Solent LEP launches fund to help develop capital project proposals

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The LEP has launched a £500,000 Development Cost Fund to help organisations in the Solent bring forward bids to the National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF).

The Fund aims to support organisations to undertake initial development work on capital infrastructure projects that have the potential to contribute to transforming economic growth in the Solent. Priority will be given to project proposals that improve productivity; housing, transport, digital communications and research and development.

The LEP is seeking to support larger, strategic projects through the fund and, in order to be considered, bidders will need to demonstrate that their project is valued between £10m and £50m and has the potential to directly deliver more than 150 new homes, employment floor space for logistics (in excess of 9,000m2), waterfront employment sites (in excess of 2 hectares), or Grade A office space/move on space (in excess of 4,500m2). The LEP will also consider projects that have the potential to bring forward new and innovative solutions for the residential housing rental market. Priority will be given to projects that can begin to deliver in the next two years.

Funding will be made available to cover up to 50% of the costs for organisations to undertake development work at the feasibility, Strategic Outline Business Case, and Outline Business Case stages.

Gary Jeffries, Solent LEP Chairman, said:

“We are fortunate that we have had a very strong pipeline of projects coming forward from the Solent area in recent years. This has been critical to the LEP in helping us secure over £190 million to support growth in the Solent to date. However, there is much more investment needed in the area and the competition from other parts of the country for Government money through the new National Productivity Investment Fund will be fiercer than ever. If the Solent is to build on our initial success moving forward, it will be important that the pipeline of projects remains strong. The fund we are launching today will help de-risk investment by local partners through sharing the upfront development cost and I hope that we can bring forward the next wave of transformational investments for the area.”

Further information on the new development fund is available at www.solentlep.org.uk and the first deadline for applications is Friday 21st April 2017.