Islands Left Out Of £5m LEP Funding Call

The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership has announced a £5m fund to help businesses improve their productivity.

But they haven’t let businesses here in Scilly know the cash is available.

The LEP was set up last year to coordinate a development strategy for Scilly and Cornwall following the Government’s abolition of the Regional Development Agencies.

Chief Executive of the Council, Philip Hygate, is representing the Islands on the LEP board.

But it appears that the Cornwall Development Company, which has been tasked to administer the so-called ‘Catalyst Fund’ fund for the LEP has forgotten to promote it on the Islands and the closing date for expressions of interest is this Sunday.

Nick Blandford from the CDC says, “the ball has obviously been dropped,” with regards to informing businesses in Scilly about the cash available and he said they would need to make “a special effort to embrace businesses in Scilly in the future.”

During our discussion with Nick, we persuaded him to extend the closing date for Islands’ businesses to Friday 22nd June to give them a fair chance to apply.

Nick said the initial stage is simply to express an interest in applying for funding and he encouraged businesses here to contact him to discuss how to access the fund.

The funding is part of the Government’s Regional Growth Fund, which was announced in November last year, and is intended to support businesses who might not be eligible for European Development money.

Money can be sought for capital investments, such as plant, machinery, land or buildings as well as for project development and delivery. But businesses will need to show that the cash will lead to new jobs or protect those that are at risk.

Up to 50% of the costs can be funded for small companies.

Further details of the fund and how to apply can be obtained at the CDC website. Nick Blandford said he would also be happy to talk to any prospective applicants from Scilly on 01872 322846.


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