A NEW £250,000 fund to support small and medium sized businesses working in the construction sector across Wales was announced by economy minister Edwina Hart last week.

The Construction Sector Development Fund is now open for expressions of interest and will provide grants up to a maximum of £50,000 or 50 per cent of the eligible costs of projects. The minimum grant payable is £5,000.

The minister said: “We have a large number of small and medium sized enterprises working in the construction sector that make a significant contribution to the Welsh economy. The fund is designed to help these enterprises increase their competitiveness, win new business and help grow the sector.

“There are many opportunities developing in nuclear energy, renewable energy and rail infrastructure projects across Wales for example, and there are likely to be significant supply chain opportunities for SMEs in the construction sector as a result.

“We want SMEs in Wales to be in a position to access opportunities, and the Fund can assist them improve their capacity and capability, help them gain specialist accreditation or buy equipment.”

Applicants will need to demonstrate that projects can be completed and grants claimed by March 31. More information about the fund and EOI forms is available by visiting or calling 03000 603000.