University Fund Creates 1,000 Jobs

Bondholder The University of Derby has supported the creation of more than 1,000 jobs in key growth sectors across the East Midlands since launching its Invest to Grow funding scheme in 2014.

More than a quarter of the new jobs have been created in Derbyshire, including roles in transport equipment manufacturing, life sciences, construction, food and drink manufacturing, logistics, engineering and low carbon sectors.

It is a major milestone for the fund, which through a re-circulating finance scheme, provides a combination of loans and grants to SMEs to support specific projects. These are typically related to businesses growing, developing or improving their products and related services, as well as creating new and sustainable jobs.

Mr Hari Punchihewa, Deputy Chief-Executive and Finance Director of the University, said: “I’m delighted that the scheme managed by the University with an independent panel has reached this impressive milestone.

“The funding from Invest to Grow provides much needed financial support to businesses across the East Midlands and has had a significant economic impact over several key growth sectors. Alongside the ongoing Invest to Grow scheme and the additional support to SMEs from the University, we can expect to see further job creation and growth in the wider business community.”

The University was originally awarded a total of £16.35m in funding by the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) for its Invest to Grow scheme. This is not the end of the scheme however. As this is a re-circulating finance scheme, there is still recycled loan funding to be repaid into the scheme and recirculated to new projects.