BIG news for Nuneaton's Forge Care who receive first funding from WRIF Programme

As part of The British Business Bank’s British Finance Week we are promoting a number of articles and case studies to showcase the variety of financial and business support available through WCC.

This article focuses on our Business Investment Growth (BIG) Fund, which provides debt finance to growing medium and larger businesses with sound prospects. The BIG Fund is a pillar of Warwickshire County Council’s Warwickshire Recovery Investment Fund (WRIF).

The innovative £140 million WRIF is part of Warwickshire County Council’s COVID-19 Recovery Plan to help new and existing businesses with their recovery and growth.

A business supporting children, Forge Care, which experienced early disruption to their development, was the first to obtain funding from the WRIF, borrowing £1million.

The funding is enabling the business to open a flagship establishment in Nuneaton for children who have suffered early childhood trauma.

Forge Care offers children a therapeutic community which includes artfully-designed homes, gardens and spaces to enjoy sports and leisure. It was founded in 2020 by the Miller family, headed by Chief Executive Gavin Miller and his business partner, Chief Operating Officer Dave Hughes.

Speaking about how the WRIF funding will benefit Forge Care, Gavin Miller said: "Our Therapeutic Community has been shaped around the complex needs of trauma-healing, providing an environment enabling positive impact within the day-to-day lives and experiences of all members. It also benefits from Creative-Expressive Therapies and Life Story alongside therapeutic parenting.

"Forge Care is dedicated to helping children make sense of their pasts and develop trust in themselves and others, as well as a belief in their own skills for their future. Our Model of Care is based on neuro-developmental, trauma-resolution principles and positive attachment practices and is framed by the Sanctuary Model®.

“We are over the moon to announce this package of support from Warwickshire County Council's WRIF program. This new facility will enable us to go out with a clear mandate to improve the lives of looked after children across the county. It’s also a real shot in the arm for the local economy as we are creating 80 new jobs at our new homes in Nuneaton, and this wouldn’t be possible without the support of Warwickshire County Council.”

Councillor Peter Butlin, Deputy Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Finance and Property, has been spearheading the WRIF. He said: “We are pleased that our first loan under the BIG strand is enabling Forge Care to expand their fantastic work to support children and their families across the county.

"This first investment made by the WRIF also brings many benefits for the region. It is supporting a family-run business in the children's care services sector, creating brand new jobs and benefiting the local supply chain with the construction of the site.

"I would urge other businesses to contact the County Council to discuss their scale-up and business growth plans, and find out how the WRIF can support them.”

Together with other support from the Council, the Warwickshire Recovery Investment Fund is expected to create more than 3,000 new jobs and safeguard many thousands more. The Fund was launched last year to stimulate the county's economy and comprises three pillars of support: Business Investment Growth (BIG), Local Communities & Enterprise, and Property & Infrastructure.

The WRIF aims to distribute the £140 million fund over five years to help new and existing businesses in the county with their long-term recovery and growth.

For more information about the WRIF and how it could help businesses, please visit: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/wrif

For more information on British Finance week please visit: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/finance-hub/business-finance-week-2022/

Telephone  01926 412709 

Email wrif@warwickshire.gov.uk

Published: 9th November 2022