The ‘Northamptonshire HPT Investment Programme’ is now open for expressions of interest from relevant companies with the aim of supporting growth in the £2bn sector in Northamptonshire.
The programme is financed through a successful bid by NEP to the Government’s £2.6bn Regional Growth Fund (RGF). The RGF operates across England (2011-2016) supporting projects and programmes that lever private sector investment to create economic growth and sustainable employment.
Dr. Cable launched the fund at The Northamptonshire Engineering Symposium, an integral part of Northamptonshire Science and Engineering Week, which took place at The University of Northampton.
Held in partnership with the university, the week was designed to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers through schemes like apprenticeships and to promote the innovative engineering industry in the county.
HPT hub has real potential for growth
Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, said: “Northamptonshire’s High Performance Technologies hub has real potential for growth so I’m delighted to be launching this fund financed by the Regional Growth Fund.
The government is trying to decentralise decision-making on matters affecting local economic development. Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership, with its local expertise and knowledge, is particularly well placed to fund sustainable projects.
Home to over 1,000 businesses
Northamptonshire is currently home to over 1,000 businesses in HPT, a sector which has developed from the county’s strong history and links to motorsport.
The subsequent diversification of the sector has grown to incorporate a wide range of HPT companies operating in sectors such as defence, aerospace, marine, construction and renewables and is estimated to be worth over £2bn to the local economy. It includes the design and manufacture of innovative technologies, engines and products.
The industry, of which 80% are SMEs, has been identified as a key sector for future business and employment growth. The £1.2mn fund secured by NEP will further boost HPT in the county, directly supporting new and expanding companies and enabling the industry to generate 300 new jobs and leverage a minimum of £3.6m of private sector investment.
An incredibly important industry
Tim Bagshaw, Head of Investment at NEP said: “HPT is an incredibly important industry to the Northamptonshire economy and with such a large proportion of the industry being smaller businesses, it has powerful potential to grow.
Having worked closely with the sector for a number of years here at NEP, we have identified that access to finance is a major restraint to growth so we’re delighted to launch such a considerable fund to help address this issue.
We have secured this funding to directly address these problems and help businesses in the county create and safeguard jobs and to continue to grow and innovate.”
Nick Petford, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Northampton said: “Northamptonshire Science and Engineering Week is designed to support and encourage the future talent of the sector in the county.
We’re excited to see the Northamptonshire HPT Investment Programme launching as part of the week which will support the innovative growing businesses which are so important to the future success of the industry in Northamptonshire.”
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