Applications open for £8.5m European funding pot

Projects which will promote economic growth and create jobs across the Marches could benefit from a share of £8 million of European funding.

Gill Hamer, Director of the Marches LEP
Gill Hamer, Director of the Marches LEP

Applications are being invited from organisations which can help boost the competitiveness of small businesses and develop the region’s low carbon economy.

The funding calls from the European Regional Development Programme include up to £6m for SME competitiveness, specifically through promoting entrepreneurship, supporting innovation and fostering the creation of new firms, including through business incubators.

Projects which will create and extend the capacity of a business to develop products and services could also be supported through the £6m funding pot available in the Marches LEP local authority areas of Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.

A further £2m is being made available to support a shift towards a low carbon economy, through projects which focus on production and supply of renewable energy, increased use of smart and renewable energy in public buildings and promoting research and innovation in, and adoption of, low-carbon technologies.

Gill Hamer, Director of the Marches LEP, said: “We have a track record in the Marches for delivering successful ERDF projects which have a real impact on regional economic growth as well as on the businesses they aim to support.

“In the last 3 years, projects supported via ERDF SME competitiveness funding have helped 350 businesses to grow their enterprises, streamline their processes, win more work and create sustainable jobs.”

Also announced is a £500,000 fund which will help organisations preserve and protect the environment, promote resource efficiency and green infrastructure.

The Marches LEP is the private sector-led organisation working with the local councils in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, to help grow prosperity and create jobs.

The region has been allocated a total of around £105m of European money for projects being delivered between 2014 and 2020

The application criteria are set out in the call templates available on the Government portal at https://www.gov.uk/european-structural-investment-funds. Closing date is November 24 2018.

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