£500,000 boost will help create local jobs

Projects in East Sussex that will create local jobs and apprenticeships have been given a £500,000 funding boost.

A total of 10 applicants were successful in their bid for a share of East Sussex County Council’s Social Business Investment Fund.

Social enterprises were invited to apply for financial help in delivering projects that would create jobs for disadvantaged or vulnerable adults and young people, provide a social or environmental benefit for East Sussex, or create volunteering opportunities.

“We are happy to be able to help social enterprises expand and create new and sustainable jobs,” said Cllr Rupert Simmons, the county council’s lead member for economy.

“These businesses play a vital role in helping to boost the economy in East Sussex.”

East Sussex County Council received 27 applications from social enterprises totalling £1.2 million and all applications were presented to a panel made up of representatives of the council, voluntary sector and the business community.

Between them, the 10 successful projects are expected to create 25 jobs, 21 apprenticeships and 65 volunteering opportunities – donations have included: Age UK East Sussex received a £44,000 grant and £36,000 loan to expand and create new jobs; East Sussex Butchery Apprentice School received £39,000 towards a butchery training school; East Sussex Credit Union was awarded £90,000 for an expansion of services in East Sussex; ESDA Coach Services Limited received £30,000 to expand; Furniture Now will expand and relocate thanks to an £80,000 grant.

The not-for-profit loans and savings cooperative currently has more than 4,000 members who have savings of more than £1.5 million.

Richard Priestman, president of East Sussex Credit Union, said, “We are very pleased to get this funding from East Sussex County Council.

“It will allow us to create jobs, volunteering opportunities and extend our savings and loans, and other services across the county.”

For more information about grants and loans available to business, social enterprises and organisations in East Sussex, visit www.eastsussex.gov.uk/business/developing/finance/grants.htm