More than £8m becomes available to support SMEs

Nick Pulley

SMES in and around Leicester are being invited to apply for part of a £8.65m funding pot to deliver projects to enhance their competitiveness.

The money is intended to enhance:

  • Investment readiness
  • High-growth and scale-up support
  • Innovation to improve business productivity and job creation opportunities
  • Business finance (including grants)
  • Continued support for young people to start-up and grow a business
  • Grow-on incubation and commercial space

Nick Pulley, Chair of the LLEP said: “Since March 2015 the current European Regional Development Fund Programme in England has been developing and supporting projects across the country which boost business and innovation and support local growth.

“We have seen 13 successful projects in the LLEP area which help businesses in a wide variety of ways from grant schemes, free events and workshops, free business advice and more. These projects include the Growth Hub – LLEP Business Gateway, Digital Growth Programme, Collaborate Growing Business Together, Leicester Innovation Hub, Green BELLE and the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) to name a few.”

Diane Beresford, Deputy Chief Executive of East Midlands Chamber, covering Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, and Leicestershire, said: “Businesses across the area are seeing the benefits that our programme is delivering – helping them harness the power of digital technology in their field, to better serve their customers and help them grow for the future.

“This extra funding is great news and we would encourage eligible SMEs to take advantage of  what is on offer, so they can be supported to achieve their potential for growth and we can see more success stories come to the fore.”


All projects must be matched by 50% of the applicant’s own funding. The minimum-sized contract is £1m (£0.5m ERDF / £0.5m match). Outline applications must be submitted before midnight on 20th April and successful applications will be invited to the second stage where a Full Application will be submitted. To download the full Call specification, go to

To help explain the application process, the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) is hosting an event on Friday 23rd March, 9.30am – 12.30pm at City Hall, Leicester LE1 1FZ. To register for the event, go to

For further information about the ERDF Call and the event, contact