lep Productivity Pilot


The LEP productivity pilot supports businesses in Leeds City Region to improve their productivity through capital grant investment.

The pilot is a competition with an open call and you are invited to apply for grants of between £25,000 and £100,00 to support capital investment projects that will lead to clearly-evidenced productivity improvements.


The pilot will award capital grants on a competitive basis of between £25,000 and £100,000 to businesses that can best demonstrate how the investments will have a positive impact on, and increase, in productivity.

You are not be required to create new jobs as a condition of the grant, but will need to maintain current employment levels for a period of at least 12 months. You will also be expected to clearly describe how you currently measure productivity and how it will improve following the investment project.


Your business must:

  • Be based, or looking to locate, in the City Region, which includes the local authority areas of Barnsley, Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield and York
  • Have been established for at least 12 months and must operate from commercial premises
  • Ensure there is no net reduction in employee numbers for a minimum of 12 months following completion of the investment
  • Operate in the City Region’s key growth sectors and/or their direct supply chains: specifically health and life sciences, digital and creative industries, low carbon and environmental industries, manufacturing, financial and professional services or business to business services
  • Generate the majority of its turnover from trading with other businesses, or, your application must demonstrate how the grant-supported project will lead to this. Businesses engaged in retailing or providing localised business to consumer services are not eligible for grant support
  • Have private finance available: either your own, from a bank, or other commercial finance to invest alongside the grant (please note: the minimum total project cost is £125,000 - therefore you must have at least £4 of private sector finance to invest for every £1 in grant)
  • Demonstrate financial viability of the project and the need for grant support

Your project must:

  • Consist of capital investment in equipment and/or, fit-out and refurbishment of buildings. (Please note: refurbishment or renovation projects will only be supported where you will be the sole occupier within the refurbished or renovated business property)
  • Relate to capital investment that will lead to clearly-evidenced productivity improvements for your business. Capital investments supported through the project must be in place and fully operational by 31 July 2019 at the latest
  • Be supported by a Productivity Plan (a template for this is provided) that clearly sets out how your business currently measures productivity, how the investment project will improve productivity and how this will be evidenced for at least 12-months following the investment
  • Use the ONS’ new ‘How productive is your business?’ online tool to measure your productivity before and after the investment project
  • Commit to taking part in a longitudinal survey that will track productivity improvements at regular intervals over a three-year period following completion of your investment

Funding available:

In accordance with State Aid rules, you can apply for a maximum grant of between 10% and 20% of your project costs, depending on the size of your business (10% for businesses with between 50 and 249 employees and 20% for businesses with less than 50 employees)

For example:

If you have 20 employees and a total project cost of £250,000 the maximum that you can apply for is £50,000

If you have 80 employees and a total project cost of £500,000 the maximum that you can apply for is £50,000

Inclusive growth:

As part of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) commitment to deliver inclusive growth that benefits everyone, we have introduced new measures to encourage your business to maximise its positive impact on the region.

If you receive a grant of over £50,000, you will be expected to make additional commitments. Examples include:

*The University of Huddersfield has a project that supports businesses with supply chain activity

For grants over £50,000, you are expected to agree to two or more of the additional commitments

The LEP, and its network of partners, can help you to access a number of products and services that will help you to take these positive actions. Initial guidance and advice on these commitments is available from the LEP Growth Service on 0113 348 1818 (businessgrowth@the-lep.com  / www.the-lep.com/business)

To get some background on our approach to inclusive growth click here.


How to apply

Please complete our enquiry form to check if your project is eligible. Our team will contact you within five working days to discuss your project or provide guidance on completing the application form. 

Alternatively, you can contact our business growth team here at the LEP on 0113 3481818 or BusinessGrowth@the-lep.com to find out more. 


Productivity Pilot opens:

17 September 2018

Deadline for applications:

14 December 2018

Decisions on awards:

1 February 2019

Capital investments supported by the grant must be undertaken from February 2019 and be in place and operational by 31 July 2019

Outputs associated with the project must be completed and measurable by 31 July 2020

Case Study

Sweet taste of success for York chocolate maker
27th May 2015

Sweet taste of success for York chocolate maker

A family artisan chocolate business is planning further expansion after securing a grant to invest in new manufacturing premises.

Read More

Business support and finance

Not sure where to start? Don't worry. Just get in touch with our business growth team and we can help you find the right support for your business needs.