Businesses in the Thames Gateway are set to receive a £20 million finding boost to support new investment and new jobs across North Kent and Thurrock. Ministers announced on Friday, 19 October 2012, that TIGER – Thames Gateway Innovation, Growth and Enterprise – is one of 130 schemes nationally to benefit from the Government’s £2.4 billion Regional Growth Fund. TIGER will offer low-interest loans to businesses investing in new products and services, which will create long-term job opportunities with the aim of unlocking additional private sector finance. The new scheme has been secured following a bid to the Regional Growth Fund by the Thames Gateway Kent Partnership, with the support of local businesses.

Rob Bennett, the Chairman of Thames Gateway Kent Partnership, said: “Government backing for TIGER is a huge vote of confidence in the Thames Gateway – one of the UK’s most important economic growth areas. Coming on top of recent investment in transport and infrastructure, it’s another reason why the Gateway is a great place to set up and grow a business.” Rodney Chambers, the Leader of Medway Council, added: “This is a significant endorsement from the Government of our approach to regeneration and it clearly shows we continue to be a place where businesses are welcome and can grow with confidence.

“We look forward to working across North Kent, and with colleagues in Thurrock, to help as many local businesses as possible benefit from this funding so that it creates more local jobs in the shortest possible time.” Paul Carter, the Leader of Kent County Council, commented: “TIGER is a great opportunity for businesses with the appetite for investment and growth. Business will be the backbone of North Kent’s economic recovery – and TIGER will help to unlock its potential.”
Thurrock Council Leader, Cllr John Kent, said: “Alongside Thurrock’s already exciting regeneration schemes this fund will help unlock economic potential with our businesses and help revitalise Thurrock’s economy – securing planned opportunities for our communities and residents.

“We look forward to working with our partners across the River Thames in delivering the programme. “This is excellent news for businesses across Thurrock, businesses with ideas and ambitions to innovate and grow.” Following the Government’s announcement, work will now begin on due diligence to secure the investment, with the TIGER scheme likely to be up and running in April next year.