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What is the purpose of the programme?

Growing the Humber is a business investment scheme which aims to stimulate business growth, investment and job creation around the Humber.

The £8m Local Growth Fund programme builds on the previous £30m Regional Growth Fund and £4m Local Growth Fund programmes to offer grants of between £5,000 and £500,000 to help businesses invest in equipment, machinery and other capital purchases that will enable their business to grow and employ more people.

Who is the programme aimed at?

The programme is aimed at small and medium enterprises in the Humber area that have been trading for at least a year and can demonstrate good prospects for growth.

We are not able to support local services (e.g. cafés, shops, hairdressers, care facilities) and some other sector restrictions apply but plenty of businesses in the Humber, for example manufacturing and engineering businesses, are eligible for support and many have benefitted from grants awarded to date.

What are the programme criteria?

Projects must be completed within one year and businesses must create at least one job and at least one job for every £15,000 grant awarded.

Grants are paid in arrears and are awarded as a proportion of eligible spend. This means that grants should be considered alongside other finance options such company funds, bank loans, asset finance or the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.

The maximum grant that can be awarded to a business will depend on the size of the business and where the activity is taking place. The Humber benefits from Assisted Area Status in some wards in each of the local authority areas. This means that companies operating in this area are able to access enhanced support as a result of their location.

What is the application process?

Businesses should complete an initial Expression of Interest to determine eligibility. Eligible businesses will then be invited to submit a full application and will need to supply supporting information such as historic accounts, management accounts, Business Plan, Financial Forecasts, quotes and any relevant permissions. Businesses will also need to show that they have secured the remaining funds.

Applications are assessed by the Humber LEP’s Investment Panel – a group of private sector volunteers with a range of business expertise and experience covering business management, finance and accounting, commercial law and commercial property. They understand the challenges faced by business and aim to be flexible, but fair in assessing applications and awarding grants.

How can I find out more?

More information is available on at

Alternatively please contact the Humber LEP on 01482 485 260.

Karen Oliver-Spry
Karen Oliver-Spry

Our Investment Programme Manager, Karen leads on the management of  the Humber LEP’s Investment Programmes. This includes the £131m Local Growth Fund secured through the LEP’s Growth Deals with Government and part of their commitment to the Northern Powerhouse, an £8m LGF funded Growing the Humber business investment grant scheme and £8.1m Business Loan Fund which was created with the Humber’s original Growing Places Fund allocation. Karen leads the Investment Programme team to work with partners across the four local authorities in implementing the processes set out in the LEP’s Assurance Framework and ensuring that the programmes meet performance targets in terms of spend, outputs and strategic objectives. She is the key link with the LEP’s private sector Investment Panel. Karen brings a wide range of skills and experience to the role and has a background in the museum sector.  Previously Karen has worked in communications, audience research and advocacy, and organisational development, supporting small and medium sized museums to raise standards and become more business-like in their approach.