Cllr Shoab Akhtar and Rick Scholes Published: Friday, 25th March 2022

Oldham Council has allocated £321,000 to 26 Oldham businesses to help get their growth plans back on track following the pandemic. 

Grants of between £3,000 and £20,000 have been distributed to help fund investments to help the businesses to expand. 

The scheme was launched in October 2021 to help businesses whose growth plans were affected or put on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Cllr Shoab Akhtar, Cabinet Member for Employment and Enterprise, said: "It is clear that we have some amazing independent businesses right here on our doorstep and we are so pleased to have been able to help so many of them after a difficult two years.  

“They all have ambitious growth plans, and as they grow, they hope to create new job opportunities for Oldhamers. 

“We wish them the best of luck for the future and look forward to seeing their businesses go from strength to strength.” 

The grants have resulted in around £848,000 of private sector investment and will support the creation of 150 new jobs.

Rick Scholes and Cllr Shoab Akhtar

 

Ice cream company Grandpa Greene's is among the businesses to benefit. They have used the cash to help fit out and purchase equipment to set up their new manufacturing facility at Oldham Mumps, which will increase production and enable the business to expand the manufacturing and wholesale side of the business. 

Rick Scholes, Managing Director at Grandpa Greene's, said: "We're really grateful to Oldham Council for supporting our vision to grow and expand our business in Oldham.

"We have outgrown our current manufacturing site in Diggle and the grant has helped us to get our new facility ready for opening. It will really help us to grow the business and with this we plan to increase our workforce from 40 employees to over 100 in the next 18 months."

The company is working with Oldham Council's Get Oldham Working team to help recruit new employees as the business grows.

Rick added: "We will create a wide range of new jobs from manufacturing to office and deliveries. We're also passionate about bringing young people into the business and look forward to creating apprenticeships too.

"We were established 17 years ago and we're really pleased to be growing our business in our home town and doing our bit to help help residents get new jobs and opportunities."

Rick Scholes and Cllr Shoab Akhtar

 

Other manufacturers have also been supported, such as Jet Metal, Clarksfield, who will put it towards a new press brake machine while Gemini uPVC Ltd, based at Arkwright Street, have bought and installed a new corner cleaner machine which will help clear a backlog of work and enable a more efficient production line. 

Defiance Spirits have been helped to buy a new labelling machine for their award-winning Lees-based distillery while Country Oven will also upgrade a packaging machine at their Greenacres bakery. 

Future Safety, Delph, creates helmets for Formula 1 and the emergency services and will use their grant to help fund a dedicated rig and tower for testing their equipment. 

The Growth Grant has also supported creatives like Purple Social to help them set up an in-house marketing studio while Cornerstone Design and Marketing have been able to get new finishing equipment for their printing room. 

Businesses could apply for a grant of up to 50% of total eligible costs – up to a maximum grant of £20,000. 

Priority was given to applications from the manufacturing, creative and digital sectors, those with a high economic impact (jobs) and that focus on innovation and carbon reduction (net zero). 

The Oldham Business Growth Fund was supported by the Additional Restrictions Grant – a Government grant distributed to councils to support businesses not covered by other grant schemes or where additional funding is needed.

The Growth Grant is now closed for applications but Oldham Council's business growth and investment team is on hand to support businesses of all sizes in Oldham.

This free and flexible support offer can make a real difference to your business. Much of this package is unique to the borough and includes grant funding, access to finance, growth advice, workforce development and networking opportunities. 

Whether you’re a start-up, established business, or looking to invest, we have account managers ready to provide you with tailor-made advice. For more information email invest@oldham.gov.uk 

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