Tuesday, 10 January 2017 00:07

£6.75m from EU on offer in Cumbria

Written by  Ruralcity Media
£6.75m from EU on offer in Cumbria

Rural businesses and communities are to benefit from £6.75m of EU funding being made available in Cumbria.

Three new economic development and business support programmes have been launched as part of an allocation of remaining EU funding streams.

Some £6.75m is available from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of a funding allocation previously secured via the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership.

Funding of £4m has been allocated to support flood resilience initiatives around Kendal and the River Kent catchment area.

For SME growth, £2m is available to help develop new business premises and create 'grow-on' space, incubator space or managed workspace.

The remaining £750,000 will provide support for businesses to take advantage of the range of appropriate finance options available to them.

This funding will align with initiatives such as the £400m Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund to provide access to various options such as microfinance, debt finance and equity loans.

These latest funding rounds are open until 17 February 2017.

Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership director Graham Haywood said he expected the European Structural Investment Funds programme to be delivered at least through until the end of 2020.

"We are now moving forward again with EU investment rounds to enable allocation of the remainder of our funding streams," he said.

Spending the remainder of our EU funding resources effectively was critical, so it was important that business networks and SMEs were aware of these opportunities.

"We also need to support potential applicants in developing strong applications to help deliver economic growth," said Mr Haywood.

"Cumbria LEP is extremely keen to hear from applicants interested in accessing EU funding to ensure that essential projects within the county can be supported."

Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership and its partners play a key role in determining how EU funds are invested throughout the county.

This includes a range of projects to support business growth and innovation, create jobs and improve skills levels.

Corinne Watson from Cumbria LEP said: "These opportunities are part of our existing pipeline of funding calls agreed for progression by Cumbria's ESIF Committee."

Further funding rounds would be launched in early 2017 with a focus on low carbon, broadband, tourism infrastructure, rural business grants and food processing.

The government has pledged that projects with signed contracts for EU funding agreements in place will be fully funded beyond the UK's departure from the EU.

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