York businesses eligible for �8m LEP funding pot

York businesses can tap into more than £8million grant funding from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to grow, develop new products, processes and markets, and create jobs.

The Leeds City Region business grants programme has already supported nine businesses in York, offering the potential to create 22 new jobs and unlock over £1.2 million private sector investment in the local economy.

York businesswoman, Linda Barrie, successfully secured a £7,000 grant to expand her growing business, Choc-Affair. The company was unable to keep up with production demands in its previous premises and, as a result of LEP support, has moved into new premises specially designed around its production process. This has enabled Choc-Affair to win new business opportunities and expand its team by recruiting two apprentices and two additional members of staff.

Linda Barrie, the founder of Choc-Affair, said: “We knew we could bring in more business but we couldn’t physically produce it from the premises we were in, so we needed funding but didn’t have any more cash flow to put in ourselves. Then we heard about the LEP programme and that’s enabled us to move into these premises, which are designed around the flow of the work process. It was a very simple application process. There were no long-winded forms to fill in; it was just straightforward.”

Roger Marsh, Chair of the LEP said: “We have a unique opportunity for businesses in York to access grant funding to kick-start their ambitious growth plans and create new business opportunities for the future.

“We have already supported over 400 businesses from across the Leeds City Region with grant funding and I would urge more York businesses to take advantage of this opportunity while the funding is available.

Councillor Chris Steward, Leader of York City Council said: “This is a great opportunity for local businesses to access funding to help develop and gain the confidence to invest, hire and grow. It’s pleasing to see that the funding has already supported improved infrastructure and job creation in the city and I hope more York businesses join those already benefitting from the funding by applying.”

LEP grants are available from £10,000 to £500,000 to invest in land, buildings, plant, machinery and equipment, or research and development activity, and create permanent jobs in the Leeds City Region. Companies based anywhere in Leeds City Region – including York, Harrogate, Selby and Craven in North Yorkshire – can apply for funding by clicking here or calling 0113 3481818.

A range of business support is now available from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership to help small and medium-sized businesses grow. Businesses looking to grow can find out about the extensive support available from the LEP and its network of local and national partners by contacting the LEP growth service on 0113 3481818.

Support includes grants from £500 to £50,000 for SMEs to invest in training and skills development, apprenticeship grants and support, and export advice.