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[21 MAY 99] THE CHAMBER PRESS RELEASE
Chamber Wins Record 8m In Euro Funding

A record 8-million has been won by The Chamber from Euro funds for projects in Coventry and Warwickshire.

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 people."

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 international trading.

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.

He said:

"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 millennium.

"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:

"Winning the money is, in a sense, the easy bit for us. Allocating and spending it all to match the required criteria is the challenging element."

MORE INFORMATION:  Barry Lloyd-Jones   01203 654260
   

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CWN / Business / The Chamber / 21 May 1999

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM