Millions in EU-funded projects will go ahead says Leeds LEP

UNCERTAINTY over funding has been part of the Brexit fallout, but Leeds City Region has now said that £84m worth of projects that have been given EU funding will go ahead.

The Leeds City Region LEP have made assurances that contracts of around £42m in grant funding from European Structural and Investment Funds, will now be finalised, matched by £42m from ‘other public and private resources’.

They have received assurances themselves that anything signed off before the Autumn Statement this year will go ahead.

The Government is assessing whether funding for projects which may be signed off after the Autumn Statement, but while the UK remains a member of the EU, could also receive funding.

Projects include the Games Lab project, delivered by Creative England. It provides investment to enable companies in the sector to commercialise games and develop first mover advantage in emerging technologies.

Developed by RTC North, as part of Innovate UK’s programme across 12 LEP areas, Innovate2Succeed will provide tailored support to SMEs to help them enhance their innovation management capability.

The Step in to Construction project, led by Leeds College of Building, aims to raise the profile of the Construction Industry by engaging with potential individuals to attract them into training, construction and related industries, linked to Leeds City Region building programmes.

Roger Marsh OBE, chairman of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and chairman of the ESIF subcommittee said: “The European funding we secured as part of our €389m* ESIF allocation in 2014 is an important tool to help us deliver our ambitions set out in our revised Strategic Economic Plan for the region to transform the economy and create thousands of new jobs. The sooner we can start delivering on these important projects, the sooner we will start to feel the benefits of a stronger, prosperous and thriving City Region economy at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse.”

“This confirmation from government means we can start to deliver vital support for businesses that we know is in demand in our region, such as a new start-up finance for new and early-stage firms with growth ambitions and help for businesses to explore opportunities in international markets.”

Cllr Peter Box, chairman of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority said: “What is now important, is similar reassurances from government on how quickly our further planned activity can also progress and we will be seeking clarity from Ministers ahead of the Autumn Statement.”

A further £60m of ESIF projects are currently in the appraisal stage and could be considered for funding approval prior to the Autumn Statement later this year.

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