Job creation fund opens for applicants

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Young businesses and social enterprises in Mid Argyll are being invited to apply for funding from the region’s development agency.

Businesses with up to 250 full-time equivalent employees looking to increase productivity, innovation and employment in the region, can apply to the third round of the Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) Young Business Capital Investment Grant (YBCIG)

A previous recipient, Argyll Coffee Roasters, was awarded £10,751 by HIE.

Based in Tighnabruaich on the Cowal peninsula, founder Eve Macfarlane operates a coffee roasting enterprise, selling roasted speciality coffee to wholesale and trade customers and to customers online.

The project has enabled her to buy new equipment to help produce more coffee for sale which has resulted in the creation of a new post to support the growth of the business.

Together, the previous rounds have resulted in awards totalling £2.2m, generated around 160 full time equivalent jobs and increased business turnover by more than £21m.

Businesses interested in applying must be less than five years old, operate within a defined range of growth sectors and have a clear ambition to work outwith local markets.

The scheme can provide grant funding of up to 50 per cent of eligible costs for capital equipment and works. The maximum grant available is £100,000.

YBCIG aims to accelerate business growth, increase their contribution to the local economy and help to create new jobs.

The fund is open to anyne who can demonstrate creating and retaining well paid or green jobs as well as increasing efficiency and outputs or focusing on sustainability and growth.

Rachel Hunter, director of service delivery at HIE, said: ‘We had a great response in the first two rounds of funding. Opening this up again will provide the incentive needed to assist more young businesses to move their plans forward, expand their impact on the local economy and contribute to the speed of the recovery.’

More details on eligibility and applying are on the HIE website at:

YBCIG closes for expressions of interest at noon on July 29.