Leeds ,
05
February
2016
|
14:08
Europe/London

Combined authority confirms £5m for Leeds City Region business flood recovery fund

PRESS RELEASED ISSUED ON BEHALF OF WEST YORKSHIRE COMBINED AUTHORITY

Total funding from West Yorkshire Combined Authority to help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) across Leeds City Region recover from the effects of recent flooding has been confirmed at £5m.

At their meeting today, West Yorkshire Combined Authority members approved £3.6m for the Business Flood Recovery Fund from the 2016/17 Leeds City Region Growth Deal allocation. This is in addition to the £1.4m recommended by the Combined Authority’s Investment Committee in January.

They also agreed to investigate ways the Fund can be used to support firms not directly hit by the flooding but suffering due to being part of the supply chain of companies that have been affected.

Managed by the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the Business Flood Recovery Fund is now open to businesses in the region, with grants of between £5,000 and £100,000 available.

Funding is aimed at supporting businesses with critical capital investment requirements. These could include the cost of new equipment, repair and refurbishment of existing equipment, repairs to existing premises or relocation to new premises in order for businesses to re-start or continue their operations. It could also go towards implementing structural measures such as building a mezzanine floor to ensure business-critical equipment can be moved to a higher point. Applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and will need to be accompanied by a detailed flood recovery plan and evidence of the business’ insurance cover.

Application forms and further information about the support available to flood affected businesses can be found at www.the-lep.com/floodsupport or by calling the LEP’s business growth helpline on 0113 348 1818.

Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Judith Blake said:

“We are now several weeks on from the devastating Boxing Day floods and many businesses are still struggling to recover, not only those directly impacted but also connected businesses through disruption to their supply of goods or services.

"Our main focus is to help those businesses directly affected get back to full capacity and also to improve their flood resilience plans for the future, but we want to offer all the help and support we possibly can to all businesses impacted. I strongly urge them to register for this scheme and the other support available through local authorities.”

West Yorkshire Combined Authority Chair and Leader of Wakefield Council Peter Box said:

“Although my own district was not hit particularly hard by the December floods and subsequent storms, I know how devastating it has been for many small and medium businesses and the knock-on effect for those companies that are suppliers or customers of those flood-hit firms.

“I am glad the Combined Authority has been able to step in with this £5m but with the total long-term impact of the recent floods on the City Region economy estimated to be as high as £365m, this is only scratching the surface.

“We need long term solutions, which is why a commitment and funding for flood prevention measures are among our devolution asks from government.”

When the scheme was announced, Cllr David Green, chair of the Combined Authority’s Investment Committee and Leader of Bradford Council said over 2,000 Leeds City Region businesses were thought to be affected. He said large numbers of applications to the new Business Flood Recovery Fund were expected.

After the Investment Committee meeting, Roger Marsh OBE its deputy chair and chair of the LEP said the funding would complement the support rapidly put in place by councils and would be targeted at businesses requiring the highest level of investment to get back towards operating at full capacity. Now the funding is available, Mr Marsh is encouraging businesses to contact the LEP directly on 0113 348 1818 or by emailing businessgrowth@the-lep.com to find out about the package of support available from local partners and get an application form for the flood fund.

Support is being provided by the LEP’s growth managers, local authorities, Chambers of Commerce and the Manufacturing Advisory Service, to help eligible businesses develop the business flood recovery plans and ensure business continuity over the long term.

ends

Issued by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. Tel 0113 251 7214

Notes to Editors

The Business Flood Recovery Fund will operate under the same guidelines as the existing LEP grant funding scheme currently supporting SMEs to grow in Leeds City Region. To be eligible for funding, businesses must be an SME and from one of the LEP’s priority sectors; manufacturing, food and drink, low carbon and environmental, financial and professional services, health and life sciences and digital and creative - although discretion will apply.

Application forms are available from the LEP growth service and via local authority growth managers across the region. The LEP has a package of support available to businesses looking to grow and find support to help them realise their full potential. Support for business grants and loans, skills advice, apprenticeships and export are all available through the LEP and businesses are encouraged to get in touch by calling 0113 348 1818 or emailing businessgrowth@the-lep.com to find out more.

By supporting the Business Flood Recovery Fund, West Yorkshire Combined Authority is building on the existing support of up to £7,500 that has already been made available to SMEs in Bradford, Calderdale, Leeds, York and North Yorkshire to help companies with the immediate clean-up effort and flood resilience.

  • Grants to flood affected businesses of between £5,000 - £100,000 available to contribute towards capital investment in new equipment, machinery (including hire costs) or premises required to recommence main operations.
  • The fund will be flexible and view each application on a case by case basis.
  • Each applicant needs to have a robust flood recovery plan including details of their insurance situation, which will be taken into account during the award process.
  • The application process will be managed by the LEP and Leeds City Council with the established governance mechanism overseeing the programme delivery.
  • The LEP’s business grants programme continues to offer grants of between £10,000 and £500,000 to small and medium sized businesses who are based in the Leeds City Region, or planning to invest here and more information can be found at www.the-lep.com/business

West Yorkshire Combined Authority

West Yorkshire Combined Authority is the driving force for economic growth across the Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield districts and the City of York Council area. It brings together key decision-making powers, including the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) into a single body, putting West Yorkshire and the wider Leeds City Region, including the City of York, in a much stronger position to tackle its shared economic challenges - including improving transport - by boosting jobs and growth.

The Leeds City Region Strategic Economic Plan aims to deliver £5.2bn of additional economic output and 62,000 extra jobs by 2021, unlocking the Leeds City Region’s full economic potential and making it the low-carbon ‘growth engine’ for the North.

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The LEP

  1. The Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (The LEP) is a private and public sector partnership, working to unlock the Leeds City Region's vast economic potential by enabling businesses and enterprise to thrive.
  1. Work by The LEP and its partners over the past four years has added an extra £1.4 billion to the Leeds City Region’s economic output and helped create an additional 3,200 jobs for local people.
  1. 4,300 businesses have benefitted from LEP finance and support, and this combined activity has unlocked around £491 million of private sector investment in the region. For every £1 of taxpayers’ money secured by the LEP, some £10 in economic output has been generated in line with the ambitions in the LEP’s overall Strategic Economic Plan.
  1. The LEP now has a package of support available to help businesses grow. Part of this activity is a comprehensive single contact point aimed at small and medium sized businesses looking to find the right support to meet their growth ambitions. Whatever support a business is looking for they can contact The LEP’s business growth helpline on 0113 348 1818 or visit www.the-lep.com/business
  2. The Leeds City Region geography covers the 10 local authority areas of Barnsley, Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield and York.
  1. With an overall aim of transforming the City Region economy, the LEP focuses on four key areas, as outlined in its long-term Strategic Economic Plan:
  • Supporting growing businesses
  • Developing a skilled and flexible workforce
  • Building a resource smart City Region
  • Delivering the infrastructure for growth
  1. Further information is available at www.the-lep.com