Regional Growth Fund – LEP Programme
Unlocking Business Investment
The Sheffield City Region LEP programme ‘Unlocking Business Investment’ began life as a £25,000,000 programme selected, on competitive basis, by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund Ministerial Panel in Autumn 2012 (Round 3). In light of performance, the programme was extended to £32m in July 2013 (Round 4).
The purpose of the programme was to ‘unlock’ direct business investment, principally within SMEs, the footprint of which must be sustainable, private sector employment in the Sheffield City Region.
As of August 2014, this programme is now fully committed having invested in 128 projects across the whole City Region. This has ‘unlocked’ £200m of direct business investment, leading to approximately 2,500 new jobs.
Access to Finance is a key priority for the SCR LEP and featured prominently in the LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan and EU Structural and Investment Funds Strategy (ESIF Strategy). As a result of the performance of the LEP’s RGF programme, a further devolved fund of £52m was secured during the 2014 ‘Growth Deal’. This is in addition to the notional allocation made as part of the ESIF Strategy.
Looking forward the LEP’s role will be to (a) develop a suite of financial instruments to address areas of market failure (b) better coordinate these products (and provide investment readiness support) through the SCR Growth Hub.
Going forward, companies looking to secure external finance are encouraged to contact the SCR Growth Hub.