PRESS RELEASE ISSUED BY LEEDS CITY REGION ENTERPRISE PARTNERSHIP AND WEST YORKSHIRE COMBINED AUTHORITY
The West Yorkshire Combined Authority Investment Committee has endorsed a £5m fund to help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) across Leeds City Region recover from the effects of recent flooding.
Today’s meeting of the Committee supported a recommendation to invest £5m from the Leeds City Region Growth Deal allocation to establish the Business Flood Recovery Fund. An initial £1.4m will be made available with the full £5m awaiting final approval by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Board at their meeting on 4 February. The new fund will be managed by the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
The Business Flood Recovery Fund is expected to be in place by next week with grants of between £5,000 and £100,000 available. The fund could support SMEs with critical capital investment requirements such as new equipment or hire costs for machinery and premises required to recommence or maintain their operations. It could also go towards implementing internal flood resilience measures such as building a mezzanine floor to move business critical equipment to a higher point. Each application will be reviewed on a case by case basis and will need to be accompanied by a detailed flood recovery plan.
Support will be provided by the LEP’s growth managers, local authorities, Chambers of Commerce and the Manufacturing Advisory Service to help eligible businesses develop the plans and ensure business continuity over the long term.
Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Judith Blake said:
“We very much welcome this grant support for businesses by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to help firms continue to recover and get back up and running after the terrible damage caused by the floods. Together with the ongoing financial support and guidance being offered by local authorities, we are committed to doing everything we can to help businesses in Leeds and across the region return to being fully operational as quickly as possible.”
Cllr David Green, chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Investment Committee and Leader of Bradford Council said:
“The funding approved today is about supporting local businesses with the long-term recovery by enabling them to resume trading, safeguarding jobs for local people and re-establishing supply lines to meet their customers’ requirements.
“With an initial assessment on the impact of the flooding on the regional economy suggesting the long term damage could be as much as £365m, it is clear we need government to work with us to achieve long term solutions that will prevent these destructive deluges and stop the idea of a Northern Powerhouse being overwhelmed.”
“With over 2,000 Leeds City Region businesses thought to be affected by the recent flooding, we are expecting a high volume of applications to the new Business Flood Recovery Fund but we will turn them around as quickly as possible.
“We will also be investigating ways to potentially provide support for companies that are facing cash flow issues because they are suppliers or customers of flood-hit businesses and will be discussing this on Thursday 4 February at the next West Yorkshire Combined Authority meeting.”
Roger Marsh OBE, chair of the LEP and deputy chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Investment Committee said:
“This funding is for those businesses that require the highest level of investment to get back towards operating at full capacity. Having visited some of the affected businesses in Calderdale myself, I know how vital this long-term investment is to return to the same level of trade as quickly as possible.
“The devastation of the flood is not going to be fixed overnight. However this funding will complement the initial rapid response support from our partner councils to address the longer term issues and costs businesses face in returning to full operation and alleviate any further impact on business growth.”
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.
The Business Flood Recovery Fund application form will be available from the LEP growth service next week 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 email@example.com to find out more.
Further information about the support available to flood affected businesses can be found at www.the-lep.com/floodsupport.
By supporting the Business Flood Recovery Fund, West Yorkshire Combined Authority is building on the existing support provided by government of up to £7,500 that has been made available to SMEs in Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds, Wakefield, York and North Yorkshire to help companies with the immediate clean-up effort and flood resilience.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Business Flood Recovery Fund - further information
- West Yorkshire Combined Authority will be asked to give final approval to the Business Flood Recovery Fund at its next meeting on Thursday 4 February
- 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 fund is for SMEs in Leeds City Region in 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 applies
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
5.The Leeds City Region geography covers the 10 local authority areas of Barnsley, Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield and York.
- 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
- Further information is available at www.the-lep.com
For press/media enquiries please contact:
Senior Communications and Engagement Officer
Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership