By Joshua Robinson –
Small businesses across West Yorkshire’s rural communities are starting to benefit from a new £2.5 million Rural Fund, Mayor Tracy Brabin has announced.
With awards up to £50,000 to help rural businesses develop new products, purchase machinery and improve facilities, Mayor Tracy Brabin made her first award to Birkwood Plant Training in Crofton, Wakefield – a construction training business with a 20-year heritage.
On a visit to the family-run business, the Mayor learned how the investment would create two new jobs and a purpose-built training facility, with plans to work with local suppliers, and appoint local tradespeople to make the improvements.
Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, said: “Rural businesses are vital to our wider economy, and I’m thrilled that communities are starting to benefit from our fund.”
“It’s fantastic that our support for Birkwood will allow more people to be trained in the construction sector and boost well-paid jobs.”
“This will help us to build a stronger, brighter West Yorkshire that works for all.”
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Managing Director Birkwood Plant Training, Sally Ramskill, said: “Birkwood Plant Training Ltd is a small but dynamic family business, and we have significant challenges to business growth, particularly in terms of space for training delivery, and the purchase and upkeep of plant and equipment.”
“The fund has supported us to invest further in the business and provide excellent new enhanced training facilities and resources to strengthen our offering to our clients. The level of investment would not have been possible without this support.”
The Mayor has so far approved over £230,000 of grants through West Yorkshire’s £2.5 million Rural England Prosperity Fund, which will be distributed among seven businesses and is expected to create an additional 12 jobs.
With more set to be approved over the coming months and with applications still open, small businesses of up to 50 employees based in rural areas of West Yorkshire can apply for awards of up to £50,000.
These projects are part-funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and delivered in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, as part of Mayor Tracy Brabin’s ambition to make West Yorkshire the best place to live, work or run a business.
For more information and to apply, visit: westyorks-ca.gov.uk/rural-fund.