FUNDING which aims to help firms future future-proof their business is now available under a new scheme.

The new £3m Future Innovation Fund pilot programme was recently launched by the Metro Mayor to support the Liverpool City Region’s small and medium sized (SME) business community.

More than £47m of grants have so far been distributed by Wirral Council to individual firms to support them through these challenging times.

The new Future Innovation Fund will help SMEs to innovate, adapt and diversify, so they can respond to the challenges and opportunities presented by the pandemic.

Wirral Council leader Pat Hackett said: "The Covid-19 pandemic has brought changes we never could have predicted.

"The economy is under extreme pressure, which is why I welcome this new grant fund helping businesses take creative steps to adapt for the future.

"This funding presents an opportunity for companies to look at long-term ways to cope with the 'new normal' and make Wirral stronger in the process." 

2Grants to cover eligible costs will range from £25-£100k, and will be available to develop new approaches in a range of sectors from engineering, to health and wellbeing.

The current call for applications closes on 6 July, and this will be followed by two further tranches of funding, amounting to £3m in total.

The grants will be awarded to firms that can demonstrate that they support the Liverpool City Region’s Local Industrial Strategy priority areas of:

Delivering a sustainable industrial future: businesses seeking to take advantage of new opportunities in materials, manufacturing and engineering.

Open health innovation: business initiatives to enhance health & wellbeing, during and following the pandemic.

Global cultural capital: activities to support the resilience of LCR’s cultural vibrancy during and following the pandemic.

Zero carbon economy: businesses pioneering sustainable approaches to living, travel and doing business in a post-pandemic world, for example linking to the circular economy, mitigating single-use plastic and non-reusable PPE.

Tech for good: businesses that use technology and data to drive growth and improve society, including but not limited to “smart city” applications, high performance computing, data science and AI.

Digitalisation: initiatives in any other sector that will yield a clear improvement in business productivity, adaptability and/or diversification.

For more details on how to apply, go to