LEP urges businesses to apply for share of funds

The Heart of the South West (HotSW) Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is encouraging businesses to apply for a share of a £3.2 billion fund.

Run by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Regional Growth Fund (RGF), is designed to help companies in England to grow.

Running between 2011 – 2015, this is Round 5 of the fund – so far, £2.6 billion of funding has been allocated to support a range of projects and programmes.   The latest round is worth £300 million.

Businesses across Devon, Somerset, Plymouth and Torbay can make a bid in Round 5 of the RGF, established to support projects and programmes that lever private sector investment to create economic growth and sustainable employment.

Chris Garcia, Chief Executive of the HotSW LEP said: “We hope that businesses will apply for funding, as it will boost growth and increase employment in the Heart of the South West area.

“This round of funding is primarily aimed at larger firms, as the minimum bid is £1 million – smaller businesses were eligible for projects under previous rounds of the RGF.”

The HotSW LEP, a private and public sector partnership covering Devon, Somerset, Plymouth and Torbay, is offering support to those making a bid:   the Partnership endorsed many stand alone bids from organisations within the area for the RGF in previous rounds of the RGF.

BIS has encouraged bidders to involve the LEPs and seek their support and endorsement as part of the bidding process. In order to do this bidders are strongly encouraged to contact the LEP at least seven working days prior to submitting their bid to BIS.   More details are available on the LEP website.

A series of regional roadshows are being planned by the Department for Innovation, Business and Skills to help businesses with their applications.   The next one for this area will be held on 5th November at the University of Plymouth.

Expression of Interest forms and details about the roadshow event for Round 5 are available on this website and the deadline for applications to BIS   is midday on is 9th December.

Successful bids will be announced in spring 2014.