s news is a great sign that this approach is working, and I will be working with local business to ensure we get the best out of the Regional Growth Fund and create sustainable jobs now and in the future."