Growing Places Fund offers development opportunities

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BUSINESSES across Yorkshire can now apply for loans of up to £5m to re-start stalled projects.

The Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has opened the second round of its Growing Places Fund so businesses can access funds and grow the economy.

Types of projects that would meet the fund criteria include expanding an existing building, creating new access routes to open up land for further economic development or investing in low carbon infrastructure.

Aimed at businesses of any size, loans of between £250,000 and £5m are available to support projects that create a range of benefits and unlock wider investment.

Kick-starting projects that already have a green light but need assistance to get off the ground will unlock the potential for economic growth and job creation throughout the city region.

Launched at today’s Base Leeds City Region event, businesses have until November 1 to submit expressions of interest.

Neil McLean, chairman of the Leeds City Region LEP, Neil McLean said: “Base Leeds City Region is the ideal platform to launch the Growing Places Fund. Bringing together the public and private sectors to work in a more integrated way will allow us to realise our low carbon vision for the region.

“The fund offers an opportunity for all businesses to overcome barriers to development, not just those looking to cut and help others cut emissions.

“With a successful bid to the fund, we’ll not only be removing the financial bottleneck some businesses may find themselves in but we’ll be creating conditions for further investment to flow and drive economic growth in key sectors.”

Hosted by the University of Bradford, today’s Base Leeds City Region is bringing together decision-makers from the public and private sectors and aims to take forward low-carbon business opportunities.

The key criteria for applications to the Growing Places Fund, include:
• Open to all businesses and organisations
• Applications from small and medium-sized enterprises are particularly welcome
• Projects need to be ready to go with all the necessary permissions in place.
• Projects need to be able to demonstrate job creation and economic growth
• To be successful, £3 of private finance should be levered in for every £1 of loan
• Loans are for capital investment in infrastructure such as building or expanding business premises; measures to unlock land for development; infrastructure for local energy generation; or roads that will allow further development and create jobs.

More information about the Growing Places Fund and the application process can be found at www.leedscityregion.gov.uk.

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