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£1.9 million to help businesses Pivot and Prosper through Covid-19

Published on Wednesday, 21 October 2020

£1.9 million has been awarded to 52 companies across the Greater Birmingham area, including Solihull to help adapt their business models in response to the economic impact of Covid-19.  149 jobs have been created as a result of the Pivot and Prosper grant and a further 499 jobs have been safeguarded. Businesses have been awarded up to £40,000 match funding each.

The Pivot and Prosper Grant Fund was launched by the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) as part of the first phase of the Step Forward campaign – a series of schemes set up to help support businesses in key strategic sectors; Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering, Business Professional & Financial Services, Creative Industries, Energy & Low Carbon, Life Sciences and Food & Drink. GBSLEP has allocated just over 2 million pounds in Phase One of the Step Forward Campaign and committed a further 1.7 million pounds for programmes to help businesses in Phase 2.  In Solihull 5 businesses have benefitted, 30 jobs have been created and 118 safeguarded as a result of the Pivot and Prosper Grant.

One of the firms that has been helped is CNG Services Ltd in Olton. The company provides independent design, consultancy and project management services for biomethane and biogas products. The Pivot and Prosper Grant will enable CNG Services Ltd to develop a business opportunity that involves taking waste and using this to make compressed biomethane (CBM). CBM can then be used to fuel trucks. It replaces diesel, which is much better for the environment, improves air quality and  lowers greenhouse gas emissions by around 90%. It is hoped that the idea will help secure new projects and over the next 2 years as well as meeting Birmingham’s net zero targets. In addition, jobs will be secured and, if the project is a success, new ones created.

John Baldwin, Managing Director of CNG Services Ltd said ‘’ Covid-19 has impacted our business adversely in 2020 but we are using new technology and the Pivot and Prosper Fund to try and improve the business so that in two or three years’ time we’ll look back and say we did manage to get through it and we are in a good place.’’

‘’This year we will hopefully break even. The funding from the GBSLEP has allowed us to find some additional resources to move our project forward which we wouldn’t have been able to afford at this time.’’

Katie Trout, Director of GBSLEP said “Our economy has been severely impacted by Covid-19 and the GBSLEP has been determined to play its part in supporting businesses through these unprecedented times. We’ve worked closely with partners across the private, public and academic sectors to develop a suite of interventions to help organisations to respond to the challenges created by the pandemic and adapt their working practices, products and business models”.

“I am really pleased that 52 businesses will benefit from £1.9m of grants from our Pivot and Prosper programme. As a result, hundreds of jobs have been created and safeguarded across the LEP’s geography. The levels of innovation shown by the successful businesses have been hugely impressive. The exciting projects that this funding will enable are testament to the creativity and resilience of the individuals involved”.

‘This is an incredibly difficult time for businesses across the region and we will continue to work closely with them to ensure we can emerge from Covid-19 to secure inclusive economic growth together. We have more support on the way between now and the end of the year and I encourage businesses to take your step forward with us.’

For further information about the ongoing Step Forward Campaign go to www.yourstepforward.co.uk

For more information about support available to your business, go to www.gbslepgrowthhub.co.uk

For further information, please contact Satnam Rana-Grindley or Katie Fulcher by emailing gbslepcommsteam@gbslep.co.uk or call 0121 758 5690. Filming opportunities are available.

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council
European Union Investing in Your Future
Telephone 0121 704 6151
Email business@solihull.gov.uk
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