Heart of the South West announces funding across Devon and Somerset

Three new projects designed to create jobs and boost economic growth have been offered the first loans from the Growing Places Fund (GPF) by the Heart of the South West (HotSW) Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The three projects – Matford Green Business Park, Exeter Science Park and Federal Mogul – have been offered financial assistance under the £21.5m GPF, which aims to use infrastructure projects to drive economic growth in the area.

Matford Green Business Park has been offered £500,000 to facilitate the new development on the edge of Exeter. The new business park will house leisure, retail and education facilities

Exeter Science Park has been offered £4.5m of the GPF fund, to develop a 30,000sq ft Science Park Centre.  This centre will provide accommodation for research and development businesses, on a site adjacent to Junction 29 of M5.

Concise Construction has been offered £1.4m to develop starter business units, and 126 new homes in Bridgwater at the old Federal Mogul site, with flood defence measures in addition.

The LEP’s GPF projects are currently undergoing the final steps in the process, before the formal funding agreements are signed.

Tim Jones, Chairman for Heart of the South West said: “This is a huge step forward for our Partnership.  We are one of the first to award the funding and we are certain that these projects will deliver real results for our area.

“We opened the fund for applications in March and following a rigorous process we are today placing money into projects that will result in real economic growth across the Heart of the South West.

“These projects represent excellent value for money.  Having assessed each one carefully, we are confident they are secure and so as the funds are repaid, they will be recycled in order for more projects to be supported in the future.”

A number of other projects are undergoing further scrutiny before decisions to award funding will be made. However, HotSW is also launching round 2 of the fund, calling for applications from projects across the area.

Round 2 of the fund will open on 15th October and the deadline for submissions is 30th November 2012.

The Partnership is running a series of supporting workshops, designed to encourage applications by giving a background into the fund, outlining the eligibility criteria and explaining the application process. There will also be a session on how the fund fits with European Regional Development Funding following a number of applicants in the first stage with dual funding applications.

  • Plymouth, Tuesday 23rd October 10am – 12 noon – The Future Inn, Plymouth
  • Bridgwater, Wednesday 24th October 10am – 12 noon – The Exchange, Bridgwater.

Details on how to register for the events is available on the website www.heartofswlep.co.uk/events – places are limited and will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis.

Application forms and more information on GPF will be available on the website from 15th October.