Businesses could help secure a £6 million to grant fund to develop projects from the Humber to the Wash if they complete a survey for the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership(LEP).
Businesses in Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire and North-East Lincolnshire are being encouraged to fill in the short survey so the LEP can demonstrate to the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) – a £350 million pot of money aimed at creating jobs and stimulating growth – that there is a need for money to pay for smaller projects in the area.
Under RGF rules bids must be for a minimum of £1 million, leaving many smaller but vital projects and businesses unable to access much-needed cash. If successful, the LEP will offer grants up to 25 per cent of a project, with businesses meeting the remaining amount. Projects should deliver economic and jobs growth and should be between £100,000 to £2 million.
Ruth Carver from the Greater Lincolnshire LEP Secretariat said: “We’ve had huge interest from businesses across the Greater Lincolnshire area looking for our help in bidding on the RGF. Unfortunately for many, the minimum £1 million threshold means they are unable to apply.
“We’ve decided to place a bid for £6 million which can fund smaller-scale, but no less important projects, that will allow businesses to grow and create jobs. If we’re successful the fund will offer grant investments of between £25,000 and £500,000.
“Filling out the survey demonstrates support to strengthen our bid. If the LEP is successful, grants will be awarded on a case-by-case basis. The idea is to help get projects off the ground which will rapidly create sustainable employment, driving growth in our area.”
The fourth round of RGF money was announced in January. It is aimed at helping manufacturing firms, small businesses and local partnerships across England to expand their operations, create new jobs and stimulate growth.
The RGF is split into two categories: the first is ‘projects’, which sees funding go directly to the final beneficiary whether it’s a company, local authority or non-profit body. The second is ‘programmes’ where money is awarded to an intermediary who will then use it to run a grant or loan scheme for final beneficiaries, or develop infrastructure to enable business growth.
The survey is available online now. Businesses with a project in need of financial help that would be interested in benefiting from the potential Investment Fund are being asked to complete it via www.greaterlincolnshirelep.co.uk before 13th March 2013.