Friday, March 16, 2012

News: Sheffield City Region LEP launch round three of the Regional Growth Fund


Over a hundred local business people attended a Regional Growth Fund (RGF) event in Sheffield this week.

The event was one of three roadshows organised by the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (SCR LEP) and local authorities to support businesses with robust plans for growth to access RGF funding. In particular, the LEP programme bid will allow suitable companies to submit bids lower than the £1m threshold.

The RGF is the government's main source of funding for economic development and regeneration. At the 2011 Autumn Statement, the Chancellor announced a further £1 billion for the RGF, which will be extended into 2014-15.

The aims of the fund remain the same: creating jobs, encouraging private investment and supporting areas dependent on the public sector.

Chris Scholey, a Private Sector LEP Board member, said: "The turnout at our roadshows has been bigger and better than expected. I'm confident that the Sheffield City Region will produce a high quality programme bid which will support jobs and economic growth in the area."

Richard Wright, executive director of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, added: "Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are critical to the growth of the economy. We are pleased the LEP has identified the value of SMEs and developed a programme which will make the Regional Growth Fund more accessible to businesses of all sizes."

Representatives from the partnership also recently presented plans to property investors and decision makers at MIPIM, the world's largest annual property event, in Cannes, France.

The LEP successfully negotiated a package with central government and will be one of only six zones in England able to offer enhanced capital allowances, offering up-front tax relief for major capital investments.

The aim is to encourage manufacturing businesses to make substantial investments in plant and machinery in the Sheffield City Region Enterprise Zone (EZ). The incentives are available on business investments to a total limit of £300m.

Additional incentives for smaller businesses locating in the EZ, which are available from April 2012, include business rates relief, fast track planning and access to superfast broadband.

Sheffield City Region website


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