A major new capital investment fund worth £500,000 has been launched by the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership.
Applications are now open for the fund which will be used to invest in projects which boost business, help build skills and employability and drive the move to Net Zero.
Marches LEP chief executive Rachel Laver said the new fund would bring lasting benefits to Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, with funding of between £20,000 and £250,000 available for successful bids.
“This is a significant fund which the Marches LEP is delighted to be delivering to help drive the region’s transition to a highly-skilled, innovative and flourishing Net Zero economy.
“Investment will be made in capital projects within Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin that support the move to a Net Zero economy, build new business support and innovation projects and develop skills and employability support.
‘This new fund builds on the significant investment that the Marches LEP has made across the region in the past 18 months through our £4million Marches Energy Fund and the launch of £240,000 of funding this Autumn to help drive transport improvements and develop innovative low carbon projects.
“It is a clear demonstration of how the LEP continues to work to build a thriving, sustainable and high-skilled economy across the Marches for the benefit of all our communities.”
Rachel said the new funding call was specifically for capital projects to help fund long-term growth and projects must be able to show alignment with national, regional and local economic plans.
The call is open to any business, community organisation, charity, community interest company or community benefit society, and the LEP was also happy for applicants to take a consortium approach with one partner taking the lead role.
Applications would need to be able to demonstrate the successful outcomes of any funding by March 31, 2025, she said.
Examples of outputs which would support an application to the fund include:
• Additional installed capacity, number of new sites, or annual
• Estimated greenhouse gas savings (tCO2e)
• Total energy (kWh) savings
• Number of households brought out of fuel poverty
• Total freed-up capacity (kWp)
• Number of enterprises receiving support
• New jobs created (FTE)
• Jobs safeguarded (FTE)
• Innovative new products created.
• Additional employment land (ha)
• Commercial floor space (sqm)
• New learners assisted (students enrolled)
Applications to the fund should be submitted by December 1 with successful bids being confirmed before the end of the year.