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News in brief – Winter edition

>> Work starts this month on a series of junction improvements along the A127 that will help manage traffic better along the main route into and out of the Borough.

These projects – which will see a major upgrade of the Kent Elms junction as well as minor changes to junctions on Victoria Avenue – have been made possible through central government funding, namely the Government`s Local Growth Fund (LGF) which the Council bid for on a competitive basis through the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP). As a condition of the funding the main highways works in both projects must be delivered by Spring next year.

>> The Small Business Minister has announced a new Enterprise Capital Fund, supported with £26 million from the Government-backed British Business Bank. Enterprise Capital Funds combine private and public money to make equity investments in high growth businesses.

The Active Enterprise Capital Fund (ECF) programme has a total budget of £40 million, specifically intended to help rapid growth business scale-up. Active Private Equity, which specialises in helping consumer-focused businesses grow their brands and build the infrastructure needed to scale up successfully, will run the fund.

Businesses looking for equity investment should note that this programme is about helping to establish funds.