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Council loans scheme for businesses

Rebecca Wilkinson

Jan. 10, 2019

Allerdale Borough Council is giving local businesses a boost with a new loans scheme.  

The council receives £500,000 from Sellafield on an annual basis as the Social Impact Investment Fund (SIIF). This money is designed to provide socio-economic investment into the borough. 

Local businesses can now benefit from a new loans scheme which the council has set up with Penrith-based finance firm Enterprise Answers. The scheme allows businesses to apply for between £10,000 and £75,000 to help them with any expansion plans.  

And the loan scheme is already helping local businesses, with three companies taken up the offer to a value of £155,000. 

The council is providing £250,000 from the SIIF grant, and the loans will be administered on its behalf by Enterprise Answers. The interest rate on the loans will be between 6% and 12% depending on the size of the loan, its length and any risks associated with it.   

Enterprise Answers can also help businesses secure other funding too.  

Mark Fryer, Executive Member with responsibility for economic development said: “These schemes are really important to us and are designed to make best use of the money we have available to help local businesses grow. I’d encourage everyone who has an idea, or who wants to expand their current business, to get in touch.”   

Grahame Latus from Enterprise Answers added: “The new loan fund is a welcome initiative which demonstrates the Council’s desire, coupled with the expertise of Enterprise Answers, for Allerdale based SME’s to access the finance they require to unleash their potential and add to the economic value of the region through growth and expansion.” 

Mike Hawkins, Director at MPM North West based in Maryport, who has made use of the scheme said: “This is an excellent scheme, which is easy to apply for and will be a real help to business in the area. For us, we have taken a loan to help us fulfil a new contract. This in turn will help create ten new jobs at MPM. Which is good news for us, our employees and the local community of Maryport.”  

More information on the loans scheme, and other help for local businesses, can be found via the council’s website: www.allerdale.gov.uk/invest and follow the links marked “SIIF grant”.