A pioneering fund set up by the Western Morning News and Plymouth University to help South West businesses grow will receive a fresh cash injection of £3.9 million to create up to 500 jobs.
Ministers have confirmed that a bid to the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) from the University and the WMN to deliver grant funding to small and medium-sized businesses has been successful.
The new fund is expected to create the new jobs in Cornwall, Devon and Somerset, including 323 directly, and a further 166 in the supply chain.
It is anticipated that around 75 local businesses will be supported with grants of between £25,000 and £125,000.
The bid follows a previous Plymouth University and WMN Growth Fund (PWGF), which was awarded £1 million of RGF funding in August last year. This has already created a total of 80 new jobs – smashing the target of 50 by 60%.
WMN editor Bill Martin, said: "I'm delighted that the government has recognised the success of our partnership with Plymouth University over the last 12 months and has made available further funding that will make a significant impact on job creation."