Monday, October 29, 2012

News: LEP to invite more companies to unlock their business investments


The Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) will call on more local companies to get involved in their £25m programme to help unlock over £100m of direct business investment.

The programme secured £25m of the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) earlier this month, one of the largest successful programme bids in round three of government fund.

Called "Unlocking Business Investment" the programme will unlock over £100m of direct business investment, leading to further private sector growth across the Sheffield City Region. The footprint of this growth is hoped to be approximately 1,800 sustainable, private sector jobs. The businesses supported by the programme will mainly be in the advanced manufacturing and technology sectors.

The LEP bid currently comprises of 27 companies, which put forward plans for growth as part of the bidding process, and a final offer with the government is expected to be agreed before Christmas. Sheffield City Council is to be the lead accountable body.

A competitive call for new projects, likely to be in January 2013, will then be made with a further £15m available for suitable projects.

It is understood that the money will be offered to suitable businesses as grants but if certain conditions are not met, such as jobs growth, then the grant will become repayable by the company.

James Newman, chairman of the LEP, said: "This bid has been several months in planning and a lot of hard work has gone into getting it right – it brings together dozens of companies with robust plans for growth. This programme will demonstrate how a small amount of funding can unlock significantly more direct private sector investment – leading to growth and sustainable, private sector employment."

Innovative Sheffield company, Gripple Ltd, was involved in the bid. Mark Edmonds, managing director at Gripple, said: "This is fantastic news for the City Region, for Sheffield and for Gripple. The difficulties of the current financial climate are well rehearsed and provide plenty of reasons for companies like ours to keep their heads down. However, we have to keep driving forward with innovations in products and processes and in the development of new markets."

Sheffield City Region LEP website

Images: Gripple


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