record £8-million has been won by The Chamber from Euro funds for projects in Coventry
The outstanding success in the first four months of this year compares with
£3.5-million for the whole of last year, itself a record.
With money from The Chamber and its partners, it will enable 21 major projects to be
undertaken which will cost a total of over £23-million.
"Without support from Europe these projects simply would not be possible,"
said Chamber chief executive Malcolm Gillespie.
"We have a special team dedicated to 'selling' our ideas and needs to Europe,
which it is doing with ever increasing success.
"It demonstrates, yet again, the important role The Chamber can play in attracting
additional funds to improve the economic welfare of Coventry and Warwickshire.
He added: "In fact obtaining European support is getting to the stage where it has
an impact on almost everything we do to raise skills, efficiency and innovation.
"The training and development programmes benefit both our businesses and our
Most of the money, nearly £5.5-million, has been obtained from the European Regional
Development Fund, and will mostly help small and medium sized enterprises to become more
efficient and competitive.
The remaining lump sum, just over £2.5-million, comes from the European Social Fund
and will be used for a wide range of programmes to improve skills, from individuals right
through to helping leaders of smaller companies to acquire the ability to undertake
The head of the fund-chasing team at the Chamber of Commerce, Training and Enterprise
is Ajay Desai-who immediately warned that it was unlikely that similar funds would
continue to come in during the rest of the year.
"Because of the way Europe is structured, we get answers to most of the bids we
have made for funds in the first half of the year.
"But that's fine, because it won't be long before we start working on trying to
break the record again by getting in early bids for European support in the new
"Success is all about understanding how the European bureaucracy works and
demonstrating to them that our projects fit in with the programmes they are favouring at
any one time.
Mr. Desai attributes the team's success quite simply-"There is no substitute for
hard work," he says.
Finance co-ordinator Jane Fleming added: