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22nd November 2013, 9:09am
£1million funding pot open for business
£1million funding pot open for business Businesses in Lincoln can now apply for a share of a £1 million funding pot to help create new jobs and boost the local economy.

The Lincoln Growth Fund has now been launched following a successful bid to the Government’s Regional Growth Fund, announced earlier this year, and will be delivered by the University of Lincoln in partnership with the Lincolnshire Echo and Lincolnshire Co-operative.

Targeted at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which are located and operating within LN1 to LN6 postcodes, the fund is expected to support around 20 businesses through grants of between £20,000 and £100,000 leading to the creation of sustainable new jobs.  

The fund is now open to receive completed Expression of Interest forms. With a two-stage application process, subject to meeting eligibility criteria, applicants will then be invited to submit full applications. At this second stage, all businesses will be offered free support and guidance to develop their full application.

Competition for this fund is expected to be high and almost all industry sectors can apply.  Grants can be used to fund up to 40 per cent of a range of business expansion projects including capital equipment purchase, improving business premises and recruiting skilled staff.  The fund will run until May 2015.

Professor Mary Stuart, Vice Chancellor at the University of Lincoln, said the Lincoln Growth Fund cemented the institution’s key role in securing and promoting the economic well-being of Lincoln and the wider region.

She said: “Securing this funding is evidence of our desire to see the city prosper and maximise job growth potential. This investment will be of direct benefit to many local businesses and the wider impact will be seen across Lincoln, offering numerous employment opportunities. The successful bid for funding highlights the efforts of the many fantastic businesses already based in Lincoln and I look forward to seeing our city continue to thrive in the coming years.”

Lincolnshire Echo editor Steven Fletcher said: “Regional Growth Funding was set up to stimulate economic growth and generate sustainable employment and this is exactly what our plans will do in the city. More than 300 bids were made for a slice of this cash and to be among those which were successful is excellent. It is testament to the efforts of all involved, particularly our partners at the University, who are seriously committed to creating jobs and supporting our city’s excellent entrepreneurs. The Lincolnshire Echo is proud to be part of the legacy that this innovative project will leave behind.”

Chief Executive of Lincolnshire Co-operative Ursula Lidbetter added: “This is a major boost to the economy of Lincoln will create new jobs, new momentum and build on our excellent innovation culture.”

The Lincoln Growth Fund is just one of 102 projects that were successful in taking a share of a £506 million pot of funding, announced in the summer by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg following the most competitive round of the Regional Growth Fund so far. The Lincoln Growth Fund was formally launched at the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership Summit in July.

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