More than £1.2 million has been awarded to seven firms that successfully applied for interest-free loans from the government-backed Thames Gateway Innovation, Growth and Enterprise scheme (TIGER).
These companies are the first to benefit from the TIGER Fund, which aims to boost jobs and grow business in North Kent and Thurrock.
The loans will help to create 170 new Kent jobs and protect a further 65.
TIGER offers 0% interest loans to businesses investing in new products, services and long-term job opportunities, with the aim of attracting further investment from the private sector. The eligible areas are Dartford, Gravesham, Medway, Swale and Thurrock.
Initially, the £20m fund – financed through central government’s Regional Growth Fund – is being aimed at media, ICT, manufacturing, tech development, environmental and low carbon businesses. The eligibility criteria have been extended to include the leisure and tourism industries, as well as marine, ports and logistics and cultural industries.