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Millions available to boost redevelopment

By Boston Target  |  Posted: July 24, 2012

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Two funds have been launched to boost business growth on the south bank of the Humber.

A £10 million pot has been created to support North Lincolnshire firms after hundreds of redundancies were announced at Tata Steel.

And a second scheme is designed to encourage the redevelopment of derelict or empty properties in North East Lincolnshire.

The multimillion-pound Regional Growth Fund Grant Programme, implemented by the local authority, offers support to existing and inward investment projects.

Duncan Willey, of the Scunthorpe-based surveyor and property agent PPH Commercial, said the fund was already having an impact.

"This provides a real tangible facility for clients to obtain grant assistance in terms of capital investments, improvements, acquisitions and staff training," he said.

"Generally speaking, North Lincolnshire has had very little in terms of grant aid, and it is quite exciting.

"I have already got one party that has secured a grant and, as a result, it is in the process of taking on a building in this area, which they possibly would not have taken if the RGF was not available.

"Clearly it is already starting to work."

Mr Willey added the fund could attract companies to stay in the area or encourage new firms to make investments.

North Lincolnshire Council says the main objective is to create employment and grow the economy through the development of commercial property.

Money can also be used to help devise growth strategies and provide subsidies for disadvantaged and disabled workers.

The authority hopes to help create new businesses and support the expansion, modernisation and diversification of other firms.

The guidance sheet said firms must create employment within three years of completion of their scheme to be eligible.

Every £1 of the Regional Growth Fund must also be supported by £4 of private investment.

Projects already underway are not eligible.

North East Lincolnshire's Empty and Derelict Commercial Land and Property Renewal Scheme is already building momentum.

The funding pot was created to enhance the borough's kerbside appeal and raise standards and aspirations within neighbourhoods.

And more than £78,000 has been approved so far.

Project manager William Abe, of North East Lincolnshire Council, said: "We are keen to hear from people interested in the loans to return derelict sites and redundant buildings registered as such with the council, back into use.

"If this has an impact we are more likely to be able to do it again.

"It should be self-financing and we want to get to a position where loans are being repaid and churned out again."

The loans, of up to £100,000, are available for a five-year period.

Carl Bradley, director at surveying firm Clark Weightman, said: "The benefit of it is not just empty, derelict property being returned to use, but improving character and self-esteem and the physical environment of a given area."

Commercial property lawyer Ruth Brewin, of Wilkin Chapman Grange, said: "That is absolutely fundamental.

"Social behaviour and surroundings are inextricably linked."

For more information on the North Lincolnshire Regional Growth Fund Grant programme, e-mail regionalgrowthfund@northlincs.gov.uk or call 01724 297330.

For more information on the North East Lincolnshire Empty and Derelict Commercial Land and Property Renewal Scheme, call Mr Abe on 01472 324749.

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