The Humber LEP’s Business Loan Fund is helping businesses in the Humber undertake investment, unlock stalled projects and bring forward development.
The £8.1m revolving fund uses the Humber’s allocation of Growing Places Funding to support capital projects that benefit the local economy and reinvests returns into future projects. The Humber Business Loan Fund will support capital development projects, from infrastructure, flood defence work, housing projects and building, through to machinery purchases, interior refurbishment and landscaping.
Loans of around £100,000 to £1m are available to businesses that can demonstrate they are viable, clearly able to deliver the project and can repay the money. In particular the funding can support smaller development projects and early stage costs, such as undertaking ground works, where it is difficult to access finance from traditional lenders.
Priority is given to projects that will lead to skilled employment, particularly in one of the Humber’s key sectors – Ports and Logistics, Energy, Chemicals, Food Processing, Creative/Digital, Manufacturing and the Visitor Economy.
One of the projects that is benefitting from access to the Humber Business Loan Fund is Hull’s Fruit Market development. A loan of around £1m is helping to accelerate parts of the development, including refurbishing buildings and installing an additional electricity supply.
The Fruit Market regeneration is being driven forward by the Fruit Market LLP, a partnership of Hull City Council and Wykeland Beal, a joint venture formed by regeneration company Wykeland Group and house builder Beal Homes.
Mr Dominic Gibbons of Wykeland Beal said:
“The LEP loan has been provided to refurbish a second phase of properties on Humber Street and is assisting in bringing forward the renovation programme. The refurbishments will provide vibrant new spaces for local creative, artistic and leisure businesses, building on the success of the first phase.
“We are pleased the LEP Board had the vision to support this innovative and exciting project which is key to the development of Hull’s creative, visitor, leisure and retail offer.”
One of the beneficiaries of the renovated properties is the Contemporary Art space, Humber Street gallery which has opened as part of the Hull UK City of Culture programme.
Humber Street Gallery Curator, David Sinclair said:
“The Humber Street gallery is a great on-going success for 2017 with over 32,000 visitors to date. We are grateful to The Fruit Market LLP (Wykeland Beal and Hull City Council) and the LEP for facilitating the new attraction and we look forward to the further regeneration of Humber Street.”
David Kilburn, Chair of the private sector Investment Panel that reviews loan applications and makes funding recommendations said:
“This is an excellent opportunity for businesses to bring forward schemes which may not be as large-scale as the Fruit Market development but will make a real impact in the Humber.
“We are looking to support original and forward-thinking capital projects that can quickly deliver real economic outcomes for the area and contribute to the Humber’s plans for growth.”
Further information about the Business Loan fund and how to apply is available at www.humberlep.org