LEP launches �20m fund for businesses


The Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has today launched its Business Growth Programme, making available grants between £10,000 and £1 million, to support the growth of businesses across the City Region.

Neil McLean, Chair of the Leeds City Region LEP explains:

“The launch of this grant programme gives the LEP a really important new means of supporting ambitious businesses in our City Region. It is there for companies that have plans to grow and create jobs but have hit funding gaps in what we know remains a difficult business finance market.

“I am confident that by offering such a wide range of grants, we will be able to support the growth of a huge variety of businesses, especially SMEs.

“We have also worked hard to make the application process as simple as possible, and will give applicants a swift response – once we have all the information we need we will aim to respond to applications within 30 working days.”

Sandy Needham, CEO of Bradford Chamber of Commerce and representative of the Leeds City Region Chambers of Commerce on the LEP's Business Communications Group said:

“This is fantastic news for the business community. Businesses are still finding it difficult to access any funding at the moment and the Business Growth Programme will be just the opportunity many companies across the area are looking for to help boost growth and create jobs. Chambers across the City Region are very supportive of the Programme and we urge interested businesses to enquire about accessing the funds.”

Commenting on the importance of the Programme for SMEs, Bob Gomersall, Chairman of BTL and Virtual College, and a member of the LEP’s Business Innovation and Growth Panel said:

“For many SME owners, having access to the right kind of finance is critical to realising their growth ambitions and taking on new staff. This new grant programme from the LEP is a welcome development, offering SMEs the chance to bid for funding from £10k to £100k to meet a wide variety of business needs.”

Councillor Peter Box, Chair of the Leeds City Region Leaders Board said:

“Creating jobs and addressing funding, infrastructure and investment gaps is part of our targeted and collective effort to overcome the challenges we face in growing our economy. The Partnership has worked hard and made considerable efforts to develop work in support of this growth and this Programme is an excellent example of how these efforts are paying off”.

The LEP’s grant programme is being supported by money awarded under the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF). There is no set deadline for applications – businesses can apply at any time while funds are available – however interested companies are advised to move quickly, as the funding is finite