SparkFund ready to pump a further £2.5m into regional economy

Dr McGowan

The University of Hull’s SparkFund, which delivers business grants and support, has been awarded additional funding from the European Structural and Investment Fund and the European Regional Development Fund.

The extra  funding, totalling almost £2.5 million, will support the competitiveness and innovation of regional SMEs within through a scheme of Innovation Vouchers and R&D grants within the North Yorkshire and Humber regions.

The funding – £1,075,105 towards Innovation Voucher schemes, and £1,330,584 in R&D grants – will have to be matched by businesses.

University of Hull’s Director of Research and Innovation Dr Maggie McGowan said: “The additional funding awarded is a testament to the success of SparkFund and the impact of the support the team provides to SMEs in the Region. We are very much looking forward to further contributing to regional growth by stimulating investment in research and innovation. ”

Steve Gregory, Chair of SparkFund’s independent awards panel and Head of Regional Engagement at the University of Huddersfield said: “This wonderful news showcases the exceptional efforts from the SparkFund team, and the tangible impact that the funding is having on the North Yorkshire and Humber region. It’s amazing that SMEs are getting the opportunity to receive match funding and it’s something SMEs in the region should be extremely excited about.”

This extra funding will allow the already successful SparkFund to support many more eligible SMEs within the region and help them unlock their potential for innovation and R&D over a longer period. This funding permits an extension from 31st August 2019 to 31st December 2021.