The Mayor of London has announced £40million to encourage jobs and growth in small and medium businesses, technology, science and infrastructure.
This follows the publication of the London Enterprise Panel’s (LEP) strategy setting out a series of recommendations to keep the capital’s economy buoyant and competitive.
The £40 million package is designed to encourage private sector investment and will be targeted across areas identified by the LEP as being of strategic importance to London’s economic growth. The largest portion – £25 million – will be used to create a scheme to raise equity or loan finance for small and medium-sized businesses. With more than 800,000 SMEs in London, representing 50 per cent of all employment opportunities and £430billion of business turnover, the Mayor and the LEP have prioritised support for this important sector.
The remaining £15million is available for investment into the capital’s science and technology sector or infrastructure. The Mayor is now calling for funding submissions which meet the LEP’s objectives.
This is the second round of funds released to support the LEP’s work, which are designed to be “revolving”, meaning money from the central fund is replenished as individual projects pay back their loans, creating the opportunity to issue other loans to new projects.
The London Enterprise Panel (London’s Local Enterprise Partnership) has identified four priority areas to boost London’s economy and cope with predicted skills needs. The LEP’s Jobs and Growth Plan contains a series of aims and recommendations.
In summary, these cover the following areas:
- Raise skill levels and increase employment opportunities to ensure Londoners can compete for London’s job needs
- Champion small and medium sized enterprises to support and grow businesses
- Support digital, creative, science and technology sector to position the capital globally as a world leading hub
- Encourage infrastructure investment into London to keep the city moving and functioning
Kit Malthouse, Deputy Mayor for Business and Enterprise, co-chair of the London Enterprise Panel, said: “Our priorities are twofold. We must create opportunities for as many Londoners as possible to become economically active. We must also fit the city for the future, helping it to adapt to a global economy that can shift jobs and capital across time zones in a matter of weeks.”