As part of British Business Bank UK Finance Week, we are promoting a number of articles and case studies to showcase the variety of finance and business support available through WCC.

This article focuses on the Duplex Investment Fund, which was introduced in 2019, and is a combined grant and loan initiative jointly managed by Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), the Coventry & Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust (CWRT), Warwickshire County Council, Coventry City Council and Midland Engine.

More than 160 jobs have been created or saved thanks to this innovative scheme which was launched to help businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire find the investment they need to grow.

The project is funded by £3.9 million in grants from the government’s Local Growth Fund and Places to Grow Fund, distributed and managed by CWLEP. Warwickshire County Council and Coventry City Council have both invested an additional £2million in the CWRT-run scheme.

The CWRT has supported 22 businesses across Warwickshire, creating or saving 162 jobs.

They also loaned £1,578,598 and gave £469,496 in grants to businesses in the county such as Beer & Coffee Co. and Bear Cleaning.

Case study: Beer & Coffee Co.

Beer & Coffee Co has received £75,000 from the Duplex investment fund after investing £160,000 to open its fourth pub, the Lazy Pug, which has five en-suite bedrooms, a restaurant and a cafe in Shipston-on-Stour. Duplex’s financing also enabled the creation of 18 jobs.

Matt Crowther, Director at Pugs Pubs, said: “The Duplex Investment Fund has made a significant difference as we couldn’t have opened the Lazy Pug without it.

“Having the loan and the grant meant we could refurbish the whole pub and kitchen as well as create five bedrooms and business is going very well. Bookings for the summer are looking very good and business has been growing slowly but steadily. »

Sheridan Sulskis, chief executive of CWRT, said feedback from companies that have been helped by the Duplex investment fund has been overwhelmingly positive.

“The loans and grants that the CWRT has given to businesses in a wide range of sectors across Coventry and Warwickshire have reached over £2.3 million, underscoring the success of this innovative scheme,” it said. she stated.

“Pugs Pubs is a perfect example of a business that has grown with this available funding and is creating jobs that are boosting our economy and encouraging innovation.”

Case Study: Bear Cleanup

An entrepreneurial family business, Bear Cleaning, was started by former Warwickshire police officer Ted Hunter and his wife, Kate, who was a social worker, in Kenilworth in 2017.

The exterior cleaning business focuses on cleaning roofs, driveways, patios, gutters and roller bins for domestic properties in the Warwick, Southam, Cawston district and parts of Coventry. They also provide jetting, gutter clearing, steam cleaning and bin cleaning for the commercial sector in Warwickshire and the West Midlands.

Ted spotted an opportunity to complement existing collection services provided by district and borough councils and increase the range of collection options for customers.

After meeting CWLEP Chair Sarah Windrum through a peer-to-peer networking program, she put Kate in touch with the CWLEP Growth Hub, who advised her to speak to the Coventry & Warwickshire Reinvestment team. Trust (CWRT).

They recommended that Bear Cleaning apply to the Duplex investment fund. Kate successfully applied for a loan of £41,500 and a grant of £16,600 from the scheme to purchase a 3.5 tonne lorry to provide Bear Cleaning’s new service in Warwick and Stratford-upon-Avon.

Kate said: “It was great to meet LEP who were really encouraging about our plans for the business.

“We have three members of staff and we are currently recruiting a fourth because we are very busy and want to continue to grow as we receive a lot of requests and we have established excellent relationships with our customers.

“Ted spotted a gap in the market for households who may want more regular collections. I did a lot of detailed market research and realized we needed to buy a small truck – similar to the type you see with a cage to pick up garbage bags in parks – so I contacted the Growth Hub and then the CWRT to apply for the Duplex investment fund.

“We now have our new vehicle and are ready to go. There was a lot of information and due diligence required, but it really helped formalize our business plans and we are truly grateful to have received this valuable funding.

Martin Nwangwa, Account Manager at CWLEP Growth Hub, said, “The Growth Hub provides support to businesses in our region, regardless of size or industry, and part of that job is to provide insights into the access to funding and grants.

“Bear Cleaning is a great example of a family business that prides itself on providing quality service and has built a fantastic business despite having no experience in the industry.”

Warwickshire County Council Leader Cllr Izzi Seccombe said: “The Duplex Investment Scheme is a great example of organizations working together to provide the most effective and quickest help to small businesses. I am delighted that so many businesses have been supported and so many jobs have been created or saved by the scheme which forms an integral part of the county council’s ongoing commitment to supporting small businesses across Warwickshire in every way possible.”

Companies wishing to find out more about the Duplex investment fund can contact the CWRT on 02476 551 777 or www.cwrt.uk.com/duplex or www.cwrt.uk.com

For more information on UK Finance Week, please visit: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/finance-hub/business-finance-week-2022/