The Heart of the South West (HotSW) Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has announced that the first stage of the shortlisting process for the Growing Places Fund applications is now complete, with 13 applications proceeding through to the next round.
Twenty-three applications were made to the Partnership for a share of the £21.5m fund, which aims to boost economic growth in the area by providing financial assistance to stalled developments.
Tim Jones, Chairman for Heart of the South West said: “We were pleased by the quality of applications, the spread across the area and the diversity of projects. The total for these projects is around £16m, and whilst not all may be successful, we think this represents a significant investment that could result in real economic benefits.
“We will be reserving the remaining funds for future applications; several of the bids that were not successful on this occasion have real potential but need more work before they can go forward for consideration. We want to see real results as soon as possible, but we need to balance that with realistic investment prospects that represent good value for money, bring jobs and enterprise and can deliver growth. “
The Growing Places Fund was awarded to HotSW, the Local Enterprise Partnership for Devon, Somerset, Plymouth and Torbay by the Government.
Applicants to the funding have to demonstrate that they have the relevant planning permissions in place, as well as other criteria including job creation and private sector investment. The intention is that the funds will be paid back to create a revolving system that can be reinvested into other local projects.
The LEP expects to announce the successful proposals in the early autumn, after formal interviews, financial checks and contracts are agreed.
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Heart of the South West
The Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has been formed under the leadership of the private sector supported by the local authorities from Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay and the area’s District Councils. It is one of 39 partnerships created since the Government’s Local Growth White Paper published in October 2010. More information about the work of the LEP is available from the website www.heartofswlep.co.uk.