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Humber businesses are being urged to take advantage of a £7m-plus scheme to get development projects off the drawing board.

The Humber Local Enterprise Partnership Business Loan Fund will provide much needed cash injections for projects that have stalled due to lack of investment finance.

The fund has an ultimate goal of boosting employment and accelerating economic growth, and will be allocated by the Humber LEP investment board that comprises private sector business leaders. The closing date for expressions of interest is November 23.

It can fund almost all aspects of capital development projects, from infrastructure, flood defence work and building, all the way through to capital machinery, interiors and landscaping, provided the potential for job creation is clearly demonstrated.

The Humber LEP intends to increase the fund over time through return on investment and money from other sources.

David Kilburn, executive chairman of MKM Building Supplies and chair of the Humber LEP Investment Board, said: “Many capital projects that could lead to employment are being held up due to lack of cash reserves and the banks being risk averse. 

“We are committed to the future prosperity of the area, and therefore we want to show greater confidence in plans for growth through the fund. The applications will be assessed by local businesses, for local businesses, and we have made the process as straightforward as possible.

“We really want people to come to talk to us so we can make a quick assessment of eligibility and then help them present their projects in a way that will maximise their chances of gaining funding.”

Stephen Savage, corporate partner of Lincolnshire law firm Wilkin Chapman Grange and a Humber LEP Investment Board member, will launch the Business Loan Fund at the Humber LEP Forum on October 12.

He said: “The scheme will only be a success if we actually allocate the money, therefore we urge people to come forward with their projects as soon as possible.”

The fund, which comes from the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Growing Places Fund, will resurrect or kick-start projects that have the potential for job creation through providing additional capital investment.

It is available to businesses of any size with capital schemes based in the Humber region that can quickly generate sustainable employment. Priority will be given to projects that have planning permission and other funding in place, and to those that fit well with one or more of the Humber LEP’s key objectives, also to be launched on October 12.

The fund is expected to be allocated on a loan basis, with grants being offered only in exceptional cases. The minimum amount that can be applied for is £100,000. A prospectus detailing the full eligibility criteria will be available to download from the Humber LEP website from next Friday.

With a closing date of November 23 for expressions of interest, businesses are being invited to make appointments with the Humber LEP for one-to-one sessions during the first week of November. Potential investments by the Board will be subject to due diligence.

The fund will be launched alongside the Humber LEP’s ‘Plan for the Humber’, which sets out the Humber’s competitive advantages and plans for growth.

The Humber LEP forum meeting on October 12 takes place at the Forest Pines Hotel near Scunthorpe from 8 – 9.30am.

For more information call 01482 485260 or view The Business Loan Fund Page