Firms poised to pounce on £20million interest free TIGER funding
by business editor Trevor Sturgess
Businesses could soon be getting their claws on £20million of
interest-free TIGER funding to help them create jobs and
The day after the Chancellor
announced several measures to kick-start enterprises
- including a £2,000 National Insurance exemption and a 1% cut
in Corporation Tax to 20% - business leaders were told about a
new source of funding in north Kent, Medway and Thurrock.
TIGER – Thames Gateway Innovation, Growth and Enterprise – was
launched by Kent County Council in Princes Park, Dartford
A similar event for Medway firms was being held in Medway
Innovation Centre later in the day.
The finance is coming from the government's Regional Growth
TIGER will offer interest-free loans to businesses investing in
new products and services, and creating jobs. It aims to lever in
further investment from the private sector.
The initial targets are media, ICT, manufacturing, technology
development, environmental and low carbon businesses.
The new scheme is run by Thames Gateway Kent Partnership (TGKP)
with council partners Gravesham, Swale, Dartford, Thurrock, Medway
and Kent County Council, as well as backing from local
KCC leader Paul Carter (pictured right) said: "Investing in
businesses in north Kent will mean jobs, it will bring growth and
it will deliver real opportunities in an area that will benefit
Rob Bennett, TGKP chairman, said: "Successfully unlocking £20m
of government funding for TIGER to support the growth of local
businesses, shows the power of the local authorities and private
sector working in partnership. TIGER is another important step
towards unlocking the potential of the Thames Gateway by creating
new high-value jobs and growth in our key industry sectors."
Mark Dance, KCC cabinet member for regeneration and economic
development, said the funding would transform businesses and
"kick-start the economy".
Meanwhile, £35m of RGF funding is being invested in the
Expansion East Kent scheme, and £5m for rail improvements between
Ashford and Ramsgate.