Fund is launched for the city region

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THE first round of a new cash pot to finance business growth has been launched.

The £24m Growing Places Fund has been launched by the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

It aims to generate economic activity in the short-term by helping fund infrastructure projects.

Up to £10m will be available in the first round.

The LEP now wants to hear from organisations wanting a slice of the fund pie and will decide how the money is allocated in the summer.

The Growing Places Fund will mainly offer loans with the LEP reinvesting money coming back to it through repayments.

Chairman of the LEP, Neil McLean, above, said: “From our discussions with business and the public sector, we know that unavailabaility of finance is a major barrier preventing many infrastructure schemes from progressing.

“Through the Growing Places Fund we aim to help unlock those schemes that will make the biggest difference to the City Region economy.

“The Fund will also provide vital financing for the LEP over the longer term, enabling us to reinvest in future projects that will create jobs and economic growth, or lower carbon emissions.”

The Leeds City Region covers 11 local authority areas.

Information on the Fund can be found at www.leedscityregion.gov.uk/funding.htm and expression of interest forms can be obtained by emailing lcr@leedscityregion.gov.uk.

The deadline for returning expressions of interest is March 26.

Alex Newman, partner at Irwin Mitchell in Leeds

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