Securing LEP funding for public sector projects
Mike Reader, London
Should you consider LEP funding as part of your next project?
The complexities of Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) funding are often a challenge which puts off many worthy projects from applying. But as LEP’s take a greater role, responsible for funding for education, local development and regeneration, the opportunity to secure funds and therefore deliver more ambitious projects must be considered by all public bodies.
What funding is available?
The funding available through your local LEP will differ dependant on region and scale, but LEPs generally have access to:
- The Regional Growth Fund (region specific funds)
- The Growing Places Fund (£0.7Bn)
- EU Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) (£5Bn)
- Local Growth Deal (£2Bn)
Each fund has its own entry requirements; some are favourable to the public sector, some require significant job creation as a project outcome and some will be linked to other funding sources or schemes outside LEP control. It is therefore vital for specialist advice to be provided early in the project process.
How can I access LEP funding?
LEPs are looking to deliver economic value through the funding they provide. Projects which create employment, training opportunities or inward investment will always be viewed upon favourably, but funding can be secured by almost any project.
Understanding LEP political and economic drivers is a must. Each LEP will have different priorities, and therefore a one-size-fits-all approach simply won’t work. You need local teams who understand local issues to maximise your chances of securing funds.
Positive and unambiguous proposals, which clearly set out the outcomes that funding will deliver will further increase chances of securing LEP funding, the language, measurement and quantification used to assess outcomes needs to be provided in a way that LEPs can understand; using specialists in this field will help you to meet these particular requirements.
Overall, the continued devolution of power from central government makes Local Enterprise Partnership funding an attractive and accessible opportunity for all of the public sector, and, drawing from experience from across the industry, our team is set up and ready to support you on your next project.