Over 200 businesses grow with LEP funding


The Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership has reached a milestone after supporting over 200 companies through the Business Growth Programme. £16m in grant funding has now been awarded and the LEP expects to create a minimum of 2,268 jobs as a direct result.

The programme, which launched in February 2013, has supported a total of 229 businesses from all local authority districts in the Leeds City Region. As the Business Growth Programme requires additional funding from the private sector, from the £16m committed, the LEP expects a further £140m private sector funding to be invested into the regional economy.

Businesses in the LEP’s key growth sectors have been encouraged to apply for the grant funding of between £10,000 and £500,000, which is made possible by the £25.7m pot of funding from the government’s Regional Growth Fund. This includes businesses such as Stickyeyes in the creative and digital sector and Pharmacy 2U in the health and life sciences sector.

Cllr Keith Wakefield, Leader of Leeds City Council and Chair of the LEP Investment Panel said:

“It is great to see the positive impact this funding is having across the City Region, creating over 2000 jobs and supporting economic growth for a whole host of innovative and enterprising projects.”

“Even through the recent tough economic times, we've seen that businesses within the region have continued to have ambitious growth plans and demonstrate sound investment opportunities that we have been able to support.”

“I am delighted that the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership is working hard and successfully to give businesses the hand up they need to achieve their aspirations.”

AJS North, a label printing business, applied for a grant to expand and relocate the company into the Leeds City Region. The company produces high quality self-adhesive labels for a range of different companies and relies heavily on supporting industries, many of which are located in the north of the country.

As a result of the grant funding, AJS North bought the Featherstone Unit in Wakefield, pledging their support to the region by offering nearly 20 new jobs to local people.

Andrew Scrimgeour, Managing director of AJS North said:

“We decided to move to the Leeds City Region because of the fantastic links to other print companies and the pool of talent with the vital skills set needed for the industry.”

“With excellent transport links via the M62, we are pleased that the funding has enabled us to expand our offering in the north of the country, gain new customers and increase production. “

Funding is still available for the Business Growth Programme but given the high levels of interest in the grant funding, the LEP included an extension of the programme in their recent bid to government for the Local Growth Deal. The LEP is anticipating the outcomes of the bid in summer 2014 and hopes this successful business support will continue to have a positive impact on the regional economy.