Growing and innovative businesses in East Cambridgeshire are being encouraged to apply for a grant of up to £30,000.

Businesses can use the money to create or safeguard jobs, bring new products to market or use it to invest in new technologies, process and measures to improve productivity.

Grants will be made from two funding streams provided to East Cambridgeshire District Council by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority.

So far, £208,000 has been allocated from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and £102,511 through the Rural England Prosperity Fund.

The programme is open to any existing small to medium-sized enterprises within the district with an annual turnover of less than £10 million.

Applicant businesses should have in place a strong business plan that demonstrates how the business will grow and how the funding will be used to support this growth.

Where applicable, the plan should also indicate how funding will support the business to respond to market changes and how it will be of benefit to the wider local economy.

Businesses can apply for the funding between April 1 and September 27 and successful grants will be awarded within six weeks of a full application being received. Interested businesses can submit an Expression of Interest form from April 1.

The minimum award available to any successful applicant is £5000 and the maximum award is £30,000.

Access to grant funding for businesses who are approved will be up to a maximum of 80% of the total project cost.

Cllr Alan Sharp, Chair of the council’s Finance and Assets Committee, which approved the funding, said: “We are delighted to once again be in a position of encouraging local businesses to invest in East Cambridgeshire.

“We are particularly keen to hear from enterprises that want to grow or expand, helping to create new jobs and invest in technology and processes for the future.

“Our last funding pot exceeded £600,000 and supported the growth of 30 businesses including Cathedral View Childcare, Studio Nova, Mill Rose Telecom and Demcom.”

More information, including eligibility criteria and the application form, can be found on the council’s website