BUSINESSES in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire are being encouraged to act fast and apply to access a multi-million pound pot of funding set up to create long-term sustainable jobs.
D2N2 – the local enterprise partnership for Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire – secured £5m from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund, topped up further by the European Regional Development Fund, to help businesses grow.
Since launching its Unlocking Investment for Growth programme (UI4G) in 2013, the programme has approved £2.7m in grant funding which will create 244 jobs. Further applications that are at an advanced stage are requesting in excess of £2m and expect to create an additional 300 jobs.
But it is a time-bound opportunity, with capital projects having to be completed by March 2015.
The programme will provide a grant in support of capital investment projects with a minimum overall project value of £200,000. In exceptional circumstances up to £500,000 of grant funding is available for projects that can demonstrate real potential to create new jobs.
D2N2 Board member Peter Gadsby, who chairs the UI4G Panel, is encouraging more local firms, who have been frustrated by limited access to finance opportunities, to access this significant grant funding to stimulate and accelerate their capacity expansion plans and take advantage of the improving economy.
Mr Gadsby, one of the region’s best known and successful business leaders, has a wealth of experience and expertise in all sectors and runs his own private venture capital business. He has first-hand experience about the challenges of accessing finance and is keen to ensure that eligible businesses with capital investment projects that create direct jobs are aware of and can apply to this D2N2 fund.
He said: “If you are working with, or run a business in Derbyshire or Nottinghamshire with a capital investment project that will create long-term sustainable jobs but can’t quite raise the capital necessary to purchase the fixed assets required, then UI4G may be for you.
“We are now seeing first hand the huge difference UI4G can make to local businesses and that should encourage other companies to get in touch and express their interest.
“I am challenging companies not to miss out on this time-bound opportunity.”
Richard Gill, UI4G’s Programme Director, added: “We have a team ready to talk about your project and its eligibility. The sooner applications are received the better. We want to use this money to help grow the region’s economy and create new jobs.”
To help the UI4G team assess the opportunity to support the project, they need to know the number of new jobs that will be created by the project which should be supported by a robust business plan. The capital cost of the project less the finance that can be raised will determine the funding gap that UI4G may be able to bridge with a grant and will inform us of the potential value for money offered by the project.
The main criteria for assessment will be:
- Overall strength of business case in terms of deliverability, impact and risk minimisation
- Number of new sustainable, private sector jobs created
- Level of private sector support investment that is leveraged by the grant funding
- Eligibility for Regional Growth Fund support – including State Aid compliance
- Value for money
The UI4G programme is managed by EMB Ltd on behalf of D2N2.
For more information or to view successful case studies, go to www.d2n2lep.org/UI4G, or call 01332 826366 or email UI4G@embltd.co.uk