Local Enterprise Partnerships
There are 38 Local Enterprise Partnerships across England. They are voluntary partnerships between local authorities and local private sector businesses and play a central role in determining local economic priorities and undertaking activities to drive economic growth.
The relationship the LEP has with business is a vital ingredient in enabling business to grow and progress.
Local Enterprise Partnerships channel grant funding from the government to various regions in England. The funds they manage include The Rural Development Programme for England and the European Regional Development Fund.
The Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) provides money for projects to improve agriculture, the environment and rural life. Funding goes to schemes to improve the environment, increase the productivity of farming and forestry and grow the rural economy. The fund is aimed predominantly at farmers, growers or foresters, business owners in rural areas and food businesses.
The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is responsible for management of the EU funding which is dedicated to regional development. The main objective of the ERDF is to support the projects and activities which reduce the economic disparity within the member states of the EU. It financially aids projects that stimulate economic development and increase employment in the poorest regions of the EU. It aims to make the regions more attractive to tourists and investors, improve transport and basic infrastructure, increase the quality of education and promote regional development.
Regional Growth Funding
Regional Growth Funding (RGF) is available currently through a small number of RGF programmes. The Regional Growth Fund programmes are run by national or local organisations offering grants and/or loans to eligible businesses. If you run a business and are looking for funding of less than £1 million, you may be able to apply to an RGF programme.
“Take a look at the Local Growth Fund if your business can take a long term view on infrastructure investment. This funding is primarily aimed at flagship projects like Education, Transport and Housing Development. The funding is all about economic growth and job creation and follows along the lines of the Regional Growth Fund. LEPs will set priorities in their individual Strategic Economic Plans that in turn will set the priorities for funding allocation of the Local Growth Fund.”