Nottinghamshire businesses urged to apply for share of funding to help create jobs

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BUSINESSES in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire are being invited to apply for significant grant funding to help them expand and create jobs.

D2N2 - the local enterprise partnership for Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire - secured £5m from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund to help local businesses grow and create new jobs.

And they are now being called upon to make applications for the funding in order to help grow their business.

This new flagship programme called Unlocking Investment for Growth will unlock nearly £20m of direct investment into local businesses supporting hundreds of jobs. Whilst many of these will be in six key sectors of Bio-science, Food & Drink, Construction, Transport Equipment Manufacture, Low Carbon and the Visitor Economy, applications from other sectors creating long-term jobs will also be encouraged.

The programme will provide a grant of up to 25% 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. The process is competitive and applications will be rigorously assessed.

The main criteria for assessment will be:

l Overall strength of business case in terms of deliverability, impact and risk minimisation

l Number of new sustainable, private sector jobs created

l Level of private sector support investment that is leveraged by the grant funding

l Eligibility for RGF support – including State Aid compliance

l Value for money

David Ralph, Chief Executive of D2N2 LEP, said: “Applications are now being invited for this funding and I hope it encourages businesses across the whole of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire to get in touch and express their interest and feel free to have a no obligation discussion.

“The sooner applications are made the better because we want to use this money to help grow the region’s economy and create new jobs.”

State Aid rules apply and businesses must be located in the D2N2 area of Derbyshire or Nottinghamshire.

David Smith, UI4G Programme Co-ordinator, explained: “If you are a business with a capital investment project or you are working with a business that is developing a project that will create long-term sustainable jobs but can’t quite raise the finance necessary then this programme could help to fund the gap.

“This is a fund to support the purchase of capital assets to create long-term sustainable jobs. The company applying must both employ the newly created jobs and hold the assets on their balance sheet for a minimum period of three years.

“The applicant’s business plan will identify the number of new jobs and will also identify and verify the funding gap which is preventing the project being implemented. Whilst this State Aid governed support may in certain circumstances be up to a maximum of 25 per cent, the actual amount that may be offered if successful, after a robust and competitive assessment process, will be determined by a number of criteria including location, business size, value for money, risk factors, numbers of jobs created and verification that funding cannot be raised from other sources.

“This is a capital fund to stimulate capacity expansion in the D2N2 area and will not support working capital applications.”

Businesses interested in applying for a grant should go to www.D2N2lep.org/UI4G or for an informal conversation about a potential project, email brief details to UI4G@embltd.co.uk and include your telephone number so an advisor can call you back.