18
October
2012
|
00:00
Europe/London

LEP secures over £30million for local businesses


The Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership has been successful in securing over £30million of funding for programmes from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF).



This third round of funding, in addition to the £60 million secured through rounds one and two, means that the Leeds City Region Partnership has secured a total of approaching £100 million for businesses across the area.



The Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, local leaders and businesses across the city region have welcomed the news of a much wanted funding injection to the local economy.



In addition to a number of local businesses being successful in securing direct support from RGF, the partnership will receive RGF to run two programmes targeted at key growth clusters including: life sciences and related industries, digital and creative industries, low carbon industries, advanced manufacturing and financial and business services.



The Key Growth Clusters Programme will provide grants of between £100,000 and £1million. It will help businesses from across the Leeds City Region to grow by supporting investment in new equipment, infrastructure or research and development activity.



The SME Employment Growth Programme is a small grants programme seeking to invest between £10,000 and £100,000 in SMEs in the priority growth clusters. Funds will be available for approximately 200 SMEs.



The chair of the Leeds City Region LEP, Neil McLean, said:



"This is great news for Leeds City Region businesses. These programmes will give us significant additional capacity to drive growth by providing grants to ambitious SMEs.



“Having both programmes approved means we’ll be able to offer support to a wide range of projects with grants of £10,000 up to £1million.



“Approval of our bid is more evidence of the confidence the Government has in the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership. It is a reflection of their and our desire to empower businesses and to enable us to realise our vision of a dynamic economy.”



Echoing the positive impact of the allocation of funds through these programmes, Councillor Peter Box, LEP Board member and Chair of the Leeds City Region Board said:



“We are determined to support our localities and the well being of our businesses. To this end we are working to our own means to find solutions and overcome difficulties. Today’s successful announcement is a testament to our collective efforts to build a strong future for our economy.”



The Leeds City Region LEP will be ready to make these funds available through these programmes to businesses across the city region early next year.



The LEP and its partner local authorities also supported businesses to apply for the third round of funding and offered endorsement to projects that match the partnership’s investment strategy and reflect the city region’s economic priorities.



Mark Ridgway, Managing Director of Group Rhodes, said:



“Businesses are going through a difficult time at present, and as banks become more risk adverse access to alternative funds has become critical to business development.



“In securing additional regional growth funding, the LEP is now in a strong position to support local companies in expanding output and investing for future growth.”



Leeds City Council has also been successful in securing funds for the vital city centre flood alleviation scheme.



On some occasions, Leeds city centre has been centimetres from flooding. The funding will make a significant contribution towards the total funding required to implement and maintain the first phase of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme.



Councillor Keith Wakefield, Leader of Leeds City Council, said:



“Financial support for businesses in this economic climate is vital if we are to drive growth. But it is equally important to provide protection from the risk of flooding to the many businesses that line our waterfront.



“Flooding can have a devastating impact on businesses themselves but the effects throughout the economy can’t be underestimated. We are moving forward with the flood defences for Leeds which will help us to maintain investor confidence in the city and safeguard the future economic development of Leeds and Leeds City Region."



For technical information on the bid and allocation please contact Lynn Cooper at the Leeds City Region LEP Secretariat on 07712 214137.



In the meantime, firms across the city region are being urged to submit an expression of interest for the Partnership’s Growing Places Fund by the November 1st deadline to get capital investment projects off the ground.





Ends



Notes to editors:



Regional Growth Fund1. The Regional Growth Fund will provide more than £2bn over 3 years between 2011 and 2014 to stimulate enterprise. Funds intend to provide support for projects and programmes with significant potential for creating long term private sector led economic growth and employment. The main objective is to help areas dependent on the public sector move towards private sector-led growth.

2. For further details on Regional Growth Fund please visit http://www.bis.gov.uk



Leeds City Region Partnership

1. The Leeds City Region (LCR) Partnership brings together a group of 11 local authorities (Barnsley, Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield, York and North Yorkshire County Council) with businesses and partners to support economic growth and a better quality of life for our communities.

2. The Leeds City Region was one of the very first to form a private sector - led local enterprise partnership (LEP) and commit to working closely with both the private and public sectors in order to help businesses and the economy grow. The body representing the LEP – The LEP Board – is now working alongside the Leaders Board to deliver the Partnership’s economic development plan which was launched in September 2011.

3. The Leeds City Region is the largest city region economy and financial centre in the country outside London. With a £52 billion economy representing 5% of England’s economy, over 100,000 businesses and a 3 million population, the city region will continue to be at the forefront in both driving the economy of the North and accelerating national economic prosperity.

4. For more information on the Leeds City Region Partnership please visit www.leedscityregion.gov.uk.



Ends

For press/media enquiries please contact:

Catherine Milburn

Leeds City Council

Tel: 0113 247 5540 or catherine.milburn@leeds.gov.uk