First business voucher awarded

The Business Solutions Voucher scheme aims to support the economic regeneration of Wolverhampton by encouraging innovation in local businesses.

Environmental contractor McAuliffe, based in Northcott Road, Wolverhampton, has just received £5,000 from the scheme.

A Business Solutions Voucher is worth up to £5,000 and can be redeemed against the cost of practical advice, expertise and access to specialist equipment or services provided by the University of Wolverhampton in relation to specific innovation related projects.

McAuliffe will use the voucher to buy consultancy services from the University. The company is seeking industry-recognised accreditations, so the first step will involve a gap analysis to establish how they currently operate compared to the requirements to achieve accreditation.

The voucher will also be used to scope out the possibility of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with the University in environmental management. This involves a highly skilled graduate working on a specific project for a company, with support from University academics.

Marc Fleetham, Director of Business Solutions at the University, said: “The Voucher is intended to encourage businesses who previously haven’t worked with our University to come forward with commercial projects/ideas that could benefit from using university expertise. Most businesses applying for a voucher do not have the internal resources or capability to make it happen, this is were we step in to deliver.”

John McAuliffe, Managing Director, said: “We are delighted with the award of the first business solutions voucher at what is an exciting time for the McAuliffe Group.

“This opportunity will kick-start this vital project as part of a wider programme of continuous improvement integral with our three-year business plan.

“We look forward to strengthening our well established links with University of Wolverhampton, integrating their knowledge and expertise to further enhance our core skills within the construction industry and contaminated land sector.”

The scheme is open to start-up companies or existing businesses in Wolverhampton. Other examples of how the money can be used include market research and analysis projects, software development, prototype development and testing, and use of the University’s research and specialist equipment facilities.

Information about the scheme is available from the Wolverhampton Business Solutions Centre, a partnership of the University of Wolverhampton, City of Wolverhampton College, Black Country Chamber of Commerce, Wolverhampton City Council and Business Link West Midlands.

The Centre launched in September and is believed to be the first of its kind in the country. Based at Wolverhampton Science Park, it aims to have a positive economic impact on the city and West Midlands region by providing a single point of access to business support services.

For more information about the scheme, call 01902 321272 or email enquiries@wolverhamptonbsc.com

ENDS

For more information please contact Vickie Warren in the Media Relations Office on 01902 322736

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