The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has received 143 expressions of interest valued at more than £1 billion in total, from projects seeking potential investment through the Government’s next local Growth Deal.
The LEP issued a call in September for projects that can create high-quality jobs and economic growth in anticipation of the Government announcing a third round of Growth Deals in the near future.
Growth Deals provide LEPs with a share of the Government’s Local Growth Fund to spend on projects that deliver the LEP’s strategic economic plan. This aims to lay the foundations for 20,000 new jobs over the next five years.
Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have already secured more than £60 million of investment from two Growth Deals. These are expected to attract £150 million of private investment, helping to create some 4,000 jobs and 6,000 homes.
In Last month’s autumn statement, Chancellor George Osborne re-affirmed the Government’s commitment to spending £12 billion through its Local Growth Fund, of which around £5 billion remains to be allocated.
The LEP said the 143 expressions of interest had a combined investment value of well over £1 billion, with more than £500 million of funding being sought.
LEP chairman, Chris Pomfret, said: “The response has surpassed our expectations and the breadth of submissions shows there is a real appetite from business in all sectors to invest in projects that deliver growth and quality jobs in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, in line with our economic plan.
“We are now assessing the projects and will draw up a shortlist that will go before the LEP Board in January, ready for a combined funding bid to be made under the next Growth Deal, whenever that is announced.
“We can’t guarantee that shortlisted projects will be funded but we’ll be ready with quality bids in what is a competitive process across all 39 LEPs in England.”
Pomfret said that applicants would be informed about the outcome of their submission from mid-January, once all projects had been assessed.
Those projects that do not go forward will be signposted to other active funding sources, or held as ‘live’ projects for further rounds of Local Growth funding, or other funding opportunities as they arise.
Pomfret said the response had also helped evidence demand for new sources of debt and equity funding to support business growth in Cornwall and the Isles Scilly.
The LEP is working with its partners to establish a series of business finance projects through the EU Growth Programme next year.