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GREAT UK Challenge Fund

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04 Mar 2016

Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership is mid-way through the delivery of a GREAT UK Challenge Fund programme, following a successful bid to the fund.

The programme is focused on two international markets – India and China – and will deliver new activity through broad regional partnerships. The LEP’s GREAT bid covers four key themes: trade, inward investment, education and the visitor economy and the programme is being delivered with over 15 partners, including VisitBradford, the region’s universities, Phoenix Dance Theatre, thebigword, and Deloitte.

The LEP has recently returned from leading a delegation of representatives from across the City Region to Bangalore to introduce Leeds City Region to businesses, potential students, and travel trade representatives as a key location with similar strengths and ambitions, and with a wealth of opportunities for investment and collaboration. The programme included one to one meetings with growing Indian businesses considering locating in the UK, as well as travel trade representatives, and influencers and agents in the higher education sector. Further to this, the LEP hosted two evening events during the outbound programme; one focused on a business opportunities, exploring themes of digital and data, and how technology is changing the shape of business. The second event targeted the higher education sector, introducing Leeds City Region’s diverse and extensive education offer, specifically focusing on employability and student experience as key strengths.

The outbound visit has raised the profile of the City Region as a location for investment, engaging with over 100 businesses directly through delegate meetings. In addition the visits engaged a number of Indian media outlets generating 6 articles which have reached over 400,000 people in market, and included coverage of the delegation’s presentation at the investment summit.

The second half of the programme will be directed at China, with PR, social media and travel trade programmes taking place throughout the remainder of the financial year. The programme of activity in China will primarily focus on engaging with Leeds City Region alumni to drive increased interest in bilateral investment and trade between China and Leeds City Region, encouraging return leisure visits to Leeds City Region, and cementing relationships with their parent university. An outbound delegation, visiting Shanghai and Hangzhou, is planned for Summer 2016. If you are interested in finding out more about the programme, please email Charlotte Rutherford.