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New capital investment opportunity – projects sought for Local Growth Fund

SEMLEP seeks project proposals for new opportunity for major capital investment.

In yesterday’s meeting (16 July), the SEMLEP Board approved a new bidding round open to  businesses, public sector and third sector organisations based in the South East Midlands area, to be funded through SEMLEP’s Local Growth Fund programme.

SEMLEP is looking for investment-ready capital projects that will contribute to economic success for our communities, deliver high-value employment opportunities and further strengthen our area’s business strengths, creativity and skills capabilities that compete on a world-stage.

Projects will need to be investment-ready for Spring 2019 and will need to complete by end March 2021.

The closing date for applications is 5pm Monday, 1 October 2018. SEMLEP will make initial approval decisions by end of December 2018 and aim to complete the second stage of project due-diligence by end April 2019.

Successful projects must be able to demonstrate how they meet the objectives set out in the Economic Growth Strategy for the area and must meet SEMLEP’s robust governance standards expected with investment of public money.

SEMLEP’s Chair, Dr Ann Limb CBE DL said: 

“Our role is to promote strong, sustainable and inclusive growth that creates jobs and supports businesses to innovate. Our Local Growth Fund helps us to achieve this by investing in major projects that grow business, people and places.

“This new opportunity will channel investment to strengthen our area’s position as the premier location for growth, innovation, creativity and world-leading technologies.”


Hilary Chipping, SEMLEP’s Chief Executive said:

“There is strong growth potential in the South East Midlands, with ambitions to double the size of the local economy by 2050. Investments through Local Growth Fund contributes to this by supporting projects like Northampton-based MAHLE Powertrain’s Real Drive Emissions Centre,  Central Bedfordshire College’s Engineering and Construction Skills Centre in Leighton Buzzard and  Luton Culture’s Hat District project. 

“This shows what can be achieved with a public-private partnership, working together to meet shared economic objectives.”

To assist applications, SEMLEP’s Director of Programmes and Governance, Judith Barker will be hosting telephone advice sessions in mid-July and early August.

The Local Growth Fund team will also host a bidding round roadshow in September to provide detailed guidance for projects wishing to proceed with their application.

For more information about the South East Midlands Strategic Economic Plan, the bidding round and to download the application proforma, visit the Local Growth Fund section of the  SEMLEP website.