Black Country businesses are being given the chance to access grants and support to help them grow thanks to a unique scheme.

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funded Black Country: Growth Opportunities Local Delivery (BC GOLD) in Key Sectors scheme is offering small to medium sized enterprises across the region the opportunity to apply for revenue and capital grants and receive tailored advice to help them exploit growth opportunities.

The £1.96 million project, which is being delivered by Wolverhampton City Council on behalf of the Black Country local authorities and the University of Wolverhampton, will allow firms to apply for a grant for up to £16,000, which they must match fund, to invest in their businesses so they have the capacity to expand.

Support through BC GOLD will come through expert one to one assessments and diagnostics to look at barriers to growth and how they can be overcome.

Businesses will then be directed to workshops where they will get guidance, assistance and further support and advice from business specialists.

Only businesses in the advanced manufacturing, building technologies, business services, environmental technologies and transport technologies - including aerospace - sectors, are eligible to apply.

Councillor Peter Bilson, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration and Prosperity, said: "This is an excellent scheme aimed at giving a helping hand for businesses that want to expand.

"As well as attracting new businesses to the area, we want to see existing companies prosper and grow.

"Businesses that want to boost their turnover and potentially create new jobs should be encouraged and BC GOLD should give them the confidence, support and financial backing to realise their ambitions."

Norman Price, Deputy Chair of the West Midlands ERDF's Local Management Committee, added: "Often small businesses have the desire to grow but struggle to take forward these aspirations due to a lack of capacity and infrastructure. This project seeks to overcome these barriers helping businesses to innovate, modernise and be competitive.

"Through this ERDF supported project, workshops, tailored support and grants will help local businesses in the Black Country realise and achieve their growth potential."

For more information about the Black Country: Growth Opportunities Local Delivery (GOLD) in Key Sectors scheme, please contact Laura King on 01902 554031 or email

  • released: Tuesday 13 August, 2013