Business Improvement Grant (BIG Fund)
The Angus Council Business Improvement Grant (BIG Fund) was designed to support businesses, from any sector, registered and based in Angus, with ambitions to innovate or diversify.
Businesses were invited to apply for awards of £2,000, £5,000, £8,000, £15,000 or £25,000, to enable them to:
- future proof their business
- ensure survival
- secure growth opportunities by being innovative
- promote economic recovery
- protect and enhance job security
- retain and potentially create jobs
The £600k fund was made possible following agreement with Scottish Government to use unallocated COVID -19 Discretionary Funds in order to support Angus businesses.
Dragon’s Den Pitches
Thirteen businesses in total applied for a £25,000 award, for which they had to pitch before a Dragon’s Den-style panel of local business leaders. Seven of these businesses were successful in receiving an award.
All applicants had to supply at least 25% contribution to their project.
Reekie Manufacturing sought funding to manufacture and supply nine new machines capable of sterilising soil and other materials on an economic and industrial scale. The pitch detailed how throughout Europe there are vast quantities of soils heavily infested with invasive weeds e.g. Japanese Knotweed, for which municipals throughout Europe are actively seeking a solution and treatment.
WeeCOOK sought funding for suitable business premises in addition to their existing cafe & restaurant at the WeeCOOK Kitchen with which to expand their offering to include increased pie and other baked produce production and distribution across Scotland and UK as well as bespoke event catering. This would allow them to double or treble the production of pies, employ more staff, distribute more and further afield and grow B2B sales.
Denfind Stone sought funding to purchase an automated 1600mm saw to complement their newly purchased paving production line, allowing them to cut larger slabs of sandstone from their quarry at Monikie and provide the size of cuts that the market and construction industry have demand for. This will reinstate the commercial production of Angus paving on a significant scale.
Reid Hydraulic Services sought funding to design and build a self propelled strawberry sprayer. The pitch detailed how poly tunnels used to grown strawberries create a unique challenge for farmers as there is no room to fit a conventional tractor into these, and tractors currently available for use in these environments are often basic and poorly perform. This creates an opening for a machine that can do the spraying more efficiently with less labour and training but most importantly with increased and possibly total crop protection.
Pullar Fishing sought funding for the purchase and installation of two Spencer Carter electrically powered marine davits/cranes for safe loading and unloading of fishing vessels moored at Ferryden, Montrose. These davits are currently in use in many harbours around the UK and Europe and have a long track record of helping fishermen, massively reducing loading and unloading effort therefore allowing fishermen more freedom of operation and allowing a more diverse catch which can be easily landing to shore.
Toll House Spirits sought funding to invest in a small-scale carbonated bottling & canning line (including pasteurization tank) to bring production of their popular Ready to Drink product in house, and to expand their offering within this growing sector. Previous Ready to Drink products were manufactured by a Glasgow based bottler, with high costs and minimum order volumes requiring significant sales throughput to avoid short dated stock. The kit would also enable the filling of sustainable refill pouches for the existing range of products.
Perfect Laundry sought funding to double the output of their laundry by installing further washing machines, tumble driers and a second 3 metre wide, 1.5m diameter roller dryer ironer in their premises at the Panmure Industrial Estate, Carnoustie. This would enable the business to double their output capacity and expand their workforce.
In addition to the seven £25k awards, there were more than 30 additional cash awards of £2000, £5000, £8000 or £15,000, made to various businesses throughout Angus, across a broad range of sectors.
JDT Services Ltd
Angus Council, along with their Business Gateway colleagues, will continue to work with the successful bidders and ensure that relevant and ongoing support can be provided through and beyond the Covid-19 recovery.
For those who were not successful, Business Gateway will also be contacting them separately to offer further help to move their projects forward.