Accountants help businesses secure funding millions

  AN ACCOUNTANCY and business advisory firm has helped North East companies access millions of pounds in Government funding – which has led to hundreds of jobs being created in the region and contributed towards the resurgence of steelmaking on Teesside.

Clive Owen & Co LLP, which has offices in Darlington, Durham and York, has become sought after for its expertise on the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) scheme after working on four of the five successful Round 1 applications for RGF funding in the Tees Valley.

Recent beneficiaries of the scheme include Thai-owned SSI (Sahaviriya Steel Industries) at Redcar which received RGF advice from Clive Owen.

Business Secretary Vince Cable visited SSI in May where he announced an award of £1.4m to fund training for over 1,000 staff at its slab steel production plant in Redcar.  The RGF assistance enabled the company to accelerate its training programme, and make the workforce ready to meet the demands of full scale production when the blast furnace was re-lit earlier this year.

Two employees who benefitted from the accelerated training programme were production operators Josh Holmes, 22, from Skelton, and Matthew Brodrick, 25, of Coulby Newham.  Among the skills the pair had to learn was gas awareness, manual handling, working at height, slinging, fork lift truck driving, operating a pendant crane and IOSH working safely training.

John Baker, director of public relations and media at SSI, said:    


“SSI have spent around £1,000 million to bring the plant back into operation which has secured 1,800 direct jobs.

“Part of that investment relates to the major training requirement which was necessary to start up the plant, and we were very pleased to receive the £1.4m award from the RGF.”


“We turned to Clive Owen because we wanted someone who had experience of regional growth fund work in the region. We got a great deal of sound guidance in terms of what was required and they were very professional, but also very approachable.”

“Now we’re up and running and the future is looking good. We’re looking to build a very sustainable, long standing business and the right training for staff is helping us achieve that goal.”

Clive Owen has recently secured the services of Pete Cocker, formerly of ONE North East, who brings a wealth of experience on grant and state aid matters gained from a career within the public sector.

Neville Baldry, a partner at Clive Owen and its RGF specialist, said: “We’ve been delighted to work with some of the most exciting businesses in the region and help them deliver some very ambitious plans.

“The Regional Growth Fund has helped some of the larger employers in our area build on their success, creating growth that will have a tangible benefit throughout the region.”

Pic cap: Clive Owen & Co’s RGF specialist, Neville Baldry, with SSI production operators Josh Holmes and Matthew Brodrick.

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