An overview of the programme by Karen Oliver-Spry Investment Programme Manager at the Humber LEP.
What is the purpose of the programme?
Growing the Humber is a business investment scheme which aims to stimulate business growth, Investment and job creation around the Humber.
The £8m Local Growth Fund programme builds on the previous £30m Regional Growth Fund and £4m Local Growth Fund programmes to offer grants of between £5,000 and £500,000 to help businesses invest in equipment, machinery and other capital purchases that will enable their business to grow and employ more people.
Who is the programme aimed at?
The programme is aimed at small and medium enterprises in the Humber area that have been trading for at least a year and can demonstrate good prospects for growth.
We are not able to support local services (e.g. cafés, shops, hairdressers, care facilities) and some other sector restrictions apply but plenty of businesses in the Humber, for example manufacturing and engineering businesses, are eligible for support and many have benefitted from grants awarded to date.
What are the programme criteria?
Projects must be completed within one year and businesses must create at least one job and at least one job for every £15,000 grant awarded.
Grants are paid in arrears and are awarded as a proportion of eligible spend. This means that grants should be considered alongside other finance options such company funds, bank loans, asset finance or the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.
The maximum grant that can be awarded to a business will depend on the size of the business and where the activity is taking place. The Humber benefits from Assisted Area Status in some wards in each of the local authority areas. This means that companies operating in this area are able to access enhanced support as a result of their location.
What is the application process?
Businesses should complete an initial Expression of Interest to determine eligibility. Eligible businesses will then be invited to submit a full application and will need to supply supporting information such as historic accounts, management accounts, Business Plan, Financial Forecasts, quotes and any relevant permissions. Businesses will also need to show that they have secured the remaining funds.
Applications are assessed by the Humber LEP’s Investment Panel – a group of private sector volunteers with a range of business expertise and experience covering business management, finance and accounting, commercial law and commercial property. They understand the challenges faced by business and aim to be flexible, but fair in assessing applications and awarding grants.
How can I find out more?
More information is available on at http://www.humberlep.org/funding
Alternatively please contact the Humber LEP on 01482 485 260.