Applications are now being invited from businesses that might benefit from the newly created Times of Tunbridge Wells Investment Fund. Up to £5million has been set aside to help limited companies from starts-ups looking for seed capital to businesses needing money to expand.

Successful applicants will not only receive financial help from high net worth investors, they’ll also benefit from advice and support on a range of issues including business strategy, legal and financial.

Applications and business plans must be received by September 1 2015 after which a shortlist will be chosen to present their ideas to the panel of experts. Funding to those selected will begin from Autumn 2015.

Successful applicants will be followed during the course of the next 12 months through the pages of this newspaper or sister publications such as So Tunbridge Wells magazine.

They will be required to take part in any other PR or promotional activity to help profile the fund and must also agree to mentor other successful applicants should the scheme be carried forward into another year.

“This is an exceptional part of the world in which to live, a place full of people with ambition, drive and dreams,” said the newspaper’s Editorial Director Richard Moore, “To recognise these traits and to mark the launch of this new weekly paper we’re unveiling an initiative that will hopefully change the futures and fortunes of countless local people.”

Applications for funding will be considered by a panel of principal investors or their representatives.

The process will involve equity investment, although the investors reserve the right to use other financial structures. Funds will be released as the business demands and in line with an agreed structure. There is no limit on the amount of funding to any individual business.

Jo James, Chief Executive of Invicta Chamber of Commerce said: “With access to traditional sources of finance still being problematic for many businesses, this initiative is welcomed as it will give the opportunity to further develop local business, creating local prosperity and employment opportunities. “Unlike crowd funding, this scheme is not just about the finance, it recognises the importance of getting the right advice and support to ensure business growth.”

Applicants must be 18+ and operating a limited company within the boundaries of the county of Kent, Sussex or Surrey. Closing date is September 1 2015.

Thank you for all your applications, entries are now closed for our investment fund.