LEP opens Growing Places bidding

The London Enterprise Panel has released the prospectus for Round 3 of the Growing Places Fund, with £7.5 million of capital funding available as part of the overall GPF allocation of £110 million revolving capital that has been operating since April 2012.

The fund aims to use public sector money to encourage private sector investment.

The LEP is seeking preferably private-sector led proposals that will support “innovative ways of delivering jobs and growth in London”.

The Growing Places Fund Round 3 is a revolving capital fund and aims to help deliver projects with tangible outcomes that respond to the LEP’s ‘London 2036’ report.

The Round 3 fund will concentrate on projects which fall into one or more of the following three core themes and their respective priority areas:

  • The Global Hub – to maintain London’s international leadership position by ensuring London increases the focus on emerging markets, improves global access and stays open for business.
  • The Creative Engine – to support a more diverse growth of businesses in London by training more technical talent, improving digital connectivity and creating the conditions needed to support the growth of SMEs.
  • The City that Works – to manage the pressures associated with London’s success as the global hub to create a city that works by accelerating housing delivery, developing Londoner’s employability and securing infrastructure investment.

The LEP believes public funding offers the opportunity to make strategic and long-term investment choices, which private sector investors might otherwise be unable to undertake in the absence of market incentives because of the risk associated with the scale of the proposals, or their dependence on adequate public infrastructure.

The Growing Places Fund is used to support projects that are strategically important to London’s economic growth, where its impact can be recaptured, repaid after time, and reused to fund new projects in other parts of London.

The first round of funding in London received 16 bids of which 10 were for infrastructure projects, one proposed a land acquisition, three related to development and one proposed a skills and training centre.

The second round received 32 bids of a value of over £200 million. Of these, 18 related to SME Support, with £25 million being allocated for relevant proposals for the SME Finance Fund.

The deadline for submission of proposals is 21 October 2015.

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