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Thames Valley Berkshire

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Growing Places Fund

A Growing Places Fund (GPF) of just over £15m was awarded to the LEP by government in 2012, to promote jobs and economic growth in the area. It is structured as a revolving loan fund.

The GPF is designed to generate economic activity by addressing immediate infrastructure to enable the delivery of jobs and housing. The fund is based on principles of investment, repayment and reinvestment, where applicants repay the loaned monies so that the LEP can re-invest into further schemes across the area. The £15m fund can only be used for capital expenditure and has an average loan term of five years.

The LEP has helped to kick-start local projects including the forward-funding of three town centre regeneration schemes. This investment will help to create over 5,000 homes and 9,000 jobs in the short to medium term.

We have invested £11.3m of Growing Places Fund capital into a bespoke ‘Funding Escalator’ offering loan and equity investments of £25,000 to £300,000 to a diverse range of growth-potential SMEs support, from music composition to medical diagnostics, and more recently security software and temperature-controlled containers.

Legitimate requests for GPF loans can be categorised as follows:

  • SMEs with high growth potential are referred to the FSE Group as the Funding Escalator is designed for these types of applicants
  • Proposals to address infrastructure and site constraints, and promote the delivery of housing are referred to the Growing Places Fund guidance.