City Region confirmed as Assisted Areas hotspot
Companies looking to grow in Leeds City Region could soon access greater public support after the European Commission approved the Assisted Areas map for 2014-20, with the Leeds City Region benefitting from a 90% increase on existing coverage.
Roger Marsh, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership said:
“The LEP has been calling for these measures to be implemented and we are delighted that the government and the European Commission have acknowledged the huge potential this region has to offer businesses.
“This 90% increase in coverage reflects the scale of opportunity on offer within the City Region and supports the LEP’s drive to create an environment for growth where businesses can flourish.
“This enables the LEP to further engage with local businesses and support them realise their growth potential whilst increasing our offer to a national and international investment audience.”
As a result of this extended coverage, large companies located in Assisted Areas will become eligible to access government financial support with a relaxation of Regional Aid rules. The most commonly used avenue for this support is the government’s Regional Growth Fund and will also include the LEP’s Business Growth Programme. SMEs in Assisted Areas can also receive public support to cover an increased proportion of their project costs than they would be able to if they were located elsewhere.
This increase in coverage will give local authorities greater flexibility to enable business growth with an additional 43 wards across Leeds City Region awarded Assisted Area status, an increase on the 29 wards in the present coverage.
The new coverage includes wards in Kirklees, Calderdale, Bradford and Leeds in addition to existing coverage in Wakefield, Barnsley and Selby. Some of the City Region’s key development sites, including the Aire Valley Enterprise Zone, Bradford city centre growth zone , Leeds’ city centre and south bank areas, crucial industrial areas south of Bradford, parts of Dewsbury, Batley and Brighouse are also included.