The Duplex Investment Fund - collaborative business support at its best

"The Duplex Investment Fund is a fantastic example of collaborative working between ourselves and partners, all committed to supporting small businesses and their communities."

A funding scheme created to boost the local economy by helping SMEs with access-to-finance has now invested nearly £3million in small businesses.

The Duplex Investment Fund, introduced in 2019, 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 the Midlands Engine.

It has proved an emphatic success, supporting businesses in a wide range of sectors and locations across the region.

Warwickshire County Council’s input to the scheme saw it recently pass the £2m loans milestone. A total of £2,094,670 loan monies has been disbursed to 29 businesses by WCC which has also allocated £829,627 in grant monies.

The knock on effect of this investment by the council has been considerable with £805,901 investment from the private sector attracted. Employment has also been created and protected - in total, 167 new jobs are forecast, 61 have been created and 149 safeguarded with three apprentices to be taken on.

Among businesses to have benefited is Bear Cleaning, run by former Warwickshire police officer Ted Hunter and his wife, Kate, who was a social worker, in Kenilworth. Kate successfully applied for a £41,500 loan and £16,600 grant from the scheme to buy a 3.5 tonne truck to deliver the new service from Bear Cleaning in Warwick and Stratford-upon-Avon.

“I carried out a lot of detailed market research and realised we needed to buy a small truck, so I got in touch with the Growth Hub and then CWRT to apply for the Duplex Investment Fund,” said Kate. “We now have our new vehicle. There was a lot of information and due diligence required but it really helped to formalise our business plans and we are really grateful to have received this valuable funding.”

The project is funded by £3.9 million of grants from the Government’s Local Growth Fund and the Growing Places Fund, distributed and managed by the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership. Warwickshire County Council and Coventry City Council have both invested £2 million in the scheme managed by CWRT.

Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economy & Place, Cllr Martin Watson, said: “The Duplex Investment Fund is a fantastic example of collaborative working between ourselves and partners, all committed to supporting small businesses and their communities. The £2million in loans is a proud milestone to reach and the Fund continues to go from strength to strength to keep supporting the local economy.”

CWRT chief executive, Sheridan Sulskis, said: "While businesses continue to feel the aftermath of the pandemic, along with inflation rises, cost of living increases and supply chain issues, it is inspiring to see so many take this opportunity to pivot their business models, to invest in innovation and create new jobs. Duplex has been key in supporting these businesses to diversify their income streams, strengthen their business models and have a valuable economic and social impact in our local region."

Taylorfitch. Bringing Newsletters to life