Funding

Find out what funding or assistance may be available to support expansion and facilitate the relocation of businesses in Leeds City Region.

You may require external funds or investment to support your business’ goals of growing or relocating. But commercial loans can be difficult to secure, leading companies to look for alternative sources of funding.

This page provides information on several sources of funding available to companies already established or investing into Leeds City Region.

LEP capital grants

LEP capital grants

The LEP Grants Programme provides grant funding to businesses based in Leeds City Region or planning to invest here. Grants from £10,000 to £250,000 are available to growing businesses creating new jobs.

Your business must:

  • Be based, or looking to locate, in the City Region, which includes the local authority areas of Barnsley, Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield and York
  • Have been established for at least 12 months and must operate from commercial premises
  • Operate in the City Region’s key growth sectors and/or their direct supply chains: specifically health and life sciences, digital and creative industries, low carbon and environmental industries, manufacturing, financial and professional services or business to business services
  • Generate the majority of its turnover from trading with other businesses, or, your application must demonstrate how the grant-supported project will lead to this. Businesses engaged in retailing or providing localised business to consumer services are not eligible for grant support
  • Have private finance available: either your own, from a bank, or other commercial finance to invest alongside the grant (please note: the minimum total project cost is £50,000 - therefore you must have at least £4 of private sector finance to invest for every £1 in grant)
  • Demonstrate financial viability of the project and the need for grant support

Your project must:

  • Consist of capital investment in equipment and/or, fit-out and refurbishment of buildings. (Please note: refurbishment or renovation projects will only be supported where you will be the sole occupier within the refurbished or renovated business property)
  • Create at least one new job for every £7,500 - £12,500 of grant received, with the higher level of grant only available for jobs paying above the Real Living Wage (currently £9.00 per hour)

Funding available:

  • In accordance with State Aid rules, you can apply for a maximum grant of between 10% and 20% of your project costs, depending on the size of your business (10% for businesses with between 50 and 249 employees and 20% for businesses with less than 50 employees)

For example:

  • If you have 20 employees and a total project cost of £250,000 the maximum that you can apply for is £50,000
  • If you have 80 employees and a total project cost of £250,000 the maximum that you can apply for is £25,000

Further information on funding and support

Digital Inward Investment Fund

If you’re a digital business looking to set up a new operation in Leeds City Region, then you could qualify for grant funding of £10,000 to £50,000 through the Leeds City Region Digital Inward Investment Fund.

For more information click here.

Inclusive growth:

As part of the LEP’s commitment to delivering inclusive growth that benefits everyone, we have introduced new measures to encourage businesses to maximise their positive impact on the region.

If you receive a grant of £25,000 or over, you will be expected to make additional inclusive growth commitments. There are lots of different ways businesses can get on board, from volunteering in a local school to becoming a real Living Wage employer.

Additionally, businesses receiving a grant of less than £25,000 are encouraged to volunteer to undertake an inclusive growth commitment.

The LEP and its network of partners can help businesses to access several products and services that will help them to take these positive actions. Initial guidance and advice on these commitments are available here.

The Revolving Investment Fund

The £20m Revolving Investment Fund (RIF) has been established to address market failures in the provision of commercial loan finance.

Its aim is to catalyse investment, accelerate economic growth and drive job creation in the Leeds City Region. In particular, the RIF creates an avenue for developers and business to work together with the public sector to drive investment in commercially viable projects, where conventional sources of finance are insufficient and/or unavailable.

The RIF makes investments (minimum of £1m) on commercial terms and compliant with State Aid restrictions, to meet the gaps where private finance cannot be obtained. It does not provide grant funding.

Contact us on 0113 3785930 or email Investmentfund@leeds.gov.uk to discuss your requirements.

Bradford City Centre Growth Zone

Bradford’s City Centre Growth Zone is a unique initiative that supports business growth through business rate rebates and capital grants (State Aid rules apply. Total maximum grant 200,000 Euros). The zone covers 170 ha of prime commercial space in Bradford city centre.

The Growth Zone offer is made up of the following elements:

  • Business rate rebates: rate rebate incentives for eligible business creating new jobs through expansion or relocation, worth up to £16,000 per annum per post created.
  • Additional rebates or financial support may be available where redundant or disused space is brought back into permanent commercial use and jobs are being created.
  • Premises improvement grant: up to 50% of the total costs of bringing floor space with an identified end user back into commercial use or making improvements to commercial space. Available until March 2015.
  • Machinery and equipment grant: up to 50% of the cost of specific fixed assets such as plant and machinery required to enable growth. Available until March 2015.
  • Free city centre Wi-Fi and 4G rollout.
  • Property search and relocation support.

More information on this and all funding opportunities in Bradford can be found here

Leeds City Region Enterprise Zones

The Leeds City Region Enterprise Zones incorporate over 229 hectares of development land over 10 sites. Companies locating in one of the enterprise zones benefit from:

  • Reduced business rates worth up to £275,000 over a five year period
  • Simplified planning
  • Assisted Area status from 1st July 2014, offering the potential for enhanced capital allowances (only available on certain sites)

For more information on site availability, please click here.

To discuss the opportunity with our team, please get in touch.

Assisted Area status

Assisted Areas are specific parts of the country in which both SMEs and larger companies can access greater levels of public support, including additional grants, enhanced capital allowance or business rates relief.

The Leeds City Region recently benefited from a 90% increase in its Assisted Areas coverage, with a total of 43 wards now having Assisted Areas status. This includes parts of Kirklees, Calderdale, Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield, Barnsley, and key development sites such as the Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone, Bradford Growth Zone and Leeds city centre and South Bank sites. Contact individual councils for further details.

Assisted Areas within the Leeds City Region boundary

Discretionary rate relief

Leeds City Council is awarding inward investment relief to businesses in target growth sectors (Healthcare, Creative & Digital, Professional & Business Services, Low Carbon Manufacturing, Construction and Social Enterprise/ Third Sector) who are seeking to relocate or invest in new operations which would have a significant impact on employment in Leeds.

  • Relief is offered at 1% of rates payable for every new job created up to a maximum of 50% of the
  • Rates payable in the first year of relocation/inward investment
  • Relief is available either in the first year or spread over the first three years of investment
  • Relief from rates is considered a form of State Aid and any award above the maximum value of 200,000 Euros over 3 years would be subject to European Commission approval.

For further details on all funding opportunities please get in touch to discuss your specific business requirements and available funding.

How Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership can help you

With access to hard economic facts, case studies from leading companies and business support packages available, find out how we can help you make the case for investing in Leeds City Region. Contact our experts for more information. All of our services are complimentary, confidential and tailored to your needs.

Get in touch