ENTERPRISE bosses in North Yorkshire are urging small and medium-sized businesses to apply for special grants if they want to expand after 130 jobs were created in the latest round of hand outs.

The York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership helped several local firms get grants through their business programme set up with money from the government's Regional Growth Fund.

Thirsk Furniture secured a £5,000 grant and put the money towards the purchase of new machinery to make higher quality products faster. This helped the business take on new work and increase staff.

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At the Great Yorkshire Brewery in Cropton, near Pickering, 17 new jobs were created after the Partnership contributed £150,000 towards a scheme to help the business expand to meet demand particularly from existing export markets in China, South Africa and Japan

The programme is targeted at small, medium and micro businesses and covers the capital costs of up to 20 per cent of projects with grants ranging from £5,000 to £1million on offer.

David Kerfoot, vice chairman of the Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The challenges that rural small and micro businesses face means that they need support that can address those issues.

"That’s why we’ve fought to support small-scale projects and have a dedicated fund manager who can go out to those businesses and help them through their application. If businesses do want to expand and do want our support, now’s the time for them to get in touch.”

The programme has about five months left to run. Businesses can find out more about the grant programme at www.businessinspiredgrowth.com/bgp