Many businesses require external investment to support expansion and facilitate the relocation of their organisations. With commercial loans more difficult to obtain, many businesses are benefitting from alternative sources of funding. This page provides information on several sources of funding available to companies already established or investing into Leeds City Region.
Business Growth Programme
The Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) Business Growth Programme provides grant funding to businesses based in Leeds City Region or planning to invest here. Grants from £10,000 to £500,000 are available to create new jobs and business growth and a further £18m has been secured from the Local Growth Fund to extend the life of the investment programme by 3 years. To date, the funding programme has supported over 300 businesses in the region and created almost 3,000 new jobs.
The Business Growth Programme can contribute towards:
- Capital investment in land, buildings, plant, machinery and equipment.
- Research and development activity (except applied research) where this will support business and jobs growth.
To receive funding projects must:
- Create new permanent jobs in Leeds City Region.
- Have private finance available to invest alongside Business Growth Program funding. For every £1 of Business Growth Programme funding sought at least £4 of private sector investment is needed.
- Be within Leeds City Region key growth sectors (health and life sciences, digital & creative, low carbon & environmental, advanced manufacturing, financial & business service).
For further information please click here
THE REVOLVING INVESTMENT FUND
The £20m Revolving Investment Fund (RIF) has been established to address market failures in the provision of commercial loan finance. It's aim is to catalyse investment, accelerate economic growth and drive job creation in the Leeds City Region. In particular, the RIF creates an avenue for developers and business to work together with the public sector to drive investment in commercially viable projects, where conventional sources of finance are insufficient and/or unavailable.
The RIF makes investments (minimum of £1m) on commercial terms and compliant with State Aid restrictions, to meet the gaps where private finance cannot be obtained. It does not provide grant funding.
Contact us on 0113 3785930 or email Investmentfund@leeds.gov.uk to discuss your requirements.
BRADFORD CITY CENTRE GROWTH ZONE
Bradford’s City Centre Growth Zone is a unique initiative that supports business growth through business rate rebates and capital grants*. The zone covers 170 ha of prime commercial space in Bradford city centre.
The Growth Zone offer is made up of the following elements:
- Business rate rebates: rate rebate incentives for eligible business creating new jobs through expansion or relocation, worth up to £16,000 per annum per post created.
- Additional rebates or financial support may be available where redundant or disused space is brought back into permanent commercial use and jobs are being created.
- Premises improvement grant: up to 50% of the total costs of bringing floor space with an identified end user back into commercial use or making improvements to commercial space. Available until March 2015.
- Machinery and equipment grant: up to 50% of the cost of specific fixed assets such as plant and machinery required to enable growth. Available until March 2015.
- Free city centre Wi-Fi and 4G rollout.
- Property search and relocation support.
- *State Aid rules apply. Total maximum grant 200,000 Euros (approx. £160,000).
More information on this and all funding opportunities in Bradford can be found here
LEEDS CITY REGION ENTERPRISE ZONE
The Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone is located within the Aire Valley, two miles east of Leeds city centre and benefits from being a designated Government Enterprise Zone. Companies locating in the enterprise zone benefit from:
- Reduced business rates worth up to £275,000 over a five year period
- Simplified planning
- Up to 100mb broadband speed
- Bespoke recruitment and business support packages
- Assisted Area status from 1st July 2014, offering the potential for enhanced capital allowances
The Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone presents an unprecedented opportunity for business relocation and expansion in Leeds City Region. Covering 142 hectares of prime development land, it is one of three enterprise zones in Yorkshire. Fully developed, the Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone is poised to deliver up to 7,000 new jobs and stimulate development of the wider Aire Valley Leeds, one of the biggest regeneration areas in the North of England. For more information please click here or download a copy of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone's brochure.
ASSISTED AREA STATUS
Assisted Areas are specific parts of the country in which both SMEs and larger companies can access greater levels of public support, including additional grants, enhanced capital allowance or business rates relief.
The Leeds City Region recently benefitted from a 90% increase in its Assisted Areas coverage, with a total of 43 wards now having Assisted Areas status. This includes parts of Kirklees, Calderdale, Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield, Barnsley, and key development sites such as the Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone, Bradford Growth Zone and Leeds city centre and South Bank sites. Contact individual councils for further details.
DISCRETIONARY RATE RELIEF
Leeds City Council is awarding inward investment relief to businesses in target growth sectors (Healthcare, Creative & Digital, Professional & Business Services, Low Carbon Manufacturing, Construction and Social Enterprise/ Third Sector) who are seeking to relocate or invest in new operations which would have a significant impact on employment in Leeds.
- Relief is offered at 1% of rates payable for every new job created up to a maximum of 50% of the
- Rates payable in the first year of relocation/inward investment
- Relief is available either in the first year or spread over the first three years of investment
- Relief from rates is considered a form of State Aid and any award above the minimum value of 200,000 Euros over 3 years would be subject to European Commission approval.
For further details on all funding opportunities please contact us to discuss your specific business requirements and available funding.