New programme launched to help businesses get ready for investment

Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has launched a new ‘Investment Readiness’ programme to help small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) better understand the full range of finance options and products available

12 June 2019

Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has launched a new ‘Investment Readiness’ programme to help small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) better understand the full range of finance options and products available and put them in the best position to apply for investment.

SMEs located in Bradford, Calderdale, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield or York are being encouraged to get in touch with the LEP Growth Service to find out more about the support available and to check eligibility.

The new programme has been created in response to consistent feedback from SMEs in need of impartial investment readiness support. This demand was further evidenced in the 2017 Leeds City Region Business Survey which found that access to funding was the main barrier to growing businesses.

The Investment Readiness programme is being delivered on behalf of the LEP by Winning Pitch, an experienced provider of business support services, in conjunction with global business consultancy Grant Thornton and local accountancy practice, Garbutt & Elliott. The programme will run until December 2021 and is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Businesses can access a wealth of support including a programme of workshops covering key themes relating to finance such as; raising equity/debt finance, managing cash flow, becoming investor ready, understanding the finance landscape and creating winning finance documents.

More intensive support will be available through impartial one-to-one advice to help strengthen investment applications and develop investment propositions.

Businesses will also benefit from access to 1-2-1 funding clinics, introductions to a range of finance providers, peer support and investment readiness toolkits and templates.

Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said:

“Investment is a key factor to helping our businesses grow, expand in to new markets and ultimately create new jobs.”

“The new investment readiness scheme will provide businesses with invaluable support and advice that will give them the tools they need to confidently seek investment and deliver successful funding applications.”

“The LEP has supported over 10,000 businesses since 2015 and I’d like to encourage more businesses to get in touch with the LEP Growth Service, and access the support available.”

Jim Keane, CEO at Winning Pitch said:

“The whole team at Winning Pitch are really excited to extend our relationship with the LEP and Leeds City Region businesses through this Investment Readiness programme. We have brought together a vastly experienced team and look forward to delivering dedicated support and adding real value to businesses in the region.”

There is strong anecdotal evidence from finance providers to suggest that there is sufficient financial support available, however businesses too often present investment applications in an unattractive manner, both verbally and particularly in writing, demonstrating a clear need for greater support throughout the process.

Expert support will be delivered by accountancy and business consultancy firms, Garbutt & Elliot and Grant Thornton to help businesses navigate the funding market. 

Simon Palmer, Partner at Garbutt & Elliott said:

“We are very pleased to be involved alongside The LEP, Winning Pitch and Grant Thornton in delivering the Investment Readiness programme within Leeds City Region. 

As a fast-growing regional firm of Accountants operating from Leeds and York, our connectivity to the funding community will be very beneficial for the programme, helping businesses achieve their goals and giving applicants impartial advice on the different funding opportunities available.”

Gaynor Dykes, Growth Finance at Grant Thornton said:

“Grant Thornton is [also] delighted to be involved in the programme. Our award-winning Growth Finance team will help businesses looking externally for funding to navigate an increasingly complex and fragmented market, connecting them to growth capital across angel investors, corporate, private equity and other finance options.”

To find out how the LEP can help your business to access investment support, please contact our Growth Service on 0113 348 1818 or