New Enterprise Partnership programmes aim to boost businesses

Businesses across the Leeds City Region are set to benefit from two major new programmes of support launched this month by the region’s Enterprise Partnership.

The first is the £9.2m Access Innovation programme designed to support SMEs to develop new products and services using specialist expertise.

The programme will better connect businesses to the extensive knowledge base that exists in the region, including the largest concentration of universities outside of London. Businesses will also be able to connect to other research-intensive organisations, such as Catapult Centres which provide access to expert technical support, equipment, and other resources needed to turn innovative ideas into a reality.

The second is the Strategic Business Growth Programme, providing expert support to small businesses to help them realise their growth potential. This £7.2m programme offers one-to-one coaching on all aspects of business growth, including financial management, sales, marketing and planning. It will also deliver workshops on ‘hot topics’ and businesses will have the chance to learn from one another through the peer-to-peer element of this programme. Access to grant funding if companies are making capital investments in their businesses is also available.

These new programmes are part of a wider package of support available to businesses in Leeds City Region through the LEP Growth Service, a one-stop shop for businesses of all sizes and stages of development. They are part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Government through the LEP’s £1 billion Growth Deal.

Roger Marsh, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, said:

“Our aim is to make Leeds City Region the best place in the UK to start, develop and grow a business and we now have a comprehensive package of support available for all kinds of businesses, accessible through a single phone number and website.

“Innovation is key to driving economic growth and I’m especially pleased that we have this new substantial package of support to help companies exploit new ideas. Innovation cannot happen in isolation and this new programme means businesses have greater access to the expertise and opportunities to collaborate, innovate and grow. I encourage businesses owners to pick up the phone and talk to us.”

Cllr Tim Swift, West Yorkshire Combined Authority lead for Business, Innovation and Growth, said: “These new programmes will further support the region’s businesses to achieve their growth ambitions and are a welcome addition to the wealth of support already available.

“The LEP’s Growth Service supports businesses of all types and we have already helped over 3,000 businesses to date. This is set to increase in the coming months with the launch of this additional support.”

Original article sourced from, The Business Link