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County Durham Growth Fund injects £225k cash boost to create manufacturing jobs

The County Durham Growth Fund has awarded grants of nearly quarter of a million to two manufacturers from across the county, helping to create over 30 jobs.

Established in April 2019, the fund is a £8.9m capital grant scheme providing grants to small and medium enterprises in County Durham to accelerate their growth.

Each of the companies have secured a sizeable investment grant to enable them to purchase new equipment, increase their capacity, improve efficiency or expand into new markets and create 33 new jobs between them.

The successful businesses include close-proximity radiography pioneers SafeRad Ltd, and innovative modular housebuilder CoreHaus.

SafeRad Ltd has been awarded a £175,000 grant to purchase new specialist equipment and machinery to allow them to produce a new product from their site in Meadowfield and expand its existing operations.

This will open a new revenue stream for the business and lead to the creation of 20 new hi-tech roles, as well as enabling the firm to grow the export side of the business.

Modular house builder CoreHaus, plans to use its £50,000 grant to accelerate expansion plans and has secured a manufacturing facility at Jade Business Park near Murton to start production of its unique modular homes. As part of its scale-up plans, the firm will be creating 16 production jobs at its new site.

The capital grant funding supports both established and new businesses who are looking to either expand or set up new operations in County Durham.

Cllr Carl Marshall, cabinet member for economic regeneration at Durham County Council, said: “While we continue to navigate the economic impact of COVID-19 it is particularly important to support businesses to grow and thrive, while creating and safeguarding jobs. We hope the County Durham Growth Fund will continue to play a vital part in enabling businesses to invest and expand their operations in the county.”

Malcolm Wass, Managing Director of SafeRad said: “SafeRad Ltd has pioneered radiation safety around the world and has developed novel materials and equipment that is now recognised as the gold standard. The offer of funding from County Durham Growth Fund has given SafeRad Ltd the impetus to install a state-of-the art nuclear “hot cell” for handling radioactive sources to develop existing business and expand into new markets. It has given the company the ability to develop new equipment and offer new and interesting jobs in R&D and manufacturing that would otherwise have been impossible.”

Sarah Slaven, Business Durham’s interim Managing Director, said: “We are delighted to be able to fund these two businesses’ capital investment projects and help each of them to achieve their ambitions through expanding into new markets, becoming more efficient and increasing their workforce. These projects demonstrate the range of manufacturing companies which we are able to support through the County Durham Growth Fund.”

The fund overseen by Business Durham, the economic development arm of Durham County Council, is being delivered in partnership with UMi, which has a dedicated team of advisors ready to help with initial eligibility checks and funding applications. All successful grants applications are appraised by UNW LLP, an independent firm of chartered accountants and business advisors. The funding has been secured from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

Simon Allen, Investment Centre Director at UMi, said: “It’s a privilege to be able to support these two great businesses, which demonstrate what a wide range of business activity there is in County Durham.  Here we have examples of businesses providing products and services nationwide and internationally, growing and creating new jobs despite the unprecedented challenges in the economy at the present time.”

To check eligibility and get help with the application process contact UMi on either 0191 7161006 or 07443 231757, or visit


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