BUSINESSES across Lincolnshire are being invited to make bids to a £9-million fund to restart stalled projects and help drive forward the economy.
The Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership opened the second round of its Invest and Grow Fund on October 1.
Chairman of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, Ursula Lidbetter, said: "With the economy showing few signs of recovery, the loan fund is an opportunity for a cash injection that will help firms realise their ambitions.
"Securing a loan through the Fund could be a real boon for many businesses, and the whole region stands to benefit from the flow of investment that will follow."
Ms Lidbetter added that businesses across the Greater Lincolnshire area want to complete infrastructure projects that will create jobs and increase economic growth, but a lack of capital investment and low market confidence mean many projects have been left on the starting blocks.
Loans from the Invest and Grow Fund are intended to kick-start these projects, which could be developing an existing building or bringing back a redundant building into economic use, creating new infrastructure routes to open up land for further economic development such as housing or employment land.
Businesses of any size can now submit expressions of interest for loans of between £500,000 and £2-million. Submissions can be made until Thursday, November 1.
Key facts about the Growing Places Fund
It is open to all businesses and organisations in Greater Lincolnshire (Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire and North-East Lincolnshire)
Applications from small and medium-sized enterprises are particularly welcome, as are those from the public sector
Projects need to be ready to go with all the necessary permissions in place
Projects need to demonstrate job creation and economic growth
Loans are for capital investment in infrastructure such as building or expanding business premises; measures to unlock land for development such as new access roads; and other infrastructure projects that unlock wider investment, create jobs and result in a range of other benefits
Infrastructure must be related to unlocking the development of larger growth sites. As a guide developments should be not less than 25 houses or not less than one hectare or at least 10,000 square metres net of commercial space or a combination in a mixed use development.
Priority will be given to schemes which fall within the GLLEP's priority sectors, ie manufacturing, agri-food, visitor economy, ports and logistics, care, renewable energy and the Housing Growth Point areas.
More information about the Growing Places Fund, the application process and contact details can be found at www.greaterlincolnshirelep.co.uk or call 01522 550515 to speak to Ruth Carver or Carolyn Tuscher.