Business Productivity Pilot

If you want to grow your business and improve productivity you can get support and funding from the LEP.

To support businesses in the region to improve their productivity, the Business Productivity Pilot will award businesses grants to contribute towards capital investments in machinery, equipment and the fit-out of premises.

The pilot will run from 1 November 2019 to 31 January 2020 as an open competition where businesses are invited apply for a grant, demonstrating how the investment will have a positive impact on their productivity.

Research by the Combined Authority highlights that if businesses can close the gap between the region’s productivity rate and the national average, £10 billion could be added to the regional economy.

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.

How does the pilot work
  • The pilot will run as a competition with an open call inviting businesses to apply for grants of between £25,000 and £100,000 to support capital investment projects that will lead to clearly-evidenced productivity improvements.
  • The intervention rates will be between 10% and 20%, depending on the size of the business (20% for firms with under 50 staff, and 10% for those with 50 or above). This means that the minimum size of project that can be supported is £125,000.
  • The call will be open for three months, with applications to be submitted between 1 November 2019 and 31 January 2020
Criteria and commitments

Businesses need to:

  • Be located in Leeds City Region
  • Have been trading for over 12 months
  • Have a capital investment project in Leeds City Region that will lead to clearly-evidenced productivity improvements
  • Invest a minimum of £125,000 in a capital investment project
  • Ensure there is no net reduction in employee numbers for a minimum of 12 months following completion of the investment
  • Produce a productivity plan (a template for this will be provided) that clearly sets out how they currently measure productivity, how the investment project will improve productivity and how this will be evidenced for at least 12-months following the investment.

The productivity plan will also provide applicants with an opportunity to set out any other business or productivity improvement actions to be undertake alongside the investment project. (For example, Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma or Industry 4.0, a commitment to achieve an industry or technical accreditation, or, any other relevant activity.)

  • Commit to taking part in a longitudinal survey that will track its productivity at regular intervals over a three-year period
  • Complete the capital investment project between 1 March 2020 and 30 September 2020
Assessment of applications

A panel of experts from the private and public sector will assess all the applications and make recommendations to the LEP and the Combined Authority, who will then make the final decisions on which applications to approve.

Technical appraisals of all applications will be undertaken by officers of the LEP and Combined Authority, focusing on the financial viability of the applicants and their projects.

Important dates
  • Call opens – 1 November 2019
  • Deadline for applications – 31 January 2020
  • Decisions on grant awards – 28 February 2020

Inclusive growth:

As part of the LEP’s commitment to delivering inclusive growth that benefits everyone, we have introduced new measures to encourage businesses to maximise their positive impact on the region.

If you receive a grant of £25,000 or over, you will be expected to make additional inclusive growth commitments. There are lots of different ways businesses can get on board, from volunteering in a local school to becoming a real Living Wage employer.

Additionally, businesses receiving a grant of less than £25,000 are encouraged to volunteer to undertake an inclusive growth commitment.

The LEP and its network of partners can help businesses to access several products and services that will help them to take these positive actions. Initial guidance and advice on these commitments are available here.