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LEP celebrates funding success

The Black Country LEP is celebrating after it successfully attracted a further £4 million from the government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) for its Growing Priority Sectors programme.

The programme will support companies in priority sectors of advanced manufacturing, environmental building technologies and business services to initiate growth. Grants of between £50,000 and £1m will be available for capital investment in plant, machinery and property, as well as associated training and research and development costs.

In addition to this bid, the Black Country LEP has also seen success for its part in a national scheme initiated by a joint bid with Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP for a Tooling Loan Fund.

This £7m application would lever in £21m of private sector investment setting up a £28m evergreen Tooling Loan Fund for the automotive sector. It would fund expansion and increase competitiveness of existing tooling capacity by helping businesses secure new work and create new jobs, as well as securing the repatriation of overseas based tooling business to this country.

The Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership worked with partners including the four Black Country local authorities, Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) and Black Country Chamber of Commerce to co-ordinate the bids and also provided support and advice to applicants in separate bids from businesses in the area.

Stewart Towe, chair of the Black Country LEP, said:

"Supporting local businesses to overcome barriers to growth is the key objective of the Black Country LEP. Throughout  this programme bid we have worked closely with a number of businesses to help secure significant funding that will help companies take their business operations to the next level.”

The Regional Growth Fund is administered by BIS (Department for Business Innovation and Skills) and all successful applications will now go through a due diligence process before money is released.

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