T-Plan, based on the Tolvaddon Energy Park near Camborne, has received £150,000 to invest in staff recruitment and the launch of a new product, creating eight new jobs over the next two years.
The loan is among £600,000 of investments that have been approved since the fund was launched three months ago, and T-Plan is the first company to receive its money. In that time the fund has received more than 200 enquires and almost 80 applications are being progressed.
The £10 million fund was set up by the South West RDA (Regional Development Agency) to help growth-orientated businesses with viable business plans. The money is provided by the RDA (£3.75m) and the European Regional Development Fund through the ERDF Convergence Programme in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (£3.75m) and the ERDF Competiveness Programme for the rest of the region (£2.5m).
Stephen Bohane, head of business development for the South West RDA in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: “T-Plan is exactly the sort of business the loan fund was set up to support. They have excellent products and a growing international blue-chip client base but like many companies in the current market they need help accessing finance.”
T-Plan was founded in 1990 and specialises in testing software to help clients get the most from their IT systems. The business employs 11 full time staff and clients include the Bank of England, Virgin Mobile, BAe Systems and Xerox. Chief executive Steve Marshall said: “I strongly believe that Cornwall should be the home of software in the UK, our very own Silicon Valley. With a great working environment, sensible cost base and the ability to sell products globally through broadband at the push of a button, Cornwall has the perfect opportunity to develop a vibrant new industry sector and I’m delighted that T-Plan is one of the first companies in the region to benefit from this valuable new source of working capital that will enable us to maximise new market opportunities.”
The South West Loans Fund is overseen by South West Investment Group (Capital) Ltd whose chief executive John Berry said: “Our fund managers have seen strong demand for the loan fund and we are delighted to be announcing our first investment. We’ve approved £600,000 of loans so far and other announcements will follow once contracts have been signed. We are targeting investment at those businesses with real potential to make a difference to the regional economy and have been impressed by the quality of proposals coming forward to our fund managers.”
Carleen Kelemen, director of the Convergence Partnership Office, said: “This is one of a raft of products supported by ERDF Convergence and on offer to businesses in Cornwall. It will boost business expansion and economic growth – two clear aims of the Convergence Programmes.”
Businesses interested in funding out more about the loan fund should contact Business Link on 0845 600 9966 or visit www.businesslink.gov.uk/southwest
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