Almost £80m up for grabs to support Northamptonshire businesses

SEMLEP chair Dr Ann Limb, with SEMLEP and Velocity Business Support CEO Daniel Charles Mouawad
SEMLEP chair Dr Ann Limb, with SEMLEP and Velocity Business Support CEO Daniel Charles Mouawad

Businesses in Northamptonshire have been given the opportunity to bid for a share of a new £79 million grant to help support local growth and jobs.

The pot has been secured by South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) and will be available to support all sorts of areas, such as low carbon initiatives, competitiveness and innovation.

It is one of the first regions in the country to take up the offer, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).

The European Structural Investment Funding (ESIF) will be delivered over the next six years and is open to areas covered by SEMLEP, including Aylesbury, Bedford, Central Bedfordshire, Corby, Daventry, Kettering, Luton, Milton Keynes, Northampton and South Northamptonshire.

Councillor Peter Marland, SEMLEP Board Director and Leader of Milton Keynes Council, said: “SEMLEP has worked hard to secure European funding on this scale and it should be a real boost for our local economy.

“We have worked closely with all the relevant agencies and partners to be one of the first to launch this programme of funding to help projects in our area benefit from investment at the earliest opportunity.”

Funding available to bid for from today includes:

ERDF funding - This includes possible allocation of £6million for low carbon projects, £6million for proposals which look at ‘stimulating enterprise’ and ‘enhancing the competitiveness’ of small to medium sized businesses, £3.6million for projects which ‘strengthen and exploit innovation and knowledge assets’ and £3.4million for ‘buildings for growth’. The scheme requires applicants to provide 50 per cent match funding, which can be from either the public or private sector. Calls will be open for between four weeks and three months.

EAFRD funding: £825,000 has been earmarked for capital based grants for small to medium sized businesses in rural areas, with priority towards supporting our food and drink and tourism sectors.

ESF funding: £37million has been allocated to the South East Midlands.

Daniel Charles Mouawad, Chief Executive of the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP), said: “The funding launched today will benefit a wide range of projects across the South East Midlands that will help create jobs and stimulate the economy as well as support community and social initiatives.

“It demonstrates continued confidence from central government in the potential future growth in the South East Midlands and we would encourage all eligible organisations to consider applying for part of this funding support as soon as possible.”

For more information on all the European funding available in the South East Midlands visit: www.semlep.com/european-funding-2014-2020 or: www.gov.uk/england-2014-to-2020-european-structural-and-investment-funds-growth-programme