D2N2’s Growing Places Fund has reopened for expressions of interest to kick-start ‘stalled’ job creating developments in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.
Growing Places is a sustainable fund which allows organisations to apply for funding of up to £2.5m to invest in physical infrastructure to support developments, and tackle site constraints, in order to create jobs.
Over time, the cash is paid back to the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership so it can make further investments to support economic growth.
Prometheus Ltd is one business to benefit from the fund while a number of large schemes across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire are set to be given the green light from the first round of applications.
The Langley Mill-based firm is to double its staff as it switches from research and consultation into the production of its own fire retardant thanks to a helping hand from the D2N2 LEP.
The Local Enterprise Partnership for Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire approved a £160,000 loan from its Growing Places Fund after a successful application from the owners as they looked at raising capital to put a new product into production at its North Street premises.
Technical Director David Aslin says his staff is set to more than double from five to 12 as a direct result of the expansion of its premises.
Asked how crucial the D2N2 loan was to the growth of the business, Mr Aslin said: “It was absolutely essential. We had explored and exhausted all other funding routes except for an outline interest from the Rapid Growth Fund manager at Envestors.
“The effect of the D2N2 support is that if growth vastly exceeds the capacity funded by the D2N2 loan, further finance from conventional sources should be relatively easy to come by.
“If everything goes as predicted, we anticipate turnover of £1,500,000 per year with a staff of 12 minimum.”
D2N2 Chief Executive David Ralph said: “I am pleased to announce that D2N2’s Growing Places Fund is now inviting further applications for business and we look forward to receiving expressions of interest for schemes that fit our strategic priorities and, with support from the fund, will bring jobs and economic growth to our area.
“We have already seen successes like Prometheus and a further five schemes are being finalised, ready to come to fruition.
“Prometheus might be a relatively small loan compared to the other five projects that are being finalised at present but it will make an enormous impact for the firm. What it shows is our ability to help small companies as well as larger firms.
“The Growing Places Fund will support schemes that may have been held back to get up and running and support our economic recovery.
“We will be looking at a number of factors when making decisions about which schemes to support, including their economic impact and how quickly investments can be repaid to support other schemes. Anyone thinking of applying should download the guidance from our website and, if suitable, submit an expression of interest. I would also urge them to work closely with their local authorities.”
The D2N2 Board made the Nottinghamshire Enterprise Zone its first priority for investment from the £25m Growing Places Fund, and D2N2 is looking to make other significant investments that fit with the LEP’s strategic priorities and unlock economic growth.
Expressions of interest are being invited for schemes that require up to £2.5m from the fund to kick-start development but projects outside this range may be considered if they deliver exceptional outputs or exceptional value for money.
An Expression of Interest form and guidance is available at www.d2n2lep.org/GPF together with information about key contacts.
Expressions of interest must be submitted by midday on Friday October 25th, 2013.