The Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) area is set to be one of the regions benefitting from a multi-million pound government cash injection to boost marine and maritime sectors.
The Great South West, a coalition made up of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) across Dorset, Devon, Somerset, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, has been named as the country’s ‘Marine and Maritime Launchpad,’ recognising its ongoing leadership in the field.
As a part of the programme, £7.5m in funding has been allocated to help bolster further growth and innovation in marine and maritime sectors across the South West.
This funding aims to support The Great South West in unlocking the potential of the region’s sustainable green and blue economies, boosting the economy by up to £45 billion and creating 190,000 new jobs by 2035.
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UK-registered small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) can now apply for between £25,000 and £1m in funding to help deliver outstanding nautical projects and innovations in the region, supporting the government’s Levelling-Up objectives.
Councillor Vikki Slade, Leader of BCP Council and Portfolio Holder for Dynamic Places, said:
“Earning this investment is a huge achievement for our region, which has a rich legacy in the marine and maritime sectors and will continue to spearhead innovation in this industry as the nation’s Launchpad moving forward.
“I encourage applicable local businesses to apply for funding, which could be used to help conceptualise, construct and deliver projects that create new opportunities and economic growth in our area, while helping to benefit and protect our coastal environment and communities.”
The competition opened on 23 October and applications can be submitted until 11am on 6 December 2023.
Successful projects should last between six and 18 months, start no earlier than 1 April 2024 and complete by 30 March 2026. Projects will also help ‘contribute to the South West’s net zero targets’ and ‘support key regional strategic marine and maritime markets.’
Successful applicants will also benefit from access to specialist support, as well as opportunities to network and collaborate with other businesses.