Cash to help get stalled projects off the ground
A MULTI-MILLION pound fund to help get development projects off the drawing board is expected to deliver a much-needed shot in the arm to the Humber economy.
The Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Business Loan Fund is designed to provide a cash injection for projects that have stalled due to lack of investment.
Its main aim is to create jobs and accelerate economic growth by providing cash to projects mothballed due to lack of cash reserves and banks being risk averse – particularly projects that already have planning permission and can get off the ground relatively quickly.
Humber LEP Investment Board member Stephen Savage urged companies to approach the partnership with their projects, pointing out the scheme would only be a success if the money was allocated
"This is money that we are prepared to take more of a risk with than a commercial bank would," he said.
"If we spend this money in the Humber region on well-researched projects, we may well get more funding in the future, which will be to everyone's benefit."
More than 200 business people headed to the Forest Pines Hotel on Friday, when the fund was launched.
Carl Bradley, of Clark Weightman, was one of those in attendance.
He said: "I think this is a fantastic initiative. Stephen Savage gave clear examples of where the fund can be a real catalyst for growth, such as a project that had been stalled as because an archaeological survey was required.
"This project could not go to planning until the survey had been carried out, but there was no funding for it and archeological issues are not something you could approach a bank for. The fund will be perfect for kick-starting examples like this."
Open to all businesses, applications to the fund must be for no less than £100,000 and can be used for almost all aspects of capital development projects, from infrastructure, flood defence work and building through to capital machinery, interiors and landscaping.
Mr Bradley said commercial property agents across Hull and East Yorkshire could now play a crucial role in creating jobs and economic growth by pinpointing relevant schemes and directing their clients to the fund.
He said: "The presentation made me think about how the fund could benefit my clients, and after the meeting I contacted one about how the fund could be utilised.
"Lord Haskins made a really good point when he pointed out the Humber estuary is a vital asset and people should now be looking around and seeing what projects they could take to the LEP.
"Let's not take it for granted and think other people will apply – everyone has a part to play."