Thursday, July 11, 2013

News: Beatson Clark secures government funding for growth


Rotherham glass manufacturer, Beatson Clark, is set to create more jobs after it was extended a conditional offer from the government for a slice of the Regional Growth Fund (RGF).

The RGF is the government's main source of funding for economic development and regeneration. In the latest round, half a billion pounds of investment will help to rebalance the economy by supporting 102 different projects and programmes from all sectors, small businesses and local partnerships across England.

Beatson Clark has been successful in a bid for some of the £314m that the government is making available directly to the private sector. The glassmaker will need to match it with their own investment and create economic growth and sustainable employment.

Formed in 1751 in Rotherham, the £44m-turnover firm employs over 300 people at its Greasborough Road factory and recently celebrated its 260th anniversary. It specialises in providing glass packaging solutions for niche brands in the food, drink and pharmaceutical markets worldwide and manufacture glass containers for a wide range of household brands, including Crabbie's, Bell's Buttercup, Lyle's Golden Syrup and Lemsip.

Part of the Newship Group of private companies, Beatson Clark recently completed £10m of investments in Rotherham, including a new white flint furnace that has a daily capacity of approximately 200 tonnes of glass. The site's production capacity is around 496 million units or 88,000 tonnes.

The Round 4 pot was increased to £506m from the original £350m announced. This comes from recycling existing RGF money which has been previously allocated to a project or programme but the amount of investment changed or the bid was subsequently withdrawn.

Also given a conditional offer is the second bid for £25m led by the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to "top-up" the Unlocking Business Investment programme.

Around 65 projects are currently part of the first £25m wave of the programme, with the first contracts being signed in April 2013 set to unlock over £100m of direct business investment, leading to further private sector growth.

During the bidding process, the LEP said that it will focus its funding on supporting growing businesses in the modern manufacturing and technology sectors in the Sheffield city region.

Deputy Prime Minister and Sheffield MP, Nick Clegg, said: "I'm extremely proud to have found extra money to invest in projects across the country that have plans for the future and want to recruit local talent that will make their businesses better."

Business Secretary Vince Cable, added: "In tough economic times we need successful schemes such as the Regional Growth Fund which has been vital in stimulating private investment that would otherwise not have gone ahead. We have already helped over 2,600 SMEs through RGF programmes and recently announced a further £600m RGF funding to be available from 2015 so that we can continue to support British business and manufacturing."

Beatson Clark website
Sheffield City Region LEP website

Images: Beatson Clark


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