A pioneering fund set up by the Western Morning News and Plymouth University to help South West businesses grow will receive a fresh cash injection of £3.9 million to create up to 500 jobs.
Ministers have confirmed that a bid to the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) from the University and the WMN to deliver grant funding to small and medium sized businesses has been successful.
The new fund is expected to create the new jobs in Cornwall, Devon and Somerset, including 323 directly, and a further 166 in the supply chain.
It is anticipated that around 75 local businesses will be supported with grants of between £25,000 and £125,000.
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The bid follows a previous Plymouth University and WMN Growth Fund (PWGF), which was awarded £1 million of RGF funding in August last year.
This has already created a total of 80 new jobs – smashing the target of 50 by 60%.
Professor Wendy Purcell, Vice-chancellor and Chief Executive of Plymouth University, said: "We are absolutely delighted to help drive economic growth in the far South West following the success of our first RGF programme."
WMN editor Bill Martin, said: "I'm delighted that the government has recognised the success of our partnership with Plymouth University over the last 12 months and has made available further funding that will make a significant impact on job creation."
Expressions of interest are expected to be invited before Christmas. The fund will open for business in the New Year.